IWSR announces acquisition of Wine Intelligence

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the leading authority on the worldwide beverage alcohol industry, today announced the acquisition of London-based Wine Intelligence, the top global experts on wine consumer research and insights. The combined offering provides the industry with robust insight into consumption trends, consumer behavior and growth opportunities for the global beverage alcohol sector.

Founded in 2002, Wine Intelligence conducts projects on behalf of wine businesses in more than 35 wine markets. This acquisition enables the IWSR and Wine Intelligence teams to build a world-class consumer behavior division focused exclusively on the global beverage alcohol industry.

“As Covid-19 reshapes consumer behavior and beverage alcohol drinking occasions, industry stakeholders are looking for a deeper understanding of the consumer attitudes driving the market,” remarks Mark Meek, CEO of IWSR. “Our vision is shaped by our clients, and this acquisition is a tremendous opportunity for us to expand on our existing offerings and work with the Wine Intelligence team to provide the industry with access to comprehensive consumer insight across all categories of the drinks industry, including beer, wine, spirits and the ready-to-drink sector.”

This acquisition follows a successful decade-long relationship between IWSR and Wine Intelligence. Recent collaborations include the IWSR Covid-19 Consumer Tracker, an in-depth consumer sentiment research report series tracking the on-going impact of Covid-19 on the consumption of and attitude to beverage alcohol over an 18-month period.

“We are delighted to join the IWSR family after nearly 10 years of our organizations partnering on behalf of our client base,” says Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence. “I share Mark’s vision of us building a world-class and comprehensive offering of data and consumer insights to support the global beverage alcohol sectors, which we are uniquely positioned to do.”

About the IWSR

The IWSR is the leading source of data and intelligence on the alcoholic beverage market. The IWSR’s database, essential to the industry, quantifies the global market of wine, spirits, beer, cider, and RTDs (ready-to-drink) by volume and value in 160 countries, and provides insight into short- and long-term trends, including five-year volume and value forecasts. The IWSR tracks overall consumption and trends at brand, price segment and category level. Our data is used by the major international wine, spirits and beer companies, as well as financial and alcoholic beverage market suppliers. The IWSR’s unique methodology allows us to get closer to what is actually consumed and better understand how markets work. The IWSR boasts a team of global analysts, each of whom is equipped with local market expertise and an expansive network of on-the-ground industry contacts. Our analysts meet and speak with their industry contacts throughout the year in order to capture local insight, key market trends, and the ‘why’ behind the numbers. For more information about the IWSR, please visit www.theiwsr.com

About Wine Intelligence

Wine Intelligence is the global leader in wine consumer research and insights. Founded in 2002, we now conduct projects on behalf of wine businesses in more than 35 wine markets. With a team made up of wine industry and research specialists, we offer a broad range of research, insights and strategy services to help wine businesses make better and more profitable business decisions.

Silicon Valley Bank: The US wine industry will bound back in 2021

The US wine industry is poised to bounce back in 2021, according to a report by Rob McMillan, Founder, Silicon Valley Bank, with a consumer desire to celebrate set to help drive wine sales this year.

Silicon Valley Bank’s 20th annual review of wine industry prospects predicts that temporary gains will yield to long-term declines. The report raises doubts that this year’s expected sales momentum will carry very far into 2022.

Wineries that have established strong direct-to-consumer sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as online retailers, can expect more gains in 2021, the report says, while bricks-and-mortar retailers, urban-based grocers and restaurants will take years to recover.

Restaurants will drastically need new investment to survive or to re-appear. Yet, the report predicts a quick recovery for the industry as a whole, although the relative importance of individual sales channels will shift dramatically.

Online wine retailers had major growth in sales during 2020, and that is expected to continue into 2021. This channel, and wineries’ own online efforts, “will represent 20% of an average winery’s sales within five years,” the report predicts.

McMillan stressed that wineries, in spite of the loss of tasting room sales, are not in the same financial straits as restaurants. “Wineries seldom go bankrupt,” he said, “even if they are over-leveraged. If they have financial problems, there’s always a willing buyer.”

One problem that was lurking in the US at this time last year, according to the report, was an over-supply of wine. But damage to crops from last year’s fires and smoke, as well as diminished tasting room sales, resulted in supply now being back in balance with demand.

However, one problem that has not gone away is the changing ages of wine drinkers. As Baby Boomers continue to retire, they are being replaced by younger drinkers with different agendas.

While the decrease in demand by Boomers for wine purchases at all price levels has not been as precipitous as once predicted, the decline is not being offset by younger drinkers, who often see better value in craft beers and in spirits.

“The digital world parallels the real world,” McMillan said, “and the new consumer is not one who wants to rely on advice from most current sommeliers. We need to consider the values of younger drinkers, and they value things in the wine world differently.”

Download the full report

https://www.svb.com/trends-insights/reports/wine-report

Wines of Argentina Ends a “Successful Year”

Wines of Argentina (WofA) said it is well on its way to achieving the objectives set out in its business plan in August. The two-year plan centres on strengthening the global positioning of the country’s wine industry through digital marketing and generating business opportunities for its members.

It is focused on establishing a digital presence for Argentine wine (vino Argentino) “with much greater force”.

With Covid-19 curtailing travel opportunities, WofA has successful hosted over 50 digital events, reaching winemakers, educators, consumers and the trade, with the campaign particularly centred on the US and China.

In order to further strengthen its digital presence, WofA has partnered with software development company Globant. Globant will develop a digital global marketing strategy for WofA, adding technical capabilities and expertise to its offering.

Magdalena Pesce, marketing and communications manager at Wines of Argentina, states: “Digital tools have allowed us to consolidate the positioning of Argentine wine as never before, even in a highly atypical and challenging year. Our permanent commitment to education and digital communication has proven to be the way we must continue to be efficient in reaching different audiences around the world, effective in the use of our resources and, above all, mark a presence for Vino Argentino where international strategic audiences interact: digital ecosystems”.

It has also focused its attention on the Latin American market, particularly Brazil, Argentine wine’s third-largest market. WofA has carried out virtual events specifically targeted at the Brazilian market, including Virtual Business Round, which saw 28 wineries and 41 importers participate.

Training for Sommeliers Argentina 3D also hosted an educational program for somms based in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Paraguay. To strengthen its presence in the market, WofA launched a Spanish-language podcast focusing on the Mexican, Peruvian, Colombian and Paraguayan markets.

Maximiliano Hernández Toso, president of Wines of Argentina, said: “At WofA we are constantly looking for new languages ​​and means of communication to strengthen the positioning of Vino Argentino and increase its distribution and sales at an international level. Currently, this means promoting the use of digital platforms and from this trend a business plan has been in development for 4 months and has already shown strong results. We are encouraged to continue betting on this trend to make the most of the infinite possibilities of the digital world to achieve a greater objective: to boost exports.”

Women in Wine Talks with Kate Dingwall, Forbes: How Technology is Evolving and Disrupting the Wine World – Part 1


On November 26th we had the pleasure of listening to Kate Dingwall, Wine Writer, Sommelier speak on a trending topic “How Technology is Evolving and Disrupting the Wine World”.

This was another sold-out event for “Women in Wine Talks” bringing over one hundred global wine lovers, marketers, agents, sommeliers, journalists and other wine trade together.

Kate highlighted and did a deep dive into how the digital world is changing the industry, from investing to e-commerce, to virtual tastings, and speak to the downsides and upsides of technology infiltrating the wine world. Her highlights included:

  • Massive increase in online ordering
  • Change in distribution channels
  • Deployment of DTC

Kate Dingwall
Kate is a wine and spirits writer and a WSET-trained sommelier, a regular contributor at Forbes, and her work is frequently featured in various trade and lifestyle publications. Kate is also the former editor of FLARE Magazine.
Outside of writing, she completed her Masters of Brand Management with a focus on the “fine wine industry” and has acted as a marketing consultant for a number of spirits and hospitality brands in New York.

We will be posting the Webinar sometime next week.

Why has confidence in fine wine increased in 2020?

Despite the headwinds of 2020 – tariffs, Brexit uncertainty and the global pandemic – the wine market has remained robust. Today’s post examines what has changed and offers an explanation as to why we are seeing greater confidence in the market during these exceptional times.

Increased liquidity

One of the key changes this year is an increase in market liquidity, which is reflected in the rising value of bids and offers on the Liv-ex marketplace. The total exposure (total value of bids and offers) reached a new record high of £81 million last week – a £30 million increase this time last year.

In recent months, both bids and offers have been on the rise. The bid to offer ratio (i.e. the total value of bids divided by the total value of offers) currently stands at 0.6. Traditionally, a bid-offer ratio of 0.5 or higher suggests positive sentiment.

A broadening market

Another noticeable difference is that more wines than ever are attracting buying interest, taking market share from the traditional strongholds of Bordeaux and Burgundy. As the chart below shows, the wine market has undergone considerable broadening in the past decade. Bordeaux’s share has halved from its peak in 2010 when it accounted for 95.7% of secondary market trade by value. As its share declined, others shined. Burgundy was the first and main benefactor; its trade share rising from 0.6% in 2010, to a record high of 19.7% in 2019. It has dipped slightly this year to 17.4%.

This year, Italy has been the big winner. Having reached an annual average of 8.8% in 2019, Italy now accounts for 15.3% of fine wine trade. As recently highlighted, the US wine market is also developing at unprecedented rate. USA accounted for just 0.1% of trade in 2010. Year-to-date, it stands at 7%.

And then, there is the Rest of the World – an increasingly diverse category. Up from 0.8% in 2010 to 5.9% in 2020, RoW trade so far in 2020 has been led by trade for Australia (1.8%), Spain (1.4%) and Germany (1%), though wines from Argentina, Austria, Chile, and Portugal to name but a few are seeing more and more activity.

What has changed?

So, why are we seeing such increased confidence in the wine market? One well-documented explanation is that investors are seeking to put their money into safer assets in these uncertain times. Historically, fine wine has offered steady returns and low volatility.  Another explanation is that there are simply more market participants than ever before. The number of wine businesses trading on Liv-ex has increased 15% in 2020 alone. This increase in members reflects a growing trend since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold – businesses are looking for web-based solutions to grow their sales.

One such solution is trading automation. Trading automation makes it easier for merchants to list stock for sale, exposing their diverse inventory to an ever-growing marketplace. Regions that once struggled to find a secondary market have been benefitting from the shift to online sales, particularly as lockdowns have closed much of the physical retail. Through APIs, stockholders have been able to list and advertise various wines to a far greater audience, as merchants have connected their customers to this ever-broadening market. Subsequently, wine merchants and private collectors have been able to find less well-known wines from a greater range of wine regions.

Despite an early swoon as the first lockdown took place, the fine wine market would seem to be in a relatively healthy place today. As a tangible, finite asset, it offers stability in a volatile world. It also of course offers a great deal of pleasure for imbibers who are locked down and deprived of their usual wining and dining! And importantly technology, as in so many sectors, has helped merchants from across the globe, to adapt, making wine more accessible and more exciting to all with an interest in it. Combined, these three things have put the wine market on a firm footing in 2020.

Source: Liv-ex