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.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

How Much Did Wineries Really Make in 2017?

      The Wine Industry Shares Information


Unlike most of the business world, there's a sense in the wine business that sharing is part of community, and your neighbor is part of your support mechanism. They are not a rival nor are they a competitor. Everyone freely offers support in the form of information and time. If you need a tractor because yours is mired in a soggy field, no problemo! Need a little welding and custom fabrication on a pump? I'll be right over with a welding rig. Stuck fermentation? I'll send over a portable heating unit.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

After-Hours TV: The Cutting Edge of DTC Sales


It Never Ended


The annual SVB videocast was over, but the cameras kept rolling and the discussion continued through the night until the sun started peering through the studio window. Eyelids sanded away retinas with each blink while the smell of spent smokes and stale beer perfumed the room. Amazingly, it was time to shave again, but the studio audience asked for more.

The panelist's raspy voices found comfort with hot coffee, and with adrenaline driving us forward we offered up new topics such as gullet level depletions, employing wine ambassadors in your sales strategies, and the value of making social statements with your brand. But who would get the last word? Would the videocast end?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Video Replay: Secrets to Successful DtC Sales



On May 17th we presented several of the findings from the most recent Direct to Consumer survey. This year we again had good participation from the wine business community both in region and by case production. Many great observations were offered from the panelists:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Last Chance: SVB Live DtC Videocast


I wanted to title this post with something like, "Jaw Dropping Evidence You Won't Believe !!" Then I was going to send you to another site that would have you click through 75 random pictures. Don't you hate it when you get pulled into one of those links? They never get to the picture you wanted to see. It's a form of internet fraud and torture.

Well I actually do have more than 75 slides we've just finished putting together. They're from the most recent Direct to Consumer survey; hardly a fraud. I think you would really appreciate all of the information, but the total deck of slides are only for original survey participants. There are some slides and information anyone can get though.

Among many interesting metrics and findings, the conclusions on Urban Tasting Rooms were pretty remarkable ... we could even say the discoveries are 'jaw dropping?'