Wine Vision Takeaway Messages

Mike Veseth, “The Wine Economist”, on his recent presentation at Wine Vision. The issue that was the 800 pound gorilla in the room wasn’t discussed.

The Wine Economist

Click on the image above to view my interview with BeverageDaily.com editor Ben Bouckley at Wine Vision 2014.

I’m back from Wine Vision 2014 and reviewing my notes in search of the most important takeaway messages. Not an easy task in this case, because the content stream was so rich and varied. Not sure whether the best ideas came from the formal program or casual conversations. That’s a sign that the organizers did their job of assembling a critical mass of thinkers and doers from inside and outside the global wine trade.

Many of the points that participants found particularly useful focused on new or emerging trends. Lots of discussion of new consumers (millennials, for example), new marketing opportunities (direct-to-consumer both generally and via in-home “meet the winemaker” type events), and new competitors within the alcoholic beverage category, some of which are so “innovative” that they seem poised to “jump the…

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One comment

  1. hoofin · December 3, 2014

    My remarks at Mike Veseth’s:

    To me, as a Control State advocate, what makes the scandal interesting is how much of UK wine gets sold through Tesco. It’s like their buyers (along with other discounters) are the Liquor Control Board (LCB) for England. When a major alcohol product is sold almost as a loss-leader, how does that impact the market for other adult beverages? How does that impact the small producer?

    We see this going on with huge distributors like Southern Wine & Spirits (SWS) here in Pennsylvania. Any relevant LCB meeting shows a huge number of proposals by SWS-represented producers, and a huge number of rejections by the Board. Code 7 – “no perceived need”. It looks to the outside observer that the offerings are simply meant to undercut the pricing arrangements of the current approved products, without any clear long-term benefit to the ultimate consumer.

    In the current American regulatory environment, where longstanding antitrust statutes are treated like pretty words with no legal effect, large distributors crush the ability of the smaller sized producer to put a product out to market—if simply for the fact that they can either decimate the producer’s margin or they can shut out rival products by going 10% lower. In effect, middlemen like SWS would become the LCB for Pennsylvania. They would decide what comes into the state, instead of the People.

    It’s no surprise the Tesco guest to Wine Vision couldn’t provide more insight. UK authorities already have the criminal probe going on the Tescogate financials. “No comment” would be about the best that could be offered.

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