Wine Quarterly Q4 2018: Does Your Consumer Own Your Brand?

It’s time for the wine industry to find new owners. The latest RaboResearch Wine Quarterly report discusses this issue, as well the current global wine industry trends in terms of trade, M&A and bulk prices.


At the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa, there were ongoing conversations about rising competition at retail and declining traffic at tasting rooms. “Wineries are becoming more focused on developing deeper, stickier relationships with consumers, which often starts with basic communication,” according to Stephen Rannekleiv, Global Strategist – Beverages. “Our view is that wineries of all sizes need to find new owners. We're not talking about selling the winery, but rather about continuing to build deeper relationships with consumers – creating a sense of ownership by the consumer with the brand.” 

Other highlights of the RaboResearch Wine Quarterly include:

Global trade: lower volumes – The light harvest of 2017 is weighing down exports volumes for the major European producers in 2018. The situation is likely to continue in Q4, awaiting the first wines of the 2018 harvests reach the market. 

M&A: e-commerce gaining relevance – Despite the still modest share of e-commerce in wine trade, large companies are taking positions in established niche operators. This is a way of acknowledging the value of the intelligence that can be obtained online. It also suggests that buying an existing player may be more attractive than in-house development from scratch. 

Bulk wine prices: Prices for generic wines from Spain and Italy are easing off, anticipating the greater availability that the 2018 harvest will provide. International prices for Argentine wines are also lower, in this case driven predominantly by the peso devaluation.