So, we’ve got a week until the crush report comes out and I am going to try to do a light blog post every day or two until then. The first few are about data-related products I saw at Unified Wine and Grape Symposium.
One of the coolest products I saw was the Wines & Vines Distributor Database. In the past, I focused more on discrete competitive and market analysis for clients. Basically, if a client wanted to evaluate the potential for strategic development, make a grab for a competitor’s market share or was looking to find an acquisition opportunity and needed someone who could do the necessary research without alerting the market, they would hire me. This tool would have made my job much easier.
Basically, you can use it to search for wholesaler-winery relationships. You can search by wholesaler or by winery. I can’t remember if you can search by brand. So, if I wanted to know who carries Purple Wine Company’s products in Arizona, I could search for just that. If I wanted to know every winery Epic works with in California, I could search for that. It’s still in beta, so the search functionality isn't fully worked through, but it looks like they’ll get there.
Once the full version is available, the user will have more tools to use. For instance, if you are a 30,000 case winery that specializes in Cabernet you would be able to search for all wineries between 25,000 and 50,000 cases selling Cab in, say, DC and then find out who their wholesalers are. You can then use the database to find a wholesaler who doesn’t have brands from a winery in that “peer group.” As you can imagine, you can put together many iterations of the search process to help map out strategic direction for bringing your products to market.
The other current issue is that not all states have full coverage. According to Wines & Vines, coverage is between 15% and 100% of the market, depending on the state. Having taken a couple of test drives, and then lined that up with my data, it does seem that they have some of the biggest markets covered thoroughly. The price is only between $1500 and $2500 a year, depending on how much functionality you need. You can always have an intern do the work, instead, but my guess is that would cost more and provide you with less-accurate results.