How Is Coronavirus Affecting The US Wine Market?

You don’t have to look far to see the impacts the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the global economy. Virtually all industries have been affected by the coronavirus in some way, with select industries experiencing total revenue loss in the process.

The wine industry has changed dramatically in the wake of this global pandemic with an increasing number of restaurants being forced to shut their doors as patrons are forced to stay inside.

So, how do these significant changes affect the way we buy and consume wine? And what is the relationship between the wine industry and coronavirus?

How Are People Consuming Wine Differently? 

Wine consumption habits are changing because of the increasingly stringent measures placed on US citizens. Here are just a few of the changes that the wine industry has experienced so far.

Restaurants Shut Their Doors

The restaurant industry is feeling the effects of COVID-19. Many restaurants have voluntarily switched from dine in to take out only in response to the coronavirus effect

These major shifts in the hospitality industry have impacted the wine industry and market too. Large numbers of Americans drink wine when they visit their favorite restaurant. In fact, 34% of us prefer wine over any other beverage. It’s easy to see why the sudden closure of nearly every restaurant in the country will affect winemakers and retailers.

Fewer Winery Visits

The outbreak has also decimated the travel and tourism industries. Popular wineries have shut their doors to the public to stay in line with social distancing recommendations and to reduce community spread. 

Vineyard Grant James, one of the country's best known vineyards, recently shut its doors to the public. A small portion of a vineyard’s annual income is generated from its wine tastings, but even this small portion of sales represents a significant loss for most wineries.

Are People Abstaining Due to the Virus?

While some wine-drinkers may be choosing to drink less due to the current situation (through health or circumstance), there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that a large portion of the population is abstaining. Instead, it would seem that people are finding other ways to purchase and consume wine.

Higher Sales in Grocery Stores and Wine Stores

Consumers are turning to local grocery stores and liquor stores to purchase wine. The panic-buying trend doesn’t seem to be over yet either, and it certainly extends to the wine shelves. In fact, wine has become so scarce in regular grocery stores that people are turning to fine wines instead.

In East Hampton, one liquor store reported a 500% increase in business, with people buying eight bottles of a $200 bottle of wine. Based on these trends, it seems people are frantically stocking up on their favorite beers, wines, and spirits as they enter self-isolation.

Increased Market for Wine Deliveries

The majority of Americans are taking part in self-isolation in some form, leading to an increase in demand for delivery-based apps. Several delivery options are seeing an increase in sales for wine deliveries. This COVID-19-friendly option allows customers to access a wide selection of wines from the comfort of their homes. For most, these wine delivery services are providing reprieve from an otherwise grim reality.

Where Is the Wine Industry Heading?

So, what does all this mean for the wine industry as a whole? Will COVID-19 cause long-term harm to the industry, or is it just another obstacle? Here’s what we know:

  • More people are drinking cheaper, accessible wines. As the consumption of store-bought wine goes up, more people will find themselves turning to cheaper wines that can be found in their local grocery store. This means that upscale vineyards may suffer more than other winemakers.
  • More people are using wine delivery services. As more people are choosing to use delivery services, this will lead to a drastic increase in value for some wine delivery companies.
  • More people are stocking up on their personal wine collections. More people are panic-buying and investing in makeshift wine collections. We can expect to see an increase in demand for wine storage coolers, wine refrigerators, wine racks, and other wine collection essentials.
  • Some vineyards may have to reduce their output. We may see certain winemakers downsizing because smaller vineyards are likely to suffer as a result of the pandemic. 
  • How Can Retailers Sell More Wine During This Period?

    The coronavirus outbreak has forced us to completely transform our day-to-day lives. We have to adapt to our new reality, and businesses must follow suit. Although some industries will suffer as a result of the pandemic, the wine industry doesn’t need to. Smart retailers will be able to capitalize on this opportunity to sell even more wine than usual.

    Consumers are buying wine for at-home consumption. If you sell wine, now is your chance to make it easy for your customers to buy wines in bulk or through a delivery service. Try adding a delivery service for your wines. Or offer deals for bulk buying. A direct B2C ecommerce model is something that most winemakers will need to adopt if they want to survive in the new isolated economy.

    About KingsBottle and the Coronavirus

    Here at KingsBottle, we have the supplies to get your business or your home through this uncertain time by providing high quality storage for your wines. We supply a range of coolers for wine storage, including the under counter wine cooler which is perfect for holding all of your back up bottles, whether they’re for selling or drinking.

    Once you learn about the ideal wine storage temperature for every type of wine, you’ll be able to use our state-of-the-art coolers to keep your large wine collection in the perfect conditions for months and years and to come. 

    Are you interested in learning more about our wine coolers? Get in touch with a member of our team today!

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