With the US hospitality industry rapidly getting back to business, we know you’ve had to consider everything from restocking your sanitation stations to seating arrangements for the holiday season ahead – all in preparation for guests.
In this article, we’re highlighting some fascinating trends and consumer patterns that, if acted upon, can help you make more money. As we all know, wine has incredible potential to help you earn more and, with the right wine list, you can see a sizeable increase in your venue’s profits. Continue reading if you’re interested in finding out the steps to take!
Firstly, let’s establish why wine is something that should be top of the list on your holiday season strategy. Wine was one of the top-performing drinks categories in 2020, meaning we all enjoyed a little more from home! Forbes hailed wine “recession-resistant” as households stocked up on wines at the supermarket throughout lockdown, restoring its significance and value at the dinner table. Consumers were purchasing wine & Champagne in larger quantities than pre-lockdown, with US off-premise and direct-to-consumer sales rising some 27.6% during the Covid period.
With regards to e-commerce sales, consumer behavior reports show a net sum of $5.6 billion in 2020 which, according to IWSR, is up from roughly $3 billion last year!
CGA’s latest data reveals how the US market is rapidly recovering in 2021. In April of 2020, wine sales were at an all-time low equating to only 12% (during lockdown) in comparison to 2019 sales. A year on, when compared against the same data, July of 2021 boasts a higher percentage of wine sales equating to 88% in the US On Premise. With no signs of slowing down, industry experts predict the US wine industry will finish 2021 with even stronger sales.
With this in mind, we believe that this renewed love affair with wine will continue to transfer into hospitality as the US On Premise continues to reopen; evidence has shown that people don’t want to venture out and consume a lower standard product than they have been enjoying on their couch or at their own dining table.
So, how to capitalize on this thirst for all things ‘wine’? Our three top trends for a re-opening success are:
1. Celebration appreciation
With celebrations put on hold for so much of 2020 and early 2021, we all have some making up to do! Consumers are going to be catching up on significant birthdays a year (or two!) after they have happened, congratulating couples for weddings where guests couldn’t attend, and planning to go big this holiday season.
Beyond the obvious, celebrations will come in all shapes and sizes this year. For us, simply going out and seeing our loved ones again is reason enough for a glass of something special… IWSR has seen that Champagne celebrations aren’t just in the form of special occasions anymore. Lockdowns have made consumers aware that they can celebrate quite literally anything with a great glass of fizz! IWSR states, sparkling wine, and Prosecco, in particular, has spearheaded the diversification of wine’s consumption occasions. The category has steadily moved away from its one-dimensional image as a special celebratory drink to align with more regular occasions, such as the apéritif hour. Ensuring that your business is readily equipped for the delayed start to the roaring 20s is going to be crucial!
Sparkling wine has always had its place in fine dining, but it has now extended into the casual dining sector, too. According to Wine Intelligence, premium wine sales in the US were at an all-time high throughout lockdown, representing a whopping 29% of the total volume of wine consumed – the highest in its category when compared against other consumer patterns and behaviors.
Fundamentally, wherever they’re eating, customers want an experience and expect a premium service, along with premium options to dip into. Selling your sparkling wines and Champagnes by-the-glass allows customers to elevate their experience whilst dining out at your restaurant.
2. Rosé resurgence
Now we know what you’re thinking… Rosé, that isn’t exactly new. Let us stop you right there! Rosé is set for a bumper Holiday season after proving to be one of the greatest wine success stories during lockdown. IWSR data shows that the growth of rosé wine has outpaced that of the total still wine market in the US, with total still wine having a growth rate of +0.8%; rosé wine increased 18.49% over the same period. We expect this rising demand for Rosé to heavily cross over into the on-trade.
Proving just how seriously Provence Rosé is taken today, there have been several high-profile acquisitions in the region recently with Provence pink now seen as a must-have in any wine portfolio. LVMH snapped up Château Galoupet in Côtes de Provence for an undisclosed sum. Five months later, Chanel added to its established wine portfolio (which includes Canon in Saint- Émilion, and Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux) with the purchase of Domaine de l’Île on the island of Porquerolles in Provence, which will be overseen by the group’s head winemaker, Nicolas Audebert. Provence Rosé is just one sector of the Rosé market, but these latest big business moves demonstrate how the world of wine is taking it very seriously.
Big business aside, your younger customer base has a desire for Rosé. Rosé has certainly found admirers across the United States with 65% of millennials boosting its consumption, declaring themselves “rosé drinkers”. It is the fastest growing category of any wine type, with explosive sales increasing in the United States between 30% to 50% a year.
Therefore, an exquisite Rosé selection is a must-have for your guests! There is no need to go crazy, but there are so many times we see wine by-the-glass menus with only 1 Rosé wine option and no Rosé Champagne or Prosecco. Make sure you don’t miss out!
P.S – If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Italy’s new sparkling appellation Prosecco Rosé.
3. Wines your list could be missing…
The natural and organic movement has made an impact on our grocery shop for years now, not to mention skincare, fashion, and more. So, it isn’t a shock that it’s now changing the way consumers think about wine, too. Data shows that off-premise sales of organic and biodynamic wines have surged during the last four years with year-over-year sales increasing 21 percent by value and nearly 17 percent by volume. When reflecting on its future, the industry predicts “consumers will increasingly reach for natural brands and bottles as they seek more transparency and ‘better-for-you’ wines that are also better for the environment.”
Top tip: A natural wine flight is a great way to introduce customers to the category, and it allows them to understand more about what makes these wines so special.
While we’re on the topic of wine choices; red, white, Rosé, or…orange? Yes, orange wine is set to make moves within your wine lists again in 2021. It’s worth noting that orange wine is not just a short-term trend! In Georgia (the country, not the state), they’ve been making it for over 2,000 years in terracotta amphorae called Qvevri.
With the rising demand for orange wine, New York became the first destination in the world to have a dedicated orange wine store! In 2019, Orange Glou opened its doors and demand has been growing ever since. Why not add an orange wine to your by-the-glass selection and let guests explore? It’s a great way to allow customers to hop on the trend and branch out their wine palette to wider horizons, whilst giving you something unique and different to talk about.
We know that consumers may initially be daunted by new and unusual wines, not knowing whether it’s going to be their ‘thing’. This is where the by-the-glass option is crucial. A great by-the-glass selection acts as a gateway to future bottle sales, dramatically increasing a customer’s value to your venue over the longer term.
From elevating experiences with a celebration-worthy Champagne, widening your Rosé selection, or introducing natural and/or orange wines into the mix… there are so many incredible opportunities for you to increase your sales post lockdown to eager & keen customers. Not to mention, again, that wine has been the MOST PURCHASED beverage in lockdown – this is a category that deserves your attention – now!
Selling by the glass is a sure-fire way to ensure your customers are receiving both quality and value from your wine service. Take a look at your wine list – does it have something interesting enough for your customer to make a journey out? Does it have delectable options guests simply can’t access at home? Don’t forget with all wine lists, by-the-glass is one of the key ways to introduce new and exciting offerings to customers and an achievable way of increasing your sales revenue and profits overall.
At Bermar, we sell the world’s leading wine and Champagne preservation systems, which allow you to offer an incredible range of wines & Champagnes by-the-glass, without the fear of wastes. Our systems give you 21 days of preservation, which is the perfect amount of time to be able to offer a more premium wine by-the-glass selection. Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about this golden opportunity, we’re here on +1 610 889 4900.
If you want to read more about the wine industry and Bermar, don’t forget to check out our previous articles here.