Posts Tagged ‘Market’

 

The brewing industries in many countries are undergoing dramatic changes, with increasing numbers of craft breweries challenging the traditional volume-based business model of major corporations.

In the US for example, more than 400 breweries opened in 2012, an increase of 17% from the year before. Craft beer continues to grow even when beer consumption overall is declining in many markets around the world. This certainly seems to be the trend in countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand and indeed Australia.

In 1990, the centralisation of the Australian beer industry seemed complete; three companies controlled the market and the whole country had just 11 breweries. Yet this seems to have been the turning point rather than the end state: 20 years later the craft beer sector had well and truly made its entrance so that by 2013, Australia’s beer industry consists of over 130 breweries.

The trend suggests craft breweries have found a niche market where the large breweries find it hard to compete. Craft beer is often differentiated by taste, as a food companion and by the raw material used to produce it. Enthusiasts sometimes refer to the common beers in derogatory terms as “fizzy yellow lagers”. Some may reject mainstream beer products based on a perceived lack of flavour; others reject it based on ownership of the label.

Some pub mangers around Melbourne refuse to serve beers that are not produced by small independent companies due to negative attitudes towards large multinational businesses, and a belief that craft beer can only be produced by small and independent businesses. Independent craft breweries have been able to make something positive out of their small size by framing themselves as unique and it is resonating with drinkers and pub owners alike.

While beer consumption in Australia has decreased steadily every year since 1979, consumers increasingly demand quality beers and the consumption of craft beers is increasing. ABC news reported that the consumption of craft beer in Australia is increasing by 6% every year. Nevertheless, the beer industry in Australia is still largely centralised, with multinationals SAB Miller (UK) and Kirin Holding (Japan) controlling about 90% of the market.

Yet it is this very high centralisation of the industry, where the large players can be regarded as “generalists”, that provides the opening for small players to enter the market as “specialists”. For craft breweries, such concentration of power in the industry is actually good news because these breweries serve a different market.

The specialists are often focused on selling more than just beer. They are selling an experience, quite often centred on educating consumers about beer styles and how to match it with food. As such, the craft beer industry is tapping into the monopoly of the wine industry as being the natural beverage to accompany a meal.

 

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Bag-in-Box dispenser; chillers; aerator
 
Publications and other media are bombarded with unsolicited product samples from suppliers seeking publicity. As the North American wine business has surged, so has the flood of innovative “accessories” intended to enhance the drinking experience and enrich their inventors/promoters.

While some of these gizmos look like foolish or overpriced trinkets, others at least appear to have practical application. Wines & Vines editors evaluated a few recent entrants last week.

Most striking is the Boxxle: A sleek countertop container that dispenses bag-in-box wines while dispensing with the actual box. Designed and produced by Tripp Middleton, a former banker in North Carolina, the Boxxle would be especially useful for on-premise, by-the-glass sales.

First described in our October 2011 print edition, the Boxxle “came out in spurts,” according to Middleton. Seeking perfection for his vision, the fledgling inventor took time to refine and retool the Boxxle, which is manufactured in China.

“We really just started pushing in the last month,” he said. Already more than 200 of the devices have been sold through Boxxle website, Amazon.com and deals with Wine Enthusiast and Preferred Living.

Middleton is negotiating with distributors in Tennessee and on the West Coast, and, he said, has heard “a lot of interest from wineries themselves, plus wine and spirits distributors to the restaurant and bar industry.” His sales goal for this year is 10,000 units, a figure he considers doable.

Boxxle has a non-skid base and stainless steel/black exterior. Unlike conventional 3L bag-in-box packages where the spout at the bottom demands placement at the edge of a shelf, Boxxle dispenses the wine from the top: Even a tall glass fits under the spigot for a clean and easy pour.

Middleton believes the growing demand for on-premise by-the-glass service will fuel his sales. Any 3-liter BiB package can easily fit inside, where a spring-loaded dispensing devise pushes the remaining wine up and out. This helps ensure an oxygen-free environment that preserves wine for a month or longer and allows every last drop to be poured out as the package is depleted.

Middleton hopes that wine producers or distributors will begin to provide the Boxxle as a premium or an add-on to top on-premise clients. He said he can provide custom, peel-off, self-stick labels to identify the wine brand and varietal in commercial settings. He also hopes to tap winery tasting rooms, although it’s the rare winery that serves tasting room pours from BiB packages.
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Drinking for pleasure...

Drinking for pleasure…

 
As the Chinese economy slows, new figures confirm that Chinese consumers are seeking out less expensive wine brands.

 
Analysts Wine Intelligence found that in the first quarter of this year, 60% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 50 spent less than CNY200 (€25) on imported wine.

€25 is generally recognised as entry-level wine in China. An earlier survey in January this year had found that fear of buying a fake wine was the biggest barrier to entry for imported wines, with 44% of respondents saying it put them off buying.

‘There is a growing trend for drinking wine for pleasure rather than serving it at banquets or giving it as gifts,’ Maria Troein, China manager for Wine Intelligence told China Daily.
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on the rise ...

On the rise …

 

It used to be the drink reserved for a hot summer’s day but now consumers are increasingly turning to Rose wine throughout the year with sales up 10 per cent in the last 13 years.

Rose now accounts for a record one in eight bottles of wine bought in supermarkets and off-licences, up from one in 40 in the year 2000.

Sales of rose wine in shops are currently worth £646 million in Britain, nearly £1.8 million a day, according to figures from market analysts Nielsen.

While growth in rose wine buying has slowed in recent years – attributed to poor summer weather – experts believe it is becoming a drink that is enjoyed all year round.

It is especially popular among women drinkers on a night out or sharing a bottle at home with friends.

Some winemakers have specifically targeted women drinkers by making less strong varieties with a typical alcohol by volume level of nine or 10 per cent, compared with other wines which can be up to 14 per cent in some cases.
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What do Chinese wine consumers really think?

 

Wine Intelligence China Team shares five key challenges they faced in their latest projects in China at a recent MRS event

Distilling 4 years of experience working in China into a 40 minute lecture was never going to be easy. Yet this was the challenge set us by the UK Market Research Society (MRS) a couple of weeks ago, when they invited us to address our fellow market research professionals in a session entitled “In Vino Veritas? The challenges of finding out what the Chinese really think about wine”.

After a healthy debate among the Wine Intelligence China market team, we settled on five key challenges that we have faced in recent projects. Here they are:

1. The real China is a complex cultural mosaic
The extent to which Chinese people are different from each other is tough to grasp from an occidental perspective – at least at first. The complexity of the country in terms of its cuisines, languages, climates, economic layers, culture, and lifestyle becomes apparent with time spent in the country, and away from the Tier 1 cities. Hangzhou is not like Harbin, which is very different from Chengdu. So which is the real China? It’s a bit like flying from Bremen to Barcelona, and having to decide, between those two cities, which represents the real Europe – a decision both impossible and pointless.

 
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Of beer and wine
Let’s totally stereotype here and talk about beer in front of the TV while the Flames lose, or beer and a hot dog at the ballpark as the Jays lose.

For some, beer is as Canadian as the Maple Leaf, and anything less would be downright unpatriotic. But, new statistics show, a nation of beer drinkers are increasingly switching from hops to grapes.

“Despite the small increase in beer sales, both in terms of volume and dollar value, the market share dominance of beer continued to decline as consumers turned more to wine,” Statistics Canada said today, referring to numbers that are now a year out of date, but still show how tastes continue to change.

“In 2002, beer had a market share of 50 per cent by dollar value, while wine had 24 per cent,” the agency said in an annual report on alcoholic beverages.

“By 2012, the market share for beer had declined to 44 per cent, while wine accounted for 31 per cent.”

As the business goes, net income among the provincial and territorial liquor authorities rose 3.6 per cent to $6.1-billion.

The report, for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2012, showed beer and liquor sales climbing 3 per cent from a year earlier, to almost $21-billion.

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Per bottle or per glass?

Per bottle or per glass?

 

Politicians may keep telling us the economic downturn is over and western economies are on the road to recovery, some market data actually tell us otherwise. A case in point is the latest market research by GuestMetrics in the United States. Based on its proprietary database of POS transactions of over $8 billion dollars in transactions and over 250 million bills from restaurants and bars across the United States over the past two years, it shows that on-trade consumers in the US traded down from bottles to glasses in 2012.

In fact, the shift was significant with the number of bottles ordered in restaurants and bars declining by 13 percent, while the number of wine glasses increased by 4 percent. “Given the large difference between the price, with the average bottle costing over $43 and the average glass costing $9.60, we believe this shift was driven by a consumer base that is still feeling pressure from a sluggish economic recovery, not to mention the unusually high level of uncertainty towards the end of the year with the spectre of the fiscal cliff,” commented Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC.

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What do you think, shall we buy?

What do you think, shall we buy?

 

As prices stabilise and Robert Parker prepares to re-evaluate 2010, Jon Barr, director of EF Wines, has declared “Bordeaux appears to be back”.
Speaking to the drinks business, Barr said that Lafite sales were strong again in Hong Kong, although he added that, “this may just be for the Chinese new year.”

Nonetheless, he continued: “It’s stabilised and people are getting interested again. Prices haven’t gone down, Liv-ex is showing some rises, I think it will be a good year”.

His comments come after a year when Bordeaux was subject to severe price drops as the market took a dip and as buyers branched out into other areas, notably Burgundy, Champagne and the Super Tuscans.
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AfricaFlagMap

 

One can’t help but feel sometimes that a little too much attention and excitement is falling on those new kids on the block, the oft-referenced markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Like someone fallen head over heels with a new lover, the trade seems to have focused the majority of its energies and attention on these new and exciting places and, like many a newly love-struck fool, is quite blind to their (sometimes considerable) faults.

Rising they may be, but is it possible that other – perhaps more suitable – markets are being overlooked?
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sex_sells_women_c

 

 

A Californian brand with a risqué name is seducing U.S. wine drinkers. Jennifer Ashcroft has the story.

American consumers are flocking in their millions to have a threesome. The brazen Californian wine brand Ménage à Trois has made conservative drinkers choke on their claret with its sexual-innuendo-filled marketing, but as the latest figures show, sex really does sell.

Named as Wine Brand of the Year in 2009 by U.S. beverage industry publication Market Watch, it continues to be hot property, with sales up 13 percent to $61.5 million in the past 12 months. These impressive figures place Ménage à Trois among the biggest-selling brands in the country, behind Chateau Ste. Michelle, Cupcake Vineyards and Robert Mondavi Private Selection, according to Wines & Vines magazine.

But for its savvy owners, Trinchero Family Estates, Ménage is not the biggest seller. That position is reserved for the company’s first brand, Sutter Home. Nevertheless, Ménage à Trois has “done well because that’s a slightly risqué name and even people that don’t know French know what that term means,” says Dr Liz Thach, a Master of Wine and professor of management and wine business at Sonoma State University in California.

Catchy names that are easy to pronounce and remember are proving popular with more-casual wine drinkers in the U.S., and retailers’ shelves are steadily filling with gimmicky labels, such as Gnarly Head and Cupcake Vineyards.

Thach praises Ménage à Trois for its “phenomenal marketing.” The double entendre of the brand’s name is only the beginning. Sexual innuendos abound on the brand’s website, with wines described as being “guaranteed to satisfy,” “ready to make you its latest conquest” and “the perfect threesome.”

While the company’s public relations specialist, Carissa Abazia, believes that Ménage à Trois resonates with consumers because of its approachable style, price and slightly “edgy” name, some more-traditional consumers view it less favorably. Are the producers scraping the bottom of the barrel in a bid to sell some grape juice?

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