As if the news of US-imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum didn’t upset a large enough portion of beverage manufacturers already, the most recent developments in US-China trade have left winemakers, along with US-based manufacturers of 127 other products, with a sour taste in their mouths.

Earlier this year, the White House sought to enact tariffs on countries it had described as taking advantage of the US trade policy for some time. In an effort to revitalize US-based metals manufacturing, the order to formally enact tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as high as 25 percent and 10 percent respectively, was signed last month.

A photo of a metal foundry at night, one of the largest industries affected by US-China Trade.

The Order To Formally Enact Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum Imports, As High As 25 Percent And 10 Percent Respectively, Was Signed Last Month.

The move will ideally lead to an injection of investment and job growth in the sector, according to supporters of the decision.

Food and Beverage Manufacturers Believe Things Will Get Worse Before Getting Better

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, on the other hand, have voiced serious concerns over the expected rise in costs and job losses resulting from the tariffs. Campbell Soup, Craft Heinz, Coca-Cola, and AB-InBev are among the largest companies broadcasting dire predictions. The craft beer industry, which has seen tremendous growth in the US over the last five years, is also expected to suffer serious ramifications to canning and racking operations. non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers, who have been enjoying a marked increase in popularity over the last several years, will no doubt be adversely affected by the imposed tariffs. It remains to be seen how the policy will affect the future of such niches.

US-China Trade Siphoning Beer’s Bottom Line

To begin, higher packaging prices are sure to increase prices for consumers; however, the impact could reach well beyond higher costs in the grocery aisle. According to Jim McGreevy, Beer Institute President and CEO, “this 10% tariff will create a new $347.7 million tax on America’s beverage industry, including brewers and beer importers, and result in the loss of 20,291 American jobs.”  A frightening prospect, especially for those small and medium enterprises struggling to make their way in the craft brewing sector.

an image of canned beverages, signifying the aluminum industry, one industry affected by US-China Trade.

Beverage Manufacturers And Packaging Operations Will Be Significantly Affected By Aluminum and Steel Tariffs.

58 percent of the 2.1 million tons of tinplate used in the US last year, an insufficient amount of which is produced in the U.S according to a Campbell Soup representative, was produced in the US. CPG manufacturers will likely end up paying 10 percent to 25 percent more on the remaining 42 percent being imported because of the new tariffs.

While large food and beverage manufacturers will be able to offset the increase in costs through consumers, distributors, and retailers, smaller operations will bear the brunt of the import taxes, making growth amid volatility the latest of many challenges.

Winemakers Feeling The Squeeze Of US-China Trade

The latest response from China places the US wine industry in a position to bear substantial impact in the back and forth between the world’s two largest economies. All this comes following the announcement earlier this year of reduced excise taxes on winemakers, distillers, and brewers that had these small and medium enterprises especially optimistic about the future of their operations.

A picture of barrels in the wine cellar, one industry affected by US-China Trade.

Wine Inventory Is Sitting In Warehouses Across The Country, Waiting For Some Resolution To The State Of US-China Trade.

The new tariffs for wine can reach just as high as those imposed on imported steel by the US, 25 percent. As a result, inventory is sitting in warehouses across the country, waiting for some resolution to a spat that will have an impact that reaches farther than the vineyard. While wine exports to China account for roughly 5% of the market, or around $79m, winemakers are keeping a close eye on developments. Wine consumption in China has increased by 500% since 2000 and shows no signs of slowing down. This is further impacted by the dry spell of sorghum-based Maotai, the country’s most popular spirit.

In Napa Valley, Chinese wine tourists make up the majority of visitors, as well, with 20% of guided tours being booked in Mandarin. The figure will no doubt also be impacted by fewer Chinese wine drinkers being exposed to the varieties produced by US growers and winemakers. In a landscape dominated by French wines for decades, American wines had been in a state of perpetual grind to break into the Chinese market. Now, with the headway made over the last two decades threated by a potential 25 percent import tax, inroads made into the Chinese wine market run the risk of drying up.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Non-Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing

Non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing is finding its niche in the brewing world. With 5% market growth for low and non-alcoholic beer brewers recorded during 2015, things are looking up for suds without the buzz.

Granted these brews don’t typically appear at your local brewpub, but wholesalers and retailers are picking up these brands to serve a population that respects the flavor but doesn’t want a more holistic approach to their consumption habits. Because alcohol is associated with a myriad of health risks, global consumption of traditional beer has dropped over the last few years.

A picture of several vats in a brewery where Non-Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing takes place.

Craft Brewers Are Increasingly Looking At Alcohol-Free Beer As An Additional Revenue Source.

Even major breweries are jumping on the bandwagon, with both AB InBev and Corona calculating that by 2025 their production of non-alcoholic beers will make up 20% of overall production. Heineken has reported the alcohol-free market has grown by 9% YoY. Spanish and German counterparts reporting that the market in their regions reveal much the same, with a respective 33% and 23% of the populations affirming they go alcohol-free on occasion.

Big Benefits Of Non-Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing

Beyond the health benefits that many consumers swear by, non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing is proven to generate big revenues from one simple perk: No Sin taxes. Because non-alcoholic beverages don’t contain any alcohol, they aren’t subject the taxes associated with alcoholic beverages. On average these brewers generate 1.5x the revenue when compared to their counterparts at scale.

Beyond monetary incentives, the same draw that craft brew has had on a global audience applies just as aptly to non-alcoholic beverages. Hops and natural ingredients offer an extensive palate through which drinkers can experience the possibilities of alcohol-free drinks.

Systems Supporting Brewers

In terms of process, the brewing of alcohol-free beer is very similar to brews with booze. Ingredients, cook times, sterilization, storage, bottling, distribution, and order fulfillment are all part of the equation. Just about every item a brewery looks at can be applied to both, except that pesky Sin Tax. A robust solution to ensure that these breweries have less to worry about on the back-end will ensure they are able to control the quality of their product on the front-end. With tailor-made solutions for just such enterprises, ERP software is increasingly becoming a staple of the brewing process.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Virginia Wine And Beer Makers Unnerved By Spotted Lanternfly

Virginia wine and beer manufacturers are exceptionally anxious following the recent discovery of an invasive species in Virginia that could potentially threaten hops and grape growing operations throughout the state.

The spotted lanternfly, a sap-eating insect like the large Aphid, first appeared in Virginia early last month. Native to Asia and notoriously good at stowing away. It is suspected the potential nuisance arrived on a shipment of construction materials from China. In recent years the bug has been spotted in Pennsylvania and Delaware, which hasn’t done much to allay fears that the population is growing in number and reach.

Grape growers are expected to be hit the hardest as a result. The problem arises when the bugs find a sweet and sappy meal, much like ripe grapes. When they set down to dine for a meal, they leave behind a substance similar to honeydew. This substance is the main culprit in the development of sooty mold, a fungus which will break down the fruit and cause it to go foul in the process.

The first reports of the bug surfaced in Pennsylvania in 2015 and Agricultural officials in the region have been keeping a close eye on the visitor ever since. It still remains to be seen just how much the population has spread in that time. The authorities in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and now Virginia are all working to create a containment plan before things can get out of hand. $17.5 million has already been allotted to the efforts in emergency funding for Southeast Pennsylvania.

Not much is known about the spotted lanternfly in the US, it’s full impact on plant species or any natural predators. an entomologist at the University of Maryland, Mike Raupp expects the USDA has likely sent experts to Asia for a more comprehensive investigation on the details of the bug’s background and impact on local ecosystems.

Authorities in all three states are urging anyone who suspects a presence of the insect to report it to authorities immediately. Tree of Heaven trees appear to be particularly attractive to the spotted lanternfly and growers with these trees on their property may want to reconsider maintaining their presence on-premises.

The Economic Impact For Virginia Wine And Beer

In Virginia, the wine and wine grape industry is one that brings in considerable revenues. In 2015 the state’s winemakers produced 705,000 cases or just under 8.5 million bottles. In total, the full economic impact of wine and wine grapes on the Virginia economy reached $1.37 billion. With just under 10,000 Virginians employed in local wine-related industries and wine-related tourism contributing a significant amount to those revenues, an outbreak of sooty mold as a result of the spotted lanternfly’s presence would pose a significant threat to the state and local residents.

With nearly 200 craft breweries in the state, hops could soon become a hot commodity. Also susceptible to the sooty mold these bugs produce, hops are a main ingredient contributing to the nearly $10 billion that Virginia’s economy enjoys from brewing activities and beer related tourism. Not to mention the 20,000 people the industry employs statewide.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Whether you’re adding additional capabilities to your existing structure or have outgrown your former methodology, you are ready to explore a more robust approach to tackling the challenges of growth. ERP software, such as NetSuite ERP, can support your enterprise across all channels and scale your business.

an image of clear glass beverage bottles in a manufacturing plant

Food And Beverage Manufacturers Utilize ERP Consultants to Implement ERP Solutions Successfully

Designed with multi-level functionality, these powerful tools can address the needs of multi-company, multi-division, multi-currency, multi-warehouse, and multi-factory operations. Everything from shipping and receiving to accounting and lot control can be optimized using an ERP solution focused on process manufacturing.

You can be operating at one site or with locations scattered across the globe, ERP solutions are designed to address the essential needs of business structures big and small. Let’s touch on a few key points unique to the food and beverage industry and how ERP brings relief from their burdens.

Recipe-Based Formulation

While your employees on the shop floor and executives in the boardroom may know the difference between formulation and bill of materials, your ERP solution should know the finer points just as well. Your products can’t be disassembled like discrete manufacturers’ can, and so you’ve got to get it right with every batch. Not only this, but you’ve got to have the raw materials on hand to deliver each order’s specifications.

a picture of stainless steel vats in a food and beverage manufacturing facility

ERP Consultants Assist Process Manufacturing Operations Maintain Recipe-Based Formulation Best Practices With Effective ERP Solutions

The easiest way to keep everything running smoothly is to keep your stock at the ready with an ERP solution designed with you and your industry in mind. ERP formulation management capabilities include essential tools, like tracking recipe revisions, processing notes that allow for commenting, and attention sections at every step in the production process with each instance unique to its batch ticket or work order. Not only this, but everyone is on the same page when it comes to historical information, revisions, and amendments to your recipes.

Quality Control

One of the biggest issues facing food and beverage manufacturers is consistency. Delivering your product according to consumer expectations is essential in maintaining your signature taste, experience, and brand. An exceptional ERP solution that addresses quality control for your industry is the only one that will do.

An image shipping containers ready to deliver food and beverages.

Quality Control Is Made Easy With ERP Solutions Specifically Tailored To Address The Needs Of Food And Beverage Manufacturing Operations.

Keeping a reliable supply of your in-brand ingredients ensures that the quality and stores of bulk products and finished products will be addressed with a quality ERP solution, as well. Beyond the QC of product characteristics, maintaining reliable expiration on every batch you produce is essential and nothing makes it easier to deliver a consistent lifespan of your products than an ERP dedicated to consistent quality control.

Lot Traceability

When it comes to where your products are going once they’ve left processing facilities, there’s really no room for error. This is where ERP solutions can be instrumental in catching poor packaging or disreputable shippers early in the supply chain along as well as assist in circumventing many of the common problems in the industry.

an image of signage indicating multiple one-way direction traffic

ERP Solutions Improve The Effectiveness Of Lot Traceability And Distribution Management When It Comes To Food And Beverage Manufacturing Operations.

ERP solutions ensure that you know every stop in the journey of your shipments and are equipped to handle issues before they become problems. Using the data gleaned from ERP solutions will ensure the root of the problem is identified and shut down before it can affect your bottom line.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.