The January/February issue in 1994 featured a jukebox on the cover, announcing Beverage Dynamics’ Top Retailers. This was one of the last years the magazine chose ten retailers for the award, as it was changed to a singular Retailer of the Year in 1996 (though in 2017 we will once again name top retailers from around the country. Be sure to visit www.beveragedynamics.com/retaileroftheyear to learn more.)
I’m struck by how colorful the logo and illustration are. I can’t imagine running something on the cover today with that color orange unless it was related to Halloween.
The big news story dominating the January/February 1994 issue was the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect January 1. The FYI page featured four stories about NAFTA,headlined “NAFTA is Good News for the Industry.” An infographic showed that imports from Mexico to the U.S. greatly outnumbered imports from the U.S. going to Mexico ($148 million vs $11 million just for beer).
There was also a column from Fred Shows, Sazerac’s Director of Marketing, on the importance of international trade. He states that Sazerac aims to have 50% annual revenues from exports by the end of the 90’s. Due to mergers and acquisitions during the mid-90s, there’s no way to tell whether that goal would have been achievable with Sazerac’s 1994 portfolio of brands.