Look at the wine sales numbers as of last Friday (6/16)!
The last month (of May) saw a 16% growth in Direct to Consumer (DtC) as compared to the same period in 2016 and the 52 weeks period saw a 18% growth rate (just 0.32% of $2.5B). Even the IRI data shows the high end of the market going relatively strong. The $15 to $19.99 showed a 52 week gain of 11.2% and the above $20 showed a 9.6% growth so is very clear to me that Americans are drinking more and more good wine.
Yet the total wine sales for the 4 week period was up only 1.3% and the 52 week up only 3.6% to offset the gains mentioned above there has to be loses happening somewhere.
Not that I have access to the data but from reports I am hearing the restaurant wine sales are down considerably.
Americans are drinking more at home and they are better wines but they are drinking far less at restaurants?
I have personally seen (and heard from others) restaurants "dumbing" down their wine lists. Making them simpler with lower priced wines?
There is no empirical proof but the fact that more and more Americans have access to smart device apps that allow them to know what the retail price is versus what the restaurant wants to charge I believe is the primary culprit. When you didn't know how much a markup was being applied it was easy to accept but now that isn't true.
Offering wine lovers cheaper wines (but at the higher markup) isn't going to work either. Why don't restaurant owners get it...it is not the price it is the markup.
I recently read a post from someone who thought that it would become easier for small producers to get their wines into restaurants. Really? If they work on the same markup they are going to get the same results. Perhaps the logic is that individuals won't find those smaller producer wines in retail.
Every winery has a website!
Wine and food lovers don't mind paying a premium to have a wine served with their meal they just don't want to get a bath with it too!
Mainstream wine oriented businesses seem to be missing the boat completely. The busy passionate (affluent) wine lover who is willing to try around the world does want cheaper wine. They want easier access…they want more choices (not less)…they want knowledgeable people who can help them get want they want.
It is that simple folks.