The Next Generation of Wine Buying
When it comes to creating valuable wine, getting the blend right is essential. When it comes to creating a valuable wine company in today’s economy, getting the right blend of product, data, e-commerce, and traditional retail is the recipe for Succes. Winc, a data-driven winery, has mastered the latter, and after 8 years of building its propriety infrastructure, they’re now poised for growth by introducing new and acquiring undervalued brands for their portfolio.
WINC was founded in 2012 using data tools to help consumers buy wine. The initial vision was to start a wine club, get data on individual wine drinkers’ preferences, then personalize the experience to make it even better the more they ordered. The data proved to be so powerful they soon began to do more than source better, more popular wines. They began producing wines their own wines that they were confident customers would love.
In 2014, Winc transitioned to selling solely its own wines, and received a great response and high ratings from online customers. Knowing that, they took their brands out to wholesale and scaled up through traditional distribution. Winc launched Summer Water rosé, one of their top rated products, nationally in Whole Foods. 18 months later they did the same with their next most popular product, Folly of the Beast pinot noir.
“We find products that really work with our customers online, invest money into telling the story, build a tight group of evangelists, then take the product to the national wholesale team we’ve built, and scale it all across the U.S.” Said co-founder and CEO Geoff McFarlane.
Winc has a highly unique platform in the wine industry. Where the large multinational wine companies have a large portfolio of brands and huge investments in shelf-space, Winc is focused on creating products that will resonate with the next generation of wine buyers and proving them online before launching into retail, reducing cost and barriers to entry.
It’s working. In 2019, their year over year sales increased by 10% from $6.2 million to $6.8 million in wholesale growth and in December alone, sales increased by 77% over the previous year. (can I talk about numbers like this?). The reason for this is holistic, integrated distribution. “We have to be in both.” Says McFarlane, “If you only focus on digital you cannot get the volume. The two working together is the key for us. We’re the only one doing it in tandem where you build awareness with the right products online and make the products available to the mass audience.”
Winc has built significant infrastructure over the past 8 years: a national wholesale network, e-commerce team, digital marketing team, content development, two fulfillment warehouses, operations, logistics, and a production team managing a 300,000 case per year winery, all come together to create the Winc platform.
Now they are looking for acquisitions in the super premium and luxury wine categories. According to McFarlane, “We’ve invested heavily in the platform: marketing, production, distribution. Now we can focus on acquisitions and creating new brands, so we’re investing in growth, not infrastructure. It’s an exciting time.”
For more information about Winc, visit them online at winc.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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