With the end of lockdown inching closer in the UK, we know you’ll be thinking about everything from sanitation stations to outdoor heating – all in preparation for welcoming guests once again (hooray!) In this article, we’re highlighting some fascinating trends and consumer patterns that, if acted upon, can help you make more money and delight your customers once you re-open. As we all know, wine has incredible potential to help you earn more and with the right wine list, you can see a sizeable increase in your venue’s profits. Continue reading if you’re interested in finding out the steps to take!
Firstly, let’s establish why wine is something that should be top of the list on your post-lockdown reopening strategy. Wine was one of the top-performing drinks categories in 2020, meaning we all enjoyed a little more from home! People were ordering finer wines & Champagnes in larger quantities than pre-lockdown. Despite the pandemic, Champagne sales were up in the final quarter of the year (compared to 2019) as consumers looked to treat themselves to something special. In the UK alone, shop and supermarket sales equated to 2.3 million bottles, or 63 million GBP, in the 12-week period pre-Christmas… a year-on-year growth of 16% by volume and 22% by value.
The CGA reported that more than half (53%) of consumers have bought wine online during the pandemic – twice as many as have purchased larger (26%) or gin (24%). We believe that this renewed love affair with wine will transfer into hospitality upon re-opening as evidence has shown that people don’t want to venture out and consume a lower standard product than they have been enjoying on their sofa or at their own dining table.
So, how to capitalise on this thirst for all things ‘wine’? Our three top trends for a post-lockdown world are
1. Celebration appreciation
With celebrations put on hold for so much of 2020 & early 2021, we all have some making up to do! Consumers are going to be catching up on Christmas celebrations in June, significant birthdays a year after they have happened, and congratulating couples for weddings where guests couldn’t attend.
Beyond the obvious, celebrations will come in all shapes and sizes this year. For us, simply going out and seeing our loved ones again is reason enough for a glass of something special… IWSR has seen that Champagne celebrations aren’t just in the form of special occasions anymore. Lockdowns have made consumers aware that they can celebrate quite literally anything with a great glass of fizz! IWSR states, “Sparkling wine, and Prosecco, in particular, has spearheaded the diversification of wine’s consumption occasions. The category has steadily moved away from its one-dimensional image as a special celebratory drink to align with more regular occasions, such as the apéritif hour.” Ensuring that sure your business is readily equipped for the delayed start to the roaring 20s is going to be crucial!
Sparkling wine has always had its place in fine dining but it has now extended into the casual dining sector too. Fundamentally, wherever they’re eating, customers want an experience and expect a premium service, along with premium options to dip into. Selling your sparkling wines and Champagnes by the glass allows customers to elevate their experience whilst dining out at your restaurant.
2. Rosé resurgence
Now we know what you’re thinking… Rosé, that isn’t exactly new. Let us stop you right there! Rosé is set for a bumper season this summer after proving to be one of the greatest wine success stories during the lockdown. Year-on-year sales in 2020 were up by over 400% at Waitrose alone! We expect this rising demand for Rosé to heavily cross over into the on-trade.
Proving just how seriously Provence Rosé is taken today, there have been several high-profile acquisitions in the region recently with Provence pink now seen as a must-have in any wine portfolio. LVMH snapped up Château Galoupet in Côtes de Provence for an undisclosed sum. Five months later, Chanel added to its established wine portfolio (which includes Canon in Saint- Émilion, and Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux) with the purchase of Domaine de l’Île on the island of Porquerolles in Provence, which will be overseen by the group’s head winemaker, Nicolas Audebert. Provence Rosé is just one sector of the Rosé market but these latest big business moves demonstrate how the world of wine is taking it very seriously.
Big business aside, your younger customer base has a desire for Rosé. Inverarity Morton has stated that “Millennials are almost twice as likely to purchase Rosé when compared to baby boomers”. Their survey shows that 70-75% of millennials are drinking Rosé throughout June, July, and August making it an extremely popular drink for the summer. So, if you mix that with the re-opening roadmap we have ahead of us, an exquisite Rosé selection is a must-have for your guests. There is no need to go crazy, but there are so many times we see wine by the glass menus with only 1 Rosé wine option and no Rosé Champagne or Prosecco. Make sure you don’t miss out!
P.S – If you haven’t already, be sure to take a look at Italy’s new sparkling appellation Prosecco Rosé.
3. Wines your list could be missing…
The natural and organic movement has made an impact on our grocery shop for years now, not to mention skincare, fashion and more. So it isn’t a shock that it’s now changing the way consumers think about wine too. Sales of natural wine in the UK have increased by over 30% in the last 18 months alone. Consumers are opting for natural wine over more traditional styles, with the demand for natural wines set to double by 2022.
Top tip: A natural wine flight is a great way to introduce customers to the category and it allows them to understand more about what makes these wines so special.
While we’re on the topic of wine choices; red, white, Rosé, or…orange? Yes, orange wine is set to make moves within your wine lists again in 2021. It’s worth noting that orange wine is not just a short-term trend! In Georgia, they’ve been making it for over 2,000 years in terracotta amphorae called Qvevri.
Last year, the Ritz declared it would start selling a Georgian Orange wine by the glass… and if it’s good enough for The Ritz! Why not add one to your by the glass selection? It’s a great way to allow customers to hop on the trend and branch out their wine palette to wider horizons.
We know that consumers may initially be daunted by new and unusual wines, not knowing whether it’s going to be their ‘thing’. This is where the by-the-glass option is crucial. A great by-the-glass selection acts as a gateway to future bottle sales, dramatically increasing a customer’s value to your venue over the longer term.
Doug Wregg of natural wine specialist Les Caves de Pyrène recently told The Guardian, “We recently had three orange wines in our top 10 sellers. Normally, there are none in our top 30! People wanted a psychological lift during the lockdown, and there’s something about orange wine that gives one that.” Perhaps the future is orange, after all!
From elevating experiences with a celebration-worthy Champagne, widening your Rosé selection, or introducing natural wines into the mix… there are so many incredible opportunities for you to increase your sales post-lockdown. Not to mention, again, that wine has been the MOST PURCHASED beverage in lockdown – this is a category that deserves your attention, and now!
The CGA is reporting that 46% of consumers in the UK are seeking both quality and value this year. Selling by the glass will be a sure-fire way to tick these boxes. Take a look at your wine list – does it have something interesting enough for your customer to make a journey out? Does it have delectable options guests simply can’t access at home? Don’t forget with all wine lists, by-the-glass is one of the key ways to introduce new and exciting offerings to customers and an achievable way of increasing your sales revenue and profits overall.
At Bermar, we sell the world’s leading wine and Champagne preservation systems, which allow you to offer an incredible range of wines & Champagnes by the glass, without the fear of wastes. Our systems give you 21 days of preservation, which is the perfect amount of time to be able to offer a more premium wine by the glass selection. Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about this golden opportunity, we’re here on +44 (0) 1473 612062.
If you want to read more about the wine industry and Bermar then don’t forget to check out our previous articles here.