4 thoughts on “Soaring Sales? Wholesalers Say Not For Them.

  1. John says:

    My distributor in MO was up 1% for December on all brands.
    KS was flat, NE was down 2% all brands.
    I’ll see what January brought. When I did fall surveys, the floor was packed with $5.99 and $6.99 wines, but IRI for my markets showed that $11.49-$14.99 was up 9% (the highest) for OND. To me that shows that retailers loaded up on the cheapest wines they could find, but consumers still bought KJ, Sterling, Clos du Bois.

  2. lperdue says:

    Thanks! We need more comments like this to help make sense of this strange dataset.

  3. Katie says:

    Well, I don’t have any hard numbers, so this comment might not be overly valuable. However I have an observation that might account for a bit of this trend. I have a small winery in MO. After trying to sign up with a distributor and not getting anywhere, we hit the road ourselves. We’ve had good success getting our wines into independent retailers in the last two months.

    Interestingly, this past weekend I attended the Midwest Grape & Wine conference where I talked with many other small midwest wineries that are in the same boat as I am with even greater success (some with chain stores working with them on a local or regional level). My interpretation is that the ‘buy local’ trend is helping us out quite a bit. If there are many others like me then perhaps that is a part of why the wholesaler’s numbers are down while retail is up.

  4. Bubbles Gal says:


    Wineries selling directly to accounts is a very good thought, and could explain a difference between wholesale and retail numbers, but there’s no way it could make up for all the volume growth in the IRI data. The winery-to-retail route to market is tiny compared to the market overall.

    I think Lew’s Obama comment is likely the case – a momentary aberration in sales caused by people who wanted to raise a toast to the new president. The blue states are some of our largest wine markets too (CA, NY, IL).

    Looking forward to getting my Nielsen data to see how it compares! We’re still a few weeks away from that though.

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