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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has released a study showing the positive economic impact of allowing wine sales in the 8,489 food stores in states that currently restrict such sales. Consequences cited by the report include the creation of more than 168,000 potential jobs paying $7.2 billion in wages, as well as billions of dollars in additional revenue for federal, state and local governments.
FMI commissioned Napa, Calif.-based wine industry consultant Stonebridge Research Group LLC to author the report, FMI Wine Study: The Economic Impact of Allowing Shoppers to Purchase Wine in Food Stores, which also found that wine sales in food stores resulted in greater consumer choice. At the present time, 17 states don’t allow wine to be sold in food stores.
“As our members and their customers work to recover from this difficult recession, we feel the time has come for states to remove the barriers and enable food retailers to create more jobs in local communities, help consumers reduce their daily travel needs and provide new sources of revenues for overburdened state and local budgets,” said Patrick Davis, VP of state government relations at Arlington, Va.-based FMI.
The report noted that revenues from increased license fees, sales taxes, and growing employment and business profitability taxes could equal $3.3 billion at the state and local level alone, and more than $1.9 billion at the federal level.
“While the study touts the economic impact, it is not meant to minimize the seriousness of alcohol abuse concerns,” Davis added. “We believe incorporating wine into the meal reduces the incidence of wine consumption merely as an intoxicant, which is an important step in responsible alcohol consumption.”