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Data Is Driving the Wine Industry

Expert Editorial

There’s no shortage of mobile apps these days to find wines, remember what you drank, or even have wine delivered to your door in under an hour. But with so many apps and new technologies, it can be difficult for producers and suppliers to determine how the changing landscape of technology in the wine industry can be beneficial to their operations.

On December 1 I’ll be speaking on a panel at the WIN Expo called Unlocking the Digital Sixth Sense. Joining me will be several leading mobile app companies in the wine industry, where we’ll discuss the impact mobile apps are having and how the industry can take part in mobile. One topic that will prove pivotal for wine producers will be how to use the increasing amounts of wine and consumer data being collected.

As technology use continues to accelerate among the industry and wine consumers, the amount of data being collected is staggering. While the amount of data can be overwhelming, there are critical insights to be gleaned from all of this information. However, first you have to understand the limitations of the data itself. Take for example the recent presidential election. Nearly every poll ahead of the election had Hillary Clinton in the lead, but as we learned the polls were not reliable and did not predict the outcome. Likewise when using data for business intelligence, sales or marketing in your own operation, it is important to utilize data from many different sources and have an understanding of its strengths and weaknesses before making decisions.

At Uncorkd, we provide iPad wine menus to the on-premise segment. Our platform is used at hundreds of restaurants nationwide, and we collect some really great data on restaurant and consumer wine trends. We can drill-down very deep to answer questions on menu placements, pricing and consumer interest. Here are some examples of how you might be able to use third-party mobile app data in your operation.

Understanding Burgeoning Trends

In the hot rosé category, there has been significant growth, but where is that growth coming from and where do the opportunities lie? The below chart shows consumer interest in rosé on-premise over the trailing 24 months.

consumer-rose-interest

As you can see interest in rosé is very seasonal and growing at a tremendous pace year-over-year.  But take particular note of each column, blue being French rosé and green is domestic. In peak season you’ll see consistent growth from French wines, but not so much with American. Is there an opportunity for more domestic producers to take advantage of growing consumer interest in rosé and even steal market share from French producers? I believe so.

It Can’t Be Sold If it’s Not on the Wine List

In the on-premise segment, restaurant buyers are the final gatekeepers to introducing your products to consumers. With mass distributor consolidation, it will become even more difficult to get the sales attention from distributors and get your products in front of key decision makers. That’s where having valuable data can help you position your brand and your pitch to get your foot in the door. Restaurant buyers want to know the latest trends as well and by presenting them with hard data to backup why your products should be on the wine list, you’ll have a leg up over the competition.

Let’s say you have a California Cabernet that can be priced at $80 a bottle on a wine list. An analysis like the chart below can provide insights to the restaurant buyer as to why your product would be a good addition to their wine program. Providing uniquely valuable data separates you from the noise of hundreds of other producers, suppliers and distributors pitching their wines to that same buyer.

consumer-interest-by-price

How to Get Started

If you’re just starting to learn about and understand the benefits that data from technology can have, you might be wondering where to even start. First, look at data you have internally. It could be sales data, customer data, or anything else going into a database somewhere. There are great web-based business intelligence tools that can help you make sense of this by providing information in easy to use drag-n-drop widgets. You don’t need to be a programmer or highly technical to use dashboards like these.

As we all use our mobile phones more and more in our everyday life, they are becoming key parts of everything we do. From reading the news, to requesting a ride, to shopping online. And whether you like it or not, mobile companies are tracking enormous amounts of data on consumers’ daily activities; and that includes what wines we search for and what we buy. Partnering with mobile technology companies can provide a host of new insights, especially among younger consumers, that you can’t access from distributors or even major data suppliers like Nielsen and IRI. Having a window into consumer behavior and targeting millennial wine drinks is a key advantage of mobile apps that the industry just hasn’t figured out how to tap yet.

The next time you pull out your phone to look up information on a product, imagine the millions of people just like you doing the same. Tapping into mobile technology can help you speak to those people at the perfect time and place. To learn more about mobile technology for the wine industry, join me at the upcoming WIN Expo.

Josh SaundersExpert Editorial
by Josh Saunders, CEO of Uncorkd

Joshua is an entrepreneur and expert on consumer product technologies and is the founder and CEO of Uncorkd, a company that provides beverage alcohol technology solutions for the on-premise market. At Uncorkd, Joshua works with leading restaurateurs to improve their beverage programs by using solutions such as digital tablet menus and beverage analytics. Uncorkd helps make wine more accessible to the everyday consumer by providing information to guests at the table within a restaurant.

Joshua has over 15 years of extensive experience with web and mobile technology and speaks frequently on the intersection of technology and beverage alcohol. Prior to Uncorkd, he led business development for a mobile technology company used by millions of consumers to instantly find information on consumer packaged goods and led global operations for a multi-national technology and engineering company.

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