COVID Impact on Oregon Wine Pt 3

COVID Impact on Oregon Wine Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Finding answers to the pandemic and what it’s going to take to get wine sales back on a viable economic track, lies with the wine lovers.

At last month’s Oregon Wine Symposium, Christian Miller, with Full Glass Research, said sales to core wine consumers have been up slightly during the pandemic …

MILLER … “That’s good news for volume and dollars because core consumers still consume the majority of wine and they’re probably responsible for about, you know, over 90% of the wine sold at $20 and above, which is a key market for Oregon. The bad news is that it needs increased competition for a smaller base. So, that’s a difficulty.”

Another key, Miller says could be at our fingertips …

MILLER … “Now, the online purchasing in all channels, it’s still a small proportion, probably 3 to 4 percent of business of the volume, you know, direct to consumer from wineries, and another 2 to 3 in the sort of virtual world, but it’s growing.”

That growth, Miller says is good news …

MILLER … “Your club members are like your safety net, but your adhoc sales from your website or your phone or whatever it may be, is going to be where you replace the volume lost out in the distribution system.”

And, Miller says when we open up again …

MILLER … “I think there’s a significant possibility of a fast resurgence of on premise and in tasting rooms when they open up and, crucially, when the consumers feel comfortable, probably post vaccination.”

Miller says he’s hopeful there’s a pent up demand for quality wines that pushes sales when restrictions are lifted.

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