Monday, July 5, 2021

Wine Demand is Turning Negative, Defying Good News

Photo by Mohau Mannathoko

I don't like it but...

it's true. I might have missed on a prediction that I made. 

Starting in January of this year, I began predicting that overall wine demand would grow through and into at least 2022. As the days passed, the better-than-expected situation with COVID vaccinations became clearer, so I held firm to my forecast and underscored it further in a March blog post. There were so many positives to support my faith in our industry's 2021 opportunity, how could I not be optimistic? 

The Wind's At Our Back

We are sitting with the highest GDP in decades. Fiscal and monetary stimulus from the government is being delivered in trainloads. Restaurant and tasting room sales are being added back to the calculus. Internet sales are at records. Frustrated and cooped-up consumers with exploding personal savings are desperate to spend it on experiences like travel and tourism. The jobs numbers are increasingly positive. And, the stock market is at record highs producing even more discretionary income. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

The 2021 DTC Videocast Brings Clarity to a Changed Consumer

The Report

Fifteen hundred people signed up to watch the 2021 Silicon Valley Bank Annual Direct to Consumer Videocast held on May 25th, where we released the newly formatted and constructed benchmarks and metrics from the March 2021 DTC survey. 

I'd say the broadcast went well, outside of my worst nightmare coming true when my internet died in the opening and I had to switch wireless connections. No matter. I survived one more Zoom surprise. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Annual SVB Direct to Consumer Webcast is Tuesday May 25th


    How do you sell wine in a Pandemic?

That was the question asked in middle-March 2020 as the industry, country, and world awoke to discover that we were living in circumstances that seemed more like a second-rate Hollywood movie. 

Now, more than a year into the COVID Pandemic, we have answered many of those early questions, and we’ve discovered a few things about ourselves along the way, about our ability to adapt, create, and even thrive in some cases during a period I would describe as the most difficult business conditions since Prohibition.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Why Am I so Optimistic about 2021

Opportunity Knocks

Ebullience! That's a word we haven't heard much in the past year. But I predict that's only the start. You might soon also hear such rare terms as buoyancy, vivacity, and euphoria bandied about. 

Count me in the camp that is exuberant for the opportunity presented to us in 2021 - 2022. I can't wait to work again in a group practicing social nearness sans masks as in the headline picture... though my vision of tomorrow has a nicer desk than the headline picture. Why so cheerful you ask?

I covered some of the information in this post when we announced the opening of the SVB 2021 Direct to Consumer survey. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Annual 2021 DtC Survey: Extended to Friday 3-26

There is so much anticipation in the air for an end to the horror show we've all lived the past year. Today wineries are getting ready to reopen to normal service levels, hopefully before Memorial Day! That's a legitimate hope with the increased pace of vaccine availability and improved COVID metrics.

Speaking of metrics, Silicon Valley Bank annually runs the industry's Direct to Consumer Survey this time of year. We typically get about 1,000 responses before cleaning the final results to between seven to eight hundred useful responses. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Discover 2021 Consumer Trends by Participating in the Annual Direct to Consumer Survey

    Let's Never have Another Year like 2020

I opened the 2021 SVB State of the Industry Report with this line: "2020 will go down as the year in which we answered the heretofore rhetorical question, what else can go wrong? 

We are all glad 2020 is over. We are all grateful vaccinations are signaling an end to what we've endured this past year, and almost uniformly across America, there is renewed optimism that 2021 will be better as we move into spring.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Predicting Higher Demand for Wine in 2021.

    The Case to be Made for a Party 

At the end of Prohibition in the U.S. the consumption of wine as measured, slowly grew until war was declared in 1941 and rationing took over everyday lives. Whiskey distilleries were repurposed to produce grain alcohol for torpedo fuel, which interestingly created unintended consequences of new cocktails for sailors and higher rum consumption in the U.S. Fifteen percent of total beer production was allocated to servicemen and while wine wasn't rationed, prices of alcohol increased during the war making it difficult to afford a bottle of anything, so wine consumption fell. 

Imagine the exuberance at the end of 1945 when WWII came to an end, completing a fifteen-year period that spanned the 1929 Market Crash exacerbated by the Dust Bowl, leading to the Great Depression, food lines, increased poverty and homelessness, and high levels of unemployment. 

On August 15th, 1945 with Japan's surrender and acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, there was hope those unhappy times would soon be behind the country. The sacrifice of the Greatest Generation had paid off and the men and women in the military would soon be coming home! Life would eventually return to an altered normal - but a much better one full of peace and hopefulness.

As the soldiers were brought home starting in 1945 with those in the European Theatre under Operation Magic Carpet, a rolling party broke out on the homefront. It is estimated that 1946 consumption of alcohol reached pre-prohibition levels of 2 liters per capita. Wine became a beverage of interest for many of the returning service members who had experienced European wine.