As overall sales have slowed and the cost of ingredients and supplies has risen over the past two years, small breweries are seeking ways to increase their purchasing power. Some have merged or created tie-ups, such as CANarchy or Artisanal Brewing Ventures. Others have turned toward a new model for the industry: group purchasing organizations (GPOs).
Common in healthcare and other trades for more than a century, GPOs are membership collectives that negotiate for bulk discounts on goods and services. They aggregate the buying power of their member companies to negotiate for discounts and rebates from suppliers, vendors, and service providers.