Summer Checklist: Sunscreen, Beach Ball, and Wine

May 10, 2016 in Alcohol Beverage, Startups

For many consumers in the wine market, drink preferences will change with the season. Top sellers in the fall may be major flops in the winter, so promotions and marketing campaigns must adapt to these shifts. The summer season brings hot temperatures, outdoor activities, vacations, and refreshing cuisine. A strong understanding of wine’s seasonal nature is vital to improve sales and appropriately distribute products.

What Makes a Wine Seasonal?

Two factors contribute to the appropriate season for wine: weather and food. The first influences typical activities, such as whether people spend most of their time outside or curled up in front of the fireplace. Popular wine pairings also change with seasonal cuisine that significantly influences sales numbers. A light summer salad matches up with a far different wine than a hearty winter stew. Some suppliers provide standard, versatile options but most selections at restaurants and in-store vary throughout the year. Popular trends within the industry may center on a specific region, wine category, or even a particular grape. These influences can last for a short time or extend over many years.

Preparing for the Summer Season

Summer is just around the corner, so you need to prepare for the season now. Summer wine’s key characteristics include a refreshing taste, a fruity flavor, and crisp notes. Other elements recommended by The Root include lower alcohol content, less tannin, and better consumer education on proper seasonal serving temperature. Several popular selections include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. Many appropriate wines fall under the sweet white and rosé category, but you will also find a few reds, such as Tempranillo.

To further optimize wine selections, research popular summer food trends in your local and regional markets. Many consumers head outside and fire up the grill to cook everything from chicken to steak. Cool and sweet treats provide a contrast to the smokey BBQ taste, so you have several predominant flavor profiles to adapt to. Top summer foods include BBQ ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit salad, tacos, kebabs, coleslaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob. Keep local specialties in mind as well, such as pit beef in Maryland or lobster rolls in Maine.

Summer cuisine trends also focus on more casual meals, so expect to cater with buffets or family style meals. Move away from matching wine with a single dish because versatile wines work out better for this eating style. Picnics, backyards, campgrounds, and other outdoor environments often lack appropriate temperature control options, so pick wines that hold up in these locations. The Fourth of July is the biggest holiday of the season, so getting cookout wine promotions and displays ready helps you create a space for your products. You can offer a fine-tuned, specific selection of wine for this event, since most people grill chicken and beef for the occasion.

Improving Efficiency in Your Seasonal Wine Sales

You only get three months in each season, so storeowners, suppliers, and distributors must operate efficiently to accomplish effective marketing and optimize promotions. Streamlined operations help you get ready long before the season starts, so you aren’t making last minute changes. If you encounter a delay anywhere in this process, you could miss your chance to take advantage of current trends.

Displays and POS execution information must be relevant and timely. Wine selections and marketing messaging should match the typical weather and activities in the region. For example, Californians love their beaches, while Colorado residents often hit the trails for hiking. Temperate climates without triple digit temperatures might look for bold wines while hot and humid areas may have preferences that are light and refreshing.

Matching the right wines to the correct markets takes time, but it’s worth it when you maximize your shelf share. Relevant brands complementing the weather and seasonal hobbies drive higher sales. Storeowners, suppliers, and distributors appreciate careful wine selection, especially if they also focus heavily on strong seasonal promotion.

A mobile data collection tool helps confirm proper display execution at each location. You don’t get the full picture of your wine sales from third-party reports alone. You need to see whether you successfully picked the best summer wines for the area, what your competition is doing, and whether your displays work with the rest of the store’s setup. If store staff fails to set up your displays properly or incorporate promotions, you can fix these problems before they take a bite out of your earnings.

Your company’s ability to adapt to rapid changes in the wine market every three months makes or breaks your success. This highly competitive industry has no shortage of suppliers seeking to expand their market share, whether they’re a small local vineyard or a huge business. Streamlining your business processes helps you maximize productivity and efficiency and buys you more time to fix problems before the season starts. Frequent data collection provides visibility into real-time performance, so you have the information you need to adjust to unexpected market developments. You’re a few short weeks away from summer, so it’s time to look through your wine lists and get your best products out to – and optimized in – the stores.