Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Lost Wine Consumer of 2019

The SVB Annual State of the Industry Report diagnoses trends and makes projections about tomorrow. I write it as much for me as for the industry, because I think it's critical to stand away from the business every year and take a fresh look. It helps me and the SVB wine division take a consultant's approach with our clients and diagnose owner's critical needs. 

Normally there aren't huge surprises when I research, but this year, I came away with a cascading shock when I discovered the business wasn't anywhere close to where I believed it was. And every bit of research since has continued to add to the realization that the industry isn't only at a cross-roads, we stand a chance of losing the wine consumer altogether.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Second Hour Broadcast - 2019 SVB Wine Industry Report

We're presenting a second hour of content for those who want more from the release of the Annual State of the Industry report. Register now, join us and continue the conversation!!
The summary statement from the Annual SVB Wine Report is the Wine Business is at a decision point. We either keep doing what we are doing today and see the category sag, or we change the way we sell and market. Why have I come to this stark conclusion?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 State of the Industry Report Signup

2019 SVB State of the Wine Industry
Report & Videocast
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. PT or 12:30 p.m. ET 

The wine business is changing. You can feel it, even if you can't quantify it. Before you plan out sales and marketing for 2019, you will want to tune-in and discover what's taking place, because there were surprises I didn't expect when I started researching this year.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Cannabis & Millennial Wine Consumption

Following the 2012 initiatives in Colorado and Washington that legalized the recreational use of marijuana, questions started to be asked around the wine business about the substitution effect of pot and wine. Even more interesting to me is to think through, why the wine industry would even ask the question?

The reason the question is being asked is everyone in the wine industry has been feeling uncomfortable with sales trends for some time, and we are all trying to pin down the root causes for the changes. Many have already concluded cannabis is hurting wine sales.

While I've avoided talking about cannabis in the Annual SVB State of the Industry Report up to this point, this year because of the trends I'm seeing, I felt it necessary to take this subject head-on.

You can sign up  [here]  to receive a link to the 2019 SVB Wine Industry Report and the live videocast which will take place on January 16th this year. But here are some of the thoughts I'll present on wine and weed within the report this year.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wine Supply is Hitting a Tipping Point

I've been pointing out the slowdown in the growth rate of consumer demand by volume for some time now. We are still growing, but the growth rate is slowing, particularly when looking at volume.

I began to talk about shifting consumer demand and premiumization as early as 2006 in the Annual State of the Industry Report. This is a pretty optimistic industry so I was called a Debbie Downer when I started discussing the forward trends back then. That blow-back has since settled down into general agreement and instead of debating the facts as I've laid them out, the discussion has settled into a discussion of strategy.

Source: CA Grape Acreage Report

At some point as demand in volume flattens while bearing acres increase (above chart), we should expect to see a change in grape buying patterns from wineries and ensuing price changes depending on the specific region and variety

From all the signs I can see, it appears we've arrived at that tipping point in supply. That will change a lot of things going forward.

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Annual SVB Wine Business Survey

 Header-Rows of Vines-600x160.jpg

      Business Intelligence?

There is something changing in the business environment. You can feel it. Business is good, but it's fundamentally changing. You have examples of change in the way your business is functioning right now. The consumer is different, but what's causing the change and how will the change impact you? 

Those are the questions business owners should be asking today because change creates both opportunities and threats. So we need to understand what's happening in measurable ways. We all need to know exactly what's transpiring, but how are you going to get that business intelligence?

      Story of My Life

I've always been frustrated by the lack of actionable information and the availability of street-level intelligence in the wine business. There was plenty of information on wine-making and grape growing, but there was never satisfying business intelligence available. What is really happening? How can I know if a decision is sound without any reference points? 

With no good information available, more than 15 years ago I started doing annual research just to make sure the wine community had a starting point. There is a lot to talk about today:

  • What are emerging trends in Direct to Consumer sales?
  • Is there any pricing upside available in my price segment?
  • Will M&A continue and if so, what are buyers seeking?
  • What growth rate can I anticipate next year?
  • Where should I look for new consumers?
  • Are imports or cannabis going to cut into sales? 
  • Will grape prices increase next year?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Do Tasting Rooms Steal Sales from the Wholesaler?

Procter & Gamble has long been respected for it's integrated product development, integration of acquisitions, and brand marketing. Consider the number of iconic brands they hold like Ivory soap, Pampers diapers, Duracell batteries, Gillette razors, Tampax feminine care products, Crest toothpaste, Tide detergent, and the list goes well beyond that. P&G has more billion dollar brands than any company in the world ... but they don't sell wine. If P&G sold wine people would be running to their mailboxes for free samples and the TTB would not be happy about that.