A few weeks ago, Rob McMillan, an EVP with Silicon Valley Bank and founder of their wine division, wrote as part of his blog about his prediction for the slowdown of growth in wine sales starting around mid-2018 and into 2019. He continues to say that while sales probably won’t decline, he expects zero growth at that time.
His predictions are well researched, based on Nielsen data of wine sold through wholesale. It doesn’t include DTC sales, which is good news for the smaller wineries who sell mostly through direct to consumer channels, tasting rooms, wine clubs, etc. That means, however, that more time and effort needs to be put into marketing.
The other good thing about getting this information early is that you have time to plan for the next couple of years, to keep your sales rolling along at a fair pace, with increased sales and profit.
It also gives you the chance to start thinking about what wines are selling and what are lagging so you can focus more on the wines that your customers prefer. It doesn’t mean that you can’t make some less well-known varietals. Though before you commit to a large planning for these varietals, know how much of those wines are being sold and whether the sales are increasing year to year.
Start planning now for robust sales and marketing methods. Branch out to include things you may not have tried before or put more attention on the content, frequency and customer inclusion of your social media, emails and other ways to contact your customers and potential customers.
Preparing for less or no growth over the next couple of years works to your advantage even if the forecast turns out to be wrong. The promotion you do will not be wasted and you may find that you have the best year ever.
Thanks, for the heads up Rob… By looking at what may be coming up for 2018 and 2019, you will be in better shape to weather whatever comes your way.
A tip of the glass from me to you!