How to Profit Off the Top Wine Trends for 2014 (Part 2)

Last week, we posted “How to Profit Off the Top Wine Trends for 2014 (Part 1)“. If you missed the last post, you should read it. It talked about three of the main wine trends for 2014, as reported by a study commissioned by E. & J. Gallo Winery. Gallo promises to make their wine trends study a yearly event, and with their interesting findings and easy-to-read infographics, the study is definitely worth a read for restaurant professionals.

Here are the two last tips to leverage the information in the wine trends survey to increase the profits in your restaurant. (Get items 1-3 here.) 

Trend # 4: Wine blends are more fun than straight wine

Sweet wine is extremely popular right now because it goes well with mixers. From wine cocktails to simple mixers, such as fruit juice, today’s oenophiles think that wine is good on its own—but that it’s even better with added flavoring.

As a breakdown:

  • 66% of wine lovers mix their wine with fruit and/or fruit juice
  • 51% make wine cocktails
  • 48% make wine spritzers using club soda or seltzer water
  • 46% drink wine over ice

How you can use this information: 

1. Increase the selling power and price of your lower-quality wines by using them to make wine cocktails or other wine blends. Although your guests may order a martini with Grey Goose, they are less likely to order a Tinto de Verano with Blackstone Winery’s 2012 California Merlot.

2. Offer add-ins as a premium upsell. To accomplish this, you could offer wine flights with various methods of tasting a single type of wine (as a cocktail, as a spritzer, or as a fruit blend), or you could create a build-your-own wine mixer menu that allows people to order wines like they order lattes at Starbucks. Who doesn’t want to order a Chardonnay spritz with a pomegranate-blueberry accent, over ice? Actually, that sounds pretty good.

By the way, 27% of wine drinkers admit to having sipped wine with a straw at one time or another, so keep straws on hand to ensure that all your customers are always happy.

Trend #5: Day drinking is not as popular anymore

Gone are the days of the three-martini lunch, now everyone just goes to McDonald’s or orders your business lunch special for office workers. If you’re trying to sell wine during the weekday, the low statistics might explain why your sales are lackluster, as only 29% of frequent wine drinkers will treat themselves to a wine before dinner on a weekday.

If you’re only open for dinner, this is not a worrying number for you. Your tables will still order a bottle to share over dinner. However, if your business is located in a heavily commercial area and you depend on lunch traffic, you’ll need to figure out a solution.

How you can use this information:

If your restaurant bases most of its profits on the lunchtime crowd, offer low-priced wine specials on your lunch menu. The best way to do this is to offer wine with your lunch specials and increase the lunch special price. For instance, if your restaurant has a cup of soup and half sandwich special for $7.99 normally, offer the soup and sandwich plus a glass of Moscato as a “pampered” lunch for $9.79. Another way you could increase wine sales is by combining your pampered lunch with a loyalty card, increasing the price to $10.50, and offering a free luxury lunch after nine loyalty card stamps.

Once your customers get into the habit of having a light wine with lunch, they’ll be unlikely to give it up, as evidenced by the fact that when they have a leisurely weekend lunch, 45% of frequent wine drinkers will imbibe before dinner.

Make your 2015 wine trend an upwards trend

With the proper planning and technique, you can inject new life into your wine revenues. Whether you’re increasing your social media presence and establishing yourself as a wine expert, including pictures of wine labels on your paper or digital menus, offering sweet wines with upscale ordering options, or just convincing more people to drink on their lunch break, you can be assured that your wine sales will increase.

Connect with us on social media @UncorkdMenus to tell us what you’re choosing to do to increase your wine sales.