Saturday, September 25, 2021

The 2021 State of the Industry Survey is Open


When the clock hit 12:01 on December 31st, 2020, we were all saying the same thing: GOOD RIDDANCE TO 2020!

Highly effective vaccines were on the way, and we were ready to move on from this pandemic, move on from the smoke, the fires, closed tasting rooms, closed restaurants, masking, social distancing, restricted travel, sheltering... we were just done with all of it and wanted to put 2020 behind us!

There has never been a year like 2020. We outlined that retrospective near the back of the 2021 State of the Industry Report released in January of this year. It's worth a read if you want to remember the unfolding timeline of events.

In that report, while acknowledging I was out of my pay grade, I made an educated guess that we might see the vaccines take hold, and find herd immunity right about now and move on from the pandemic. Well, that's not the way things turned out. I should stick to my day job.

2021 is not 2020. It is a close cousin

2021 is rapidly coming to an end but it's had issues of its own such as COVID the Sequel; the Delta Variant. 

But added to that are supply-chain problems, fires, smoke, the unprecedented drought, low soil moisture that will be a larger part of 2022 almost for sure, difficulty finding employees, rising costs, water rationing, problems getting property insurance, dealing with mandated vaccination policies, and more. We haven't started to talk about normal things like consumer change and that impact on how we need to market!

It's not all difficult news and problems for 2021. Juxtaposed to the negatives is a very strong economy, reopening of the tasting rooms and restaurants, a buoyant M&A environment, the easing of COVID restrictions, increasing travel and tourism, improving employment, GDP growth in the 6%+ range, and a stock market that has more than 50 record closes so far this year. 

2022 Winery Conditions Survey

Those positives should produce great returns and sales growth in the wine business, but traditional wine isn't growing. Despite the pockets of success, there are underlying issues we need to identify, measure, and then find solutions to - but it all starts with data. 

Good data and information in the wine business have never been harder to come by at this unique period in time, which gets us to the point of the post. One of the only places to get good actionable information is through the Annual SVB State of the Wine Industry Survey.

If you own or operate a winery, I ask you to please contribute your information to the data set so the results and observations are the most useful. We can't produce free information like this without you doing your part.

The survey will be open from September 27 through October 15. It takes about 15 minutes for most to complete, but to prepare, we’ve included [this PDF] guide to help you prepare. 

One IMPORTANT Change from Prior Years

It's becoming increasingly difficult to get solid survey participation. We are certain the results are in demand so that's not the issue. We are all busy and get so many surveys already. So it's easy for any of us to go about our day and hope someone else will fill it out. We'll still get the results from the videocast, right? That's what we're changing. 

In the spring of this year when we ran the Direct to Consumer survey, some AVAs we've depended on didn't have enough participation to produce regional comps. Equally important, we were only 10 responses from being unable to provide top-level information with a 95% confidence interval. Crossing that line would have forced some decisions on our part which might have included terminating the survey. That would have been the worst-case scenario, but for certain dropping below that target confidence interval would have limited our ability to drill deep into the results.

We've always given participants more of the information than was released publically, but starting with this survey, WE WILL ONLY RETURN SURVEY INFORMATION AND CHARTS TO THOSE WHO FULLY COMPLETE THE SURVEY.

We will still produce the Annual State of the Industry Report and Videocast to release in January, but we will no longer release charts from the survey that are discussed in the videocast to the general public. If you want the information that is derived from the survey, you will need to spend 15 minutes answering the survey.

We hope that change will provide more incentive to boost survey participation.

Ready to Take The Survey?

The survey is open now and will close on October 15th. Once again, we’ve included [this PDF] guide to help you prepare.  We sincerely appreciate your time in helping the industry improve and succeed.