Great BIG Wine Survey: Show me yours

Wednesday, 9 November, 2022
Vintelligence, Xania van der Merwe
Have you ever walked into a lodge or hotel and first requested to “test” the service and linen before you book? No! Of course not! It would be frowned upon.

However, testing products is not strange or new. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies regularly send promotors instore to hand out tasters or dress like the brand. A few years back, for instance, I encountered a promoter dressed in a life-size female hygiene item! (At least wine promoters are never embarrassed in such a way.)

As wine is becoming a grocery item list, the methods followed by the FMCG industry is very applicable to us. The wine industry needs to take a page from the FMCG marketers' book. Do research and promote according to your market.

The question with product testing remains: Are we pouring out profit or are we building a brand?

Wine shows and festivals are picking up again. Consumers are hungry for social events and the wine-tasting and festival culture is returning to normal.

In order to assist you with your 2023 sales and marketing budget, we reviewed the effectiveness of events and in-store tastings along with other attributes that drive consumers to put the bottle in the basket.

The Great BIG Wine Survey 2021, sponsored by Hollard, measured consumer sentiment covering a range of topics from purchase frequency to pouring behaviour. For the purpose of this question, we reviewed the attributes that drive purchase.

Consumer Purchasing Drivers. Great BIG Wine Survey 2021. Extracted by KLA.

As we can see, value for money will always drive sales, but when it comes to making a choice on where your promo wine is spent, and more importantly, your marketing budget, liquid to lips remain one of the largest drivers of sales. Wine events and tasting experiences are only outranked by good value wines (which we all know refers to promotions, and who does not love a promotion?). This tells us, if you're building a brand, and you're not just fighting a price war, you or your winemaker need to get out there and show them yours.

It's not just about getting liquid on lips; it's also about building relationships with your customers. They're buying much more than just a drink: Supporting a local winemaker outranks instore tastings, and instore tastings outranks instore advice.

This makes it safe to say:

If we're going to show them (the consumer) ours, they will show us theirs (and by that we mean Visa or Master cards, with cash always welcome). Social media is king over print. Stickers sell, but not as much as a friendly recommendation.

Key lessons on wine sales

So, what lessons and tips do we need to take out here?

  1. If you show them yours, they are very likely to show your theirs.
  2. Travel more. Go see the wine clubs. Do the wine shows.
  3. Choose your instore tastings selectively.
  4. Don’t get all the stickers. Get some, but make sure your products are listed on the wine-rating sites. 
  5. If you aren't promoting your venue and tourism experience, use the budget to travel more. Meet the people. Give out your number. Odds of the customer phoning is much smaller than just bragging about having it.

The Great BIG Wine Survey measured the wine opinions of thousands of consumers and over 50 touch points for 3 years running through the sponsorship of Hollard and in association with KLA.

More about Vintelligence

The Great BIG Wine Survey allows cross tabulation of data to answer your insight question. You could drill into any measure point and layer it according to interest. For example, this report reviewed consumer purchase drivers, over the weighted sample. We can deep dive into the demographic profile of the consumers who prefers instore tastings. This insight would allow you to focus your distribution and marketing strategy on dominant areas based on a mirror customer group.

It's almost time for the 2022 Great BIG Wine Survey Results Webinar, sponsored by Hollard. Please contact us to pre-register for the