Monday, May 11, 2020

Signup: SVB State of the Industry - Special Edition

On March 23rd, eight days after we closed tasting rooms in California, I posted a blog about crisis management where I suggested for scenario planning, June 1st would be a good guess for reopening. So I was really excited to hear that this past week that we've started the conversation about reopening tasting rooms in California and along the west coast. Perhaps my educated guess might turn out closer to correct than I deserve?

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Post Lock-Down Opportunity for Wineries

The above chart from the USDA is a little cluttered, but the dotted lines show how US consumers have been moving from eating at home, and somewhere around 2011 shifted to eating away from home. Not earth-shattering observations that two-income families with complex schedules moved away from traditional family meals. But why should we care? We should care because an interesting thing has happened with wine demand in the last 7 weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2020

What is Normal in a Post COVID-19 World?

The Coronavirus Pandemic for the wine and restaurant industries has been like getting picked up in a tornado and dropped into the Wizzard of Oz movie but without the welcoming committees. It's been dizzying to see overall demand for wine improve, at the same time premium wineries are fighting for survival. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Crisis Management for Wine Country

I'm not alone when I say that I've never been through anything like this and didn't see it coming. I had no way of imagining such a circumstance: a world-wide pandemic that closes down the US and World economies? While I've seen shelter-in-place orders for regional issues, it's beyond comprehension that this would ever take place in as many countries as we're seeing now, or in the entirety of the State of California and the growing list of other states and regions that have similar orders.

After the string of directives this past week from state, federal and local governments that pounded down our prior realities, I spent time surveying the wine industry landscape and talked to as many people as possible to gain a sense of where we stand. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Canceled: Annual SVB Direct to Consumer Survey

You probably recognize the photo up top of Times Square. I took it this afternoon from a webcam. You might never again see it this empty - or so that's my hope.

The Decision to Cancel

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Selling Wine in a Pandemic

There are times in life when we have to react to circumstances that are well outside of anything expected. A pandemic? Well, that's a circumstance none of us have any experience with. That new aspect in all our lives is requiring each of us to adapt, then employ behaviors that are out of the norm. For some, this is distracting but for others, this is nothing less than debilitating.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Annual SVB Direct to Consumer Survey is Open

Improving and evolving your direct sales strategies, marketing, and sales will be the difference between success and struggling in the coming decade as the industry's consumer target evolves under our feet as, anti-alcohol groups push their agenda and competition from beer, spirits, and foreign wine intensify. We defend ourselves by using data and evolving or approach.

For instance, how does your tasting fee compare to your region? Are you enticing consumers or scaring them away with that? Are your tasting rooms sales growing like others in your area? What are the splits between club sales and tasting room sales and are they in-line with comps. There are so many other questions that deserve attention.

Shortcut for those looking for the links: Survey Questions  Take the Survey Now ... otherwise, let me convince you a little more.