Saturday, August 25, 2012

Can Wineries Increase their Bottle Prices?

Middle Class Mashed

Middle Class Wealth Back to 1983 Levels

That is a question all wineries are asking: When will they be able to meaningfully raise bottle prices and recover their margins? To get at the answer, you have to start by answering the question, what drove the prior pricing increase in the 90's into the 2000's? The answer is the middle-class and the Boomers.

The Great Recession wasn’t that great for anyone but it outright sucked if you were in the middle class. The middle class is that section of the population that was more likely to have lower savings, lower stock market exposure, and a higher percentage of their net worth centered in their homes. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, wealth, income and optimism about their future according to a recent report from The Pew Research Center. The impact of the weakening of the middle class will continue to linger and impair the wine industry's ability to pass on the higher costs of grapes for many years to come.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can You Succeed in the Wine Business Without CRM & SM?

You are a with-it kind of person so you probably recognize the acronyms in the title stand for Social Media and Customer Relationship Management. You are so together, you probably have your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts with more than 500 of your closest friends and colleagues connected. You have a Klout score. You have a smart phone and check in with Foursquare at every occasion. You’ve even started tweeting twice a day about such fascinating things as, "Happy #FF" and "Isn't it a beautiful #DAY all my peeps." And the result of your social dalliance with SM on growing your sales is?..... Absolutely Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. What is going on? Where are all those Millennials who are supposed to be Tweeting up a storm and rushing to your door. If you do Social Media, they will come! ...... won't they?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Is it Politically Correct to make a Profit?

What is the long-term outlook for the US wine business? Having been around the business for more than 30 years now, I can remember different phases in our industry's evolution and I'm constantly thinking about just what was happening to shifting demand and why, because those patterns can predict the direction we're heading next. I remember when there were 13 states that had reciprocal shipping laws and wineries shipped only to about 30 of them.  I remember when drinking was bad for you. In fact when SVB began in the wine business in the early 90s, we were just moving out of a time of a structural change that led to declining demand both in gallons consumed and per capita consumption as you can see in Figure 1 above.