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 hope and possibility last summer, and we hope that with the progress we are making worldwide, those glimmers turn into pounds and pence!
Recognising what is going on…
Understanding the current market trends in the world of wine has never been more important. Wine was one of the top-performing drink categories in 2020, meaning we all enjoyed a little more from home! People were ordering finer wine & Champagne 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.
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 different consumer desires in demand and by promoting wine by the glass with marketing and promotional activity, your venue should be the ‘go-to’ place for the returning consumer of 2021. This, in turn, will help you to win market share early on, resulting in a faster return to pre-pandemic levels of trade and beyond!
Premium, premium, premium.
This is not just another ‘buzzword’ blog, premium wines and Champagnes are the way to help our industry recover and grow. This isn’t just our opinion, there are a few key factors that don’t just highlight the importance of premium, they absolutely scream it! It is worth noting that ‘premium’ can mean different things to different venues… It can range from introducing a first sparkling wine to the menu to adding a flight of vintage Champagne to mix. Regardless of how you do it, now’s the time to allow customers to treat themselves to something they may never normally buy. After all, everyone needs a treat after the year we’ve just endured! Your new premium service will keep spend per table up, even if we see a continuation in a smaller table size average for some months. According to the CGA, 32% of customers said they would be led by 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 the UK, Sainsbury’s reported that during Q4 of 2020 premium Champagne purchases jumped 52% year-on-year! That is a huge leap for the sector and an incredible success for premium wines. This trend 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 they know more about what they like. It is up to you now to really deliver a memorable experience; allowing your guests to choose something that isn’t easily obtainable in the local supermarket. Consumers have become accustomed to a better wine experience at home and now it’s about exceeding expectations in your venue! This might be a Champagne cocktail that could never be recreated at home, or a truly unforgettable wine and 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 coin, we know some customers that have felt the pinch in 2020 but they too will still want to celebrate and eat out again. A quality wine by the glass list with varying price points enables all consumers to return, spend and enjoy on a budget that they are comfortable with. Having some new and exciting by the glass options at all price points strikes a comforting balance between affordability and quality which will encourage repeat business. 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 (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 HoReCa customers globally, so you could say we know a thing or two.
If you want to find out more about Bermar or find out how we can help you and your business, please contact our team on +44 (0) 1473 612068.