|SVB Wine Conditions Survey|
|SVB Wine Conditions Survey|
|Photo by Mohau Mannathoko|
it's true. I might have missed on a prediction that I made.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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
2020 will go down as the year in which we answered the heretofore rhetorical question - What else can go wrong? That is the opening line from the 2021 SVB State of the Industry Report that will come out Wednesday the 13th.
Throughout 2020 many of us experienced the same run of emotions from disbelief, fear, acceptance, determination, and occasionally even a bit of joy through one of the most difficult times in history. As we went through the year, we would think to ourselves - this has to be the worst of it. It has to get better from here?
We all fought through a series of events, increasing our vocabulary along the way: Coronavirus, COVID, S.I.P. Orders, social distancing, Zoom meetings, herd immunity, PPE, and pandemic - which I thought only happened in bad science fiction movies before last March.
We need information and the right tools to be able to plan. While we have to talk about the past for context, this coming Wednesday, I hope to give everyone the benefit of a look forward.
Start with the headline slide for a teaser. Despite the gloomy events of the past year, luxury wine sales held their own, particularly when you consider this performance in context with the last recession. The last recession featured trading down. This recession has given a breath of life to trading up again! Aren't you curious why?
This is the opening photo from the 20th Annual SVB State of the Industry Report where we begin with a reflection; not on our industry, but on how we each as individuals adapted and prevailed during the most unique business conditions in our lifetimes.
It's important to celebrate this victory but now that vaccines are being given and we can see an end in sight, what's next? Will business conditions return to normal?
If we answer that question truthfully, the answer is no. That means doing nothing and hoping for a good year will produce poor outcomes. Change is needed and will require all wine businesses to apply the learnings from 2020 and evolve to find the unique prescription for your individual winey's success.