Lockdown… we know what you are thinking – please don’t let this be another blog about yet another lockdown! We hear you (and we get it), but truth be told, within this blog we are looking forward and far beyond. We’re not going to list our favourite binge-worthy Netflix shows to catch up on (although the Queen’s Gambit is pretty good) and we’re not going to share our secrets for the world’s greatest banana bread recipe. We are not going to pretend that everything’s okay, because it isn’t. However unusual this lockdown is for the hospitality sector, history has shown us that we are able to bounce back. Humans are inherently social beings and we are, in many ways, fortunate that it is within our industry where, eventually, the world will be able to come back together. There were many glimmers of possibility last summer, and we hope that with the progress we are making worldwide, we will see those glimmers turn into an opportunity. Please allow us to use this blog to illustrate how we can achieve this via your wine list.
Recognising what is going on…
Understanding what is going on and why you should care about the world of wine has never been more important. Well, simply put, wine was one of the best-performing drink categories that consumers enjoyed in 2020 from home. People were ordering finer wine & Champagne in larger quantities than they had ever before. Despite the pandemic, Champagne sales were up in the final quarter of the year as consumers looked to treat themselves to something special. Shop and supermarket sales equated to 2.3 million bottles, or 63 million GBP, in the 12-week period, a growth of 16% by volume and 22% by value.
There is also a consumer move towards the notion of ‘discovery’ as, with all this extra time, consumers are exploring beyond the traditional fan favourites. Anne-Sophie Stock, VP of Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot & Chandon told Forbes, “We have seen a growing interest in discovering new qualities such as Moët Nectar Rose, and new rituals such as Moët Ice and Veuve Clicquot Rich’. This demonstrates that consumers really are exploring like they never have done before.
What does that mean for you?
By positioning your ‘wine by the glass’ list to meet these nuances of different consumer desires in demand and promoting wine by the glass with marketing and promotional activity, your venue could be the go-to place for the remerging consumer of 2021. This allows you to win market share early on, resulting in a faster return to pre-pandemic levels and beyond!
Premium, premium, premium.
This is not just another ‘buzzword’ blog, premium wines and Champagnes are the way to help the industry recover and grow. This isn’t just our opinion, there are a few main factors that not only highlight the importance of premium, they absolutely scream it! It is worth noting that ‘premium’ can mean different things to different venues. It can go from introducing a sparkling wine to the menu or adding a glass of vintage Champagne to mix. Regardless of what it is, it allows customers to treat themselves to something they may never normally buy. After all, everyone needs a treat from time to time! This allows a venue to keep spend per table up even with average smaller table size. According to the CGA, 32% of customers said they would be led by the quality when they choose where to eat out again in 2021.
During the lockdown, and especially during the final quarter of 2020, consumers didn’t just purchase wine & Champagne they purchased PREMIUM. In Sainsbury’s alone during Q4 of 2020 premium Champagne purchases jumped 52% year on year! That is a huge jump for the sector and an incredible success for premium wines. On top of that, this is true globally… IWSR’s wine price bands show that low-priced and value wine both lost market share in the last year, while premium-and-above wines expanded by 1.2%. Interestingly, the global average price of a 75cl bottle of wine has now increased by 10% in five years.
The consumer has become wiser…
This new found love of wine & Champagne at home means the consumers have become wiser, and more understanding about what they like. It is up to operators now to really give a customer a memorable experience, by allowing the customer to choose something that isn’t easily obtainable in their local supermarket. Consumers have become accustomed to a drink they enjoy at home and now it is about giving a customer a wine experience outside! This might be a Champagne cocktail they could never recreate at home, or a truly unforgettable wine a food pairing! Wine by the glass is the ultimate way to keep these experiences interesting and in a format that the customer is happy to stretch to.
Now to contradict
On the other side of the spectrum to premium, we find some customers that have felt the pinch in 2020 but will still want to celebrate and eat out. A quality wine by the glass list with varying price points enables all consumers to return, buy and enjoy at your venue, on a budget that they are comfortable with. Having some new and exciting by the glass options for customers to enjoy allows them to strike the balance between spend and enjoyment. This comforting balance between affordability and quality will encourage them to return again and again. The CGA is reporting in the UK that 46% of consumers are seeking both quality and value this year.
As you can see, customers don’t want ‘cheap’ they are looking for value which is the balance between quality and price. So this is a chance to make your wine by glass menu pop! There is a lot to consider moving forward but we implore you to take note of the advice written in our blog, as we know it’ll truly assist your business to maximise sales from your wine list. If you are asking yourself ‘why should we care about what you have to say?’ Well, simply put, we have been working with the worldwide hospitality industry for 30 years and have over 50,000 customers globally, so you could say we know a thing or two. Do not panic – this isn’t a not-so subtle blog about just how fantastic we are. This blog has a bigger picture than that. This blog is all about unlocking the potential for your hospitality business during the lockdown.
If you want to find out more about Bermar or find out how we can help you and your business, please contact our Bermar Australia team on 0418 887 540.