As America begins to slowly open back up, winemakers and retailers are pondering where the industry is headed. How will the last 15 months affect the future of wine consumership in the states? What trends from the last year will continue on even as tasting rooms and wine bars re-open? How will sales shift now that we can enjoy a glass with friends and family again?
As “life” begins to ramp back up, there are a few trends that don’t show any signs of slowing down. Buying online and thinking outside the bottle, just to name a couple.
Buying wine online wasn’t a new trend from 2020, but it did explode in popularity over the year. A few leading e-tailers marked a 300% increase in sales overall and at one point, some had to stop taking orders because demand was outpacing supply.
The boom in having wine delivered to your door may have been in response to folks staying inside and avoiding extra trips to stores (and drinking more wine overall), but it’s popularity will likely endure for the same reason many consumers prefer to shop online in general: reviews. The truth is that many folks choose their wines based on the labels, especially at larger grocery stores where there isn’t necessarily a knowledgeable employee to help guide them. Shopping for wine online allows consumers immediate access to reviews and recommendations from passive and professional wine sippers. Plus, yeah, it’s really convenient to have a box of wine arrive at your door.
Speaking of boxes of wine. Larger packaging formats, such as boxed wine, and smaller packaging formats, such as smaller boxes of wine and cans of wine, also experienced serious growth last year. Smaller formats, such as cans, have been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years, but as wine-drinking habits began to change during the pandemic, more and more folks began to think and drink beyond the bottle.
Big boxes of wine flew off the shelves as more folks saw a need to “stock up.” Whether out of avoidance of unnecessary trips out of the home and/or because they were at home enjoying a glass or two more frequently. Similarly, individual servings became more popular for bars and restaurants to offer take-away options and for savvy wine drinkers who know that if they open a whole bottle, they run the risk of finishing that whole bottle.
There are plenty of other ways the last year impacted the food and drink industry, some for better, some for worse, some for innovation and new opportunities. At Skolnik, we’re so excited for our food and beverage partners to begin to re-open and explore what 2021 and the future will bring, to continue to provide exceptional stainless steel wine barrel solutions at all sizes, and to be able to safely enjoy a glass of our favorite varietals with some of our favorite people again. Cheers!