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The recent developments in wine distribution

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the wine industry has undergone significant transformations and had to adapt to complex scenarios. A few years after the start of the pandemic, some of these transformations have materialised, others are still ongoing, and some are accelerating. It's time to review these trends!


Traditional networks significantly impacted


  • Supermarkets: After an initial sales increase, there has been a notable decline, especially for sparkling wines. Responsible and local consumption has also become a lasting trend (Au Coeur du CHR / KPMG).

  • Independent wine shops: These have grown in popularity thanks to services like home delivery, meeting consumer needs during the pandemic. Moreover, wine shops and small producers have connected with consumers through social media, emphasising product transparency and origin (Au Coeur du CHR / FranceAgriMer).

  • Wine producers: Traditional outlets have shrunk, with significant impacts on cafes, hotels, and restaurants, exports, and wine tourism. Overproduction has become a major issue, especially in France and the United States, where excess inventory has driven prices down (Wine Enthusiast / KPMG).


Rise of e-commerce


  • Rapid growth: E-commerce has exploded, with significant increases in online sales. For example, online wine sales doubled from $1.4 billion to $3.5 billion between 2017 and 2023 (Grappos).

  • New behaviors: E-commerce has attracted new segments, such as seniors and novices, and has seen an increase in average order value with a preference for quality references. In France, the share of major online buyers has grown, showing a strong trend towards online purchasing (Ecommerce Mag / FranceAgriMer).

  • US market: In the United States, online sales have risen spectacularly, with platforms like Wine.com recording significant increases (IWSR).



eCommerce


New experiences for professionals and individuals


  • Virtual tastings: Virtual tastings and tours have become common, offering consumers immersive experiences from home. Virtual fairs, like Hopwine or Digitasting, have allowed professionals to continue their activities with online fairs featuring real tastings (Au Coeur du CHR / Dimensional Insight).

  • Personalised experience, even online: In the wine sector, as elsewhere, consumers seek personalised, fast, and intuitive experiences where they can get answers to all their questions at any time. This is why online advisory services, such as our personal shopper, have gained popularity, improving conversion rates and increasing average order values (Wine Enthusiast).


Solidarity initiatives


  • Support for wine producers: Platforms like Les Grappes and "J’aime mon vigneron" have emerged to raise awareness and support local producers. These initiatives highlight the importance of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in consumer choices (Au Coeur du CHR / Ecommerce Mag).

These developments show how the wine sector has adapted to the crisis, with notable growth in e-commerce and new ways of engaging with consumers seeking personalised experiences.

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