Bottles: A Brand Bonanza Waiting to Happen By Erica Harrop March 07, 2018

Silicon Valley Bank’s new State of the Wine Industry 2018 is out, and this portion caught my eye:

“  …Today, consumers are leaving the lower price segments in favor of better-quality offerings …Premiumization is still the dominant trend …”

The authors also point out that:

“ …the economic circumstances that set the stage for the industry’s 20-year growth trajectory cannot be repeated. The factors that made you successful to this point will not enable you to sustain that success. This means the winning sales strategies you are leveraging in the operating environment today will slowly prove fallible tomorrow.”

This prompted me to dig a little deeper to find out who and what is driving this trend and how wineries can adopt “winning strategies” for tomorrow’s sales.

            As this study reveals, the wine consumer is changing, in attitudes, behavior, and buying patterns to “a customer who uses the internet in increasingly complex and interactive ways, is frugal and has less discretionary income than their predecessors. Successful companies 10 years from now will be those that evolve retail strategies away from the winery location …and find other, scalable means of delivering the experience—and the wine—to consumers where they live.” 

            There are four generations now influencing the market—Matures, Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. Matures have never been a large wine-buying segment and Boomers are retiring, but Gen Xers (35-55) are now at the top of the income and spending curve. While Millennials today lag in buying power, the study suggests that by 2026 this cohort—who are both price and quality conscious—will surpass Gen Xers as the largest fine wine-consuming generation.

            For me, one of the biggest takeaways in the report is this sentence: “Branding and marketing prove remarkable in shaping a consumer’s palate.”

            This led me to a study done by the Texas Wine Marketing Institute that showed Millennials purchase wine based on these factors, in order of priority: Price, brand and variety, label design, and entire package design, with country of origin and location on the shelf last in importance. An earlier study by The Wine Market and Nielsen also found that: 750-ml glass bottles solidly hold 70 percent of the market, domestic wine sales, continue to grow (Oregon is top in growth), customers are trading up, and “local” stories move product.

            Another study published for the New Zealand International Academy of Wine Business Research Conference found that both the label and bottle can have a significant impact on price. Story or history information on the label is most influential, after origin.


            And this article, “A Balancing Act: How premium packaging leads to profits,” supports that claim: “Attributes like functional features, shape and graphic design have the ability to make a package and its content appear more desirable and thus more valuable in the eyes of the consumer.”

            All of us at Global Package make it our mission to stay current with domestic and international wine consumer trends. We learned that for current Boomer and the younger Gen X and Millennial generations of wine buyers, a wine’s packaging plays a critical role in a sale and the sale price. Which leads me to a perfect case study of exemplary upscale packaging …Sine Qua Non, a bottle that reinforces all the caché and profits inherent in that storied brand. And on the home front, we have our Castello di Amorosa- custom bottle (see photo) that also sells uniqueness at a premium.

Give us a call; we’ll happily help you elevate your brand into a bonanza of profits. 707-224-5670 or contact