Our North America business comprises US Spirits and Wines, Diageo Guinness USA (DGUSA) and Diageo Canada, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Route to market
Route to market in the United States is through the three-tier system and we distribute our products through more than 100 spirits and wines distributors and brokers, and more than 400 beer distributors. We have a unique route to market for our spirits and wine business in the United States, with more than 3,000 dedicated distributor sales people focused only on Diageo and Moët Hennessy spirits and wine brands. Diageo consolidates its US Spirits and Wines business into a single state-wide distributor in 41 states and the District of Columbia, representing more than 80% of the company’s US Spirits and Wines volume. US Spirits and Wines business operates through five divisions in Open States where we sell to distributors who then sell to retailers, and through two divisions in Control States where mostly we sell to the state, which in turn sells to state or agency stores and on premise retailers. US Spirits and Wines sells the vast majority of the Californian and imported wines we own and represent, with the remaining small portion of sales coming from winery visitor centres and online sales. DGUSA sells and markets brands including Guinness, Smirnoff Ice and Red Stripe. Beer distribution generally follows the three-tier open state regulations across the United States. Diageo Canada distributes our collection of spirits, beer and wine brands across all Canadian provinces, which generally operate through a provincial control system. Diageo Canada operates through a single broker with a dedicated sales force handling our brands in the country. National brand strategy, strategic accounts marketing and corporate functions are managed at the North America level. In North America, we market a total beverage alcohol portfolio.
We have 11 bottling, distilling, blending and maturation sites including operations in Plainfield, Illinois; Amherstburg, Ontario; Valleyfield, Quebec; Relay, Maryland; Gimli, Manitoba; Tullahoma, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; and seven wineries and wine bottling operations in California. Focusing on continuously improving efficiency across our supply chain we made significant investments during the year and announced plans to cease bottling operations in Relay, Maryland.
Sustainability & Responsibility
As our largest market, with many millions of consumers, our focus on responsible drinking in North America is particularly important, and we have built a reputation as a leading voice in the industry. After 12 years of advocating with a coalition of consumer and public health advocates, the US government recently allowed alcohol companies to include alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve on packaging. In March we followed this by announcing our commitment to provide consumers around the world with this information – a first for any alcohol company. Another key issue for us is operational sustainability – our Californian vineyards and wineries are in a water-stressed area, and we have responded by creating ‘Blue Teams’ to scale up our focus on reducing water use in our operations and identifying opportunities in our wine growers’ supply chain.