Sunday, March 17, 2019

Annual Direct to Consumer Survey Closes this Week

Every year SVB and Wine Business Monthly collaborate on a survey that maps out the changes in direct to consumer wine sales - providing benchmarks to respondents that are invaluable in day to day business, and equally important as we chart new paths and channels to sell wine.

The 2019 survey closes this week. Join the hundreds and hundreds of wineries who have already taken the survey this year [Take the Survey]

Take the above chart for instance which was a product of last year's survey. In it, we can see that for the first time, there are more tasting rooms being built than wineries. Why? Because wineries all believe they need a tasting room to sell direct. But is that true? The answer is that not all tasting rooms are necessary, but client experience is necessary even if there isn't a tasting room

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The SVB Annual Direct to Consumer Survey is Open

Today more than ever, the wine industry needs to be more strategic and proactive in their direct to consumer strategy and execution. The business is rapidly changing and will over the next five years cause whiplash for those not buckled in.

Improving and evolving direct sales strategies will be the difference between success and failure in the coming decade as the industry's consumer evolves under our feet, anti-alcohol groups continue to push their agenda, and competition from beer, spirits and foreign wine intensifies.

How do I know that? It seems a little grandiose to make those kinds of statements. If I were you, those are the types of statements I'd ignore as hyperbole and click-bait. Blah-blah-blah. But am I just running off at the mouth for effect?

      The Real Deal

Those who follow this blog know that I extensively research the industry annually and provide the findings in the SVB State of the Industry Report in January. This time of year, I dig in to the direct to consumer segment as Silicon Valley Bank and Wine Business Monthly collaborate on an annual nationwide survey, targeting direct to consumer wine sales. All this is done on a gratis basis to help the industry make decisions.

This effort is so important to industry success, that every major industry association on the West Coast and many others from around the country actively support the project.

Last year, we had about 10% of the industry complete the survey, providing a statistically significant sample by bottle price, years in business, location, and case size. (Top chart by case.)

The survey is opens as of now, and it will close on March 22nd, at which point SVB will contribute substantial time and resources to analyze the data, turning it into relevant information for the wine community. If you are thinking about participating, you should also ask, "How will it be used?"

In May, all respondents who complete the survey receive high-level analysis, benchmarks and the complete sanitized respondent data, anonymised of all personal and business identifying information. In June we will then broadcast a live videocast to the industry to go over the new findings. Last year's videocast is below if you are interested.

In April, Wine Business Monthly takes the findings SVB produces and puts together their own view, publishing their conclusions in the July issue (2017 WBM Tasting Room Edition - PDF). The effort is always substantial, but the rewards for wineries in benchmarking and understanding the current landscape has been priceless. 

This year the survey has approximately 30 questions and should take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete and even less if you are a little prepared. If you would like to see the questions in advance, you can download and print them here.

Are you ready to participate in the survey this year?

Please promote this post in your favorite social media platform, or even better - please forward the link to your winery colleagues and ask them to participate.

If you would like your AVA to participate, we will also send them free Regional Benchmarks for their own use, presuming we have a statistically significant sample size and an address to send the information.

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.