The beer, wine, and spirits industry has always been dynamic, but 2023 proved challenging and unpredictable. Coming off the highs and transformations of the pandemic years, consumer brands in 2023 navigated through a maze of market fluctuations, economic volatility, and evolving consumer preferences, amplifying the need for strategic leadership.

According to Rachel Doueck, Senior Director of Client Strategy at ForceBrands specializing in the alcoholic beverages segment, four roles stood out as the hottest jobs of the year, each crucial in steering companies through uncertainty. She expects the demand for these pivotal players to remain strong in 2024.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The Cornerstone of Leadership and Strategy

The role of a CEO is always critical, but in 2023, it took on added significance. CEOs had to balance the need for growth with financial prudence. They were tasked with making pivotal decisions that could make or break the company’s fortunes. As we move into 2024, the focus for CEOs will be on fostering sustainable growth, integrating innovative thought and tech into the organization, and staying competitive by anticipating consumer trends. As the Chief Visionary, the CEO must be capable of foreseeing market shifts, positioning their companies (and enabling their executive leadership) to capitalize on new opportunities.

According to ForceBrands’ 2024 Beer, Wine & Spirits Salary & Benefits Report, CEO candidates can expect a salary range of $300,150 to $500,240 (depending on the company size). CEO salaries reflected the largest three-year increase in compensation.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
The Driver of Brand and Market Penetration

In an industry as competitive as beer, wine, and spirits, the role of the Chief Marketing Officer became more crucial than ever in 2023. CMOs were responsible for differentiating their brands in a crowded market, crafting marketing strategies that resonated with consumers, and leveraging emerging digital platforms and artificial intelligence (AI). Looking ahead to 2024, CMOs will likely focus on exploiting data analytics to gain insights into consumer behavior, personalizing marketing campaigns, exploring innovative channels for customer engagement and brand storytelling, and engaging consumers with new or reformulated product offerings.

Beer, wine, and alcoholic beverage companies looking to hire a CMO must budget for a base salary range of $234K to $364K (depending on company size determined by revenue). You can find salary ranges in the sector in ForceBrands’ 2024 Beer, Wine & Spirits Salary & Benefits Report.

Vice President of Operations
The Architect of Efficiency and Innovation

The Vice President of Operations emerged as a key player in 2023, especially in a year marked by cautious financial management. This role was essential in streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, and ensuring the supply chain could adapt to rapid changes. In 2024, the focus will likely be on implementing more efficient, technology-driven operational processes. A brand’s Vice President of Operations will be pivotal in integrating sustainable practices and ensuring that production meets the evolving demands of the market while maintaining the highest standards of quality.

ForceBrands reports that, depending on the company’s size by revenue, candidates landing the role of Vice President of Operations earn anywhere from $181K to just over $225K. Check out ForceBrands’ 2024 Beer, Wine & Spirits Salary & Benefits Report to see how other Operations roles are compensated in the sector.

National Accounts – All Roles
Catalysts for Revenue Growth and Partnership

Brands focused on growing their National Accounts bench in 2023, with many adding talent at all levels to manage critical business relationships and sustain revenue streams in a highly competitive environment. In 2024, National Accounts roles will become even more crucial as companies seek to expand their market reach and forge strategic partnerships. The focus will be on understanding and anticipating the needs of long-term account relationships and nurturing those partnerships while identifying new market opportunities.

A Director of National Accounts in the beer, wine, and spirits category can expect to earn a base salary of $156K on the low end and $204K on the high end (depending on the company’s size in revenue). Vice President base salaries range from $187K to $250K. Download ForceBrands’ 2024 Beer, Wine & Spirits Salary & Benefits Report to understand how base salaries track at various National Account role levels.

Heading Into 2024, Hiring Will Accelerate

Reflecting on 2023, Doueck says that the year was marked by a cautious approach to salaries and hiring patterns at the start. But as the months progressed, recruiters saw a shift. Companies are once again competing aggressively for top talent, driving up hiring budgets and salaries.

Moving into the new year, the beer, wine, and spirits sector is expected to continue its growth trajectory, fueled by evolving consumer habits and the integration of enabling technologies, including AI, in marketing and operations. Companies will continue focusing on sustainability and responsible consumption (including low and no-alcohol products), aligning with global health and environmental consciousness trends.

Stay Up to Date on Compensation & Benefits of Key Roles in Beer, Wine & Spirits 

The globally competitive beer, wine, and spirits industry relies on top talent with forward-thinking abilities. Whether networking for the right job or actively recruiting the best industry professionals for your organization, arming yourself with knowledge about prevailing competitive employment offers is essential in 2024. ForceBrands’ 2024 Beer, Wine & Spirits Salary & Benefits Report synthesizes vital data to reveal noteworthy compensation trends this year. It gives those looking to land a role or to secure a game-changing candidate the edge over their competition. Download the report here.

ForceBrands offers end-to-end hiring solutions for all stages of growth. Whether you’re just starting to hire or are looking for the next step in your career, we’re here to help you be a positive Force that makes an impact.