Wine as food or wine as collectors itemPresentation Transcript
Wine as Food Or wine as collectors’ Item Ross E. Anderson Still Life. (2009, Mar 10).
Introduction The purpose of wine does not adhere to any specific rules. It has constantly changing purposes. Different populations or demographics have their own perception on what wine means to them. Whether it is a means of nutrition, of pleasure or both. The wine market must constantly have their finger on the pulse of what their consumers want from their wine in order to compete and succeed in the wine market. When looking at this topic “Wine as food or Wine as collectors’ item” more closely, there are certain areas which may indicate a clue to what purposes wine holds. For example: -The long history of wine is necessary to cover in order to show the progression of the industry over time. -The current pricing of wine gives an indication of its purpose as does the volume of grapes grown. -The way branding is used and how some wine producers have entry supermarket level brands which separate the high quality and bulk wine in the market.
History The earliest history of grapes is of fossilized vines from 60 million years ago, but when Humans’ started making wine it was somewhere between 4000BC and 6000BC. It was initially thought to be only drunk by royalty in Egypt. Over time quality became more important and methods were learnt that helped with this. The Romans were very influential with wine production, classifying grape varieties and learning new growing techniques. Over time wine developed into a valuable trading commodity, and the areas of production spread throughout the world. LaMar, J. (2000). Methods have constantly been refined to ensure quality. But over time up to the modern day the role and purpose of wine has changed.
Current Industry When looking at the current wine industry we notice a split in consumer’s demand, on one hand we have the consumers which are looking for a nightly table wine for the purpose of having with dinner. On the other hand we have the consumers which are looking for something more in their wine, something that is of high quality, rarity and something to keep which is considered special. When making this division we cannot say that some consumers will fall under both of these demands. Supermarket Trolleys. (2005, Oct 7).
Supermarkets Looking at an example from the United Kingdom we see where wine is being bought. “The current UK wine consumer for many of whom wine is now an integral part of their lifestyle, bought wine alongside groceries.” (Ritchie, Elliot & Flynn, 2010). This quote gives an idea of how people look at wine, they are purchasing wine alongside their food, as if it was a food item. In recent times in the United Kingdom there has been a significant drop in wine being purchased from independent wine merchants, and an increase in purchasing from supermarkets (Ritchie et al., 2010). These consumers that use supermarkets as their primary place to purchase wine, is it because of convenience or price? When asking, the main point in the United Kingdom was “Wine should not cost more than meat does.” (Ritchie et al., 2010). In the lower socially economic families in the United Kingdom, having meat for an evening meal is very important, so it is thought that wine should cost no more than meat (Ritchie et al., 2010). This further highlights the theme that for these consumers in the United Kingdom wine is very much a food item. There could be many reasons why they don’t see wine as a valuable commodity, maybe the price of higher quality wine is beyond their means financially, or simply they just don’t care about wine enough to invest their attention or money into it.
Collectors Bottles of Red Wine in Wine Cellar. (2006, Apr 4). On the other hand ,we have the consumers who are willing to invest huge amounts of time and money into their love of wine. For these consumers there is a prestige in owning wine from certain areas, certain years or even certain wineries. But usually the underlying factor they all strive for is a quality product. This usually means high prices.
Collectors An example of high wine prices was in 2006 Washington, America where there was a large charity wine auction. “Collectors from around the country will want to add some of these wines to their cellars.” (Business Wire, 2006). This gives an example of the different purchasing environment where collectors buy their wines, being an auction there is no definite price for the wine, and it would be an event type atmosphere, differing largely from purchasing at a local supermarket. At this same auction there were wines being advertised as being one of a kind, and have in fact been signed by the winemaker, and have original labels which have been made by respective local artists. (Business Wire, 2006). This furthers to the argument that these collectors, are looking for a lot more in their wine than to drink it for dinner the same night they have bought it. So in the current market today it is seen that there are a number of wine consumers looking for very different things in their wine.
What this means for The World of Wine The seeming split consumer demand of “bulk and cheap” versus “quality and prestige”, is the driving force for which the wine producers must monitor. An example of this is in the current Australian wine market. “THE rising sales of major supermarket-owned wine brands has sparked a savage debate over the impact of private labels and cleanskins on the future of Australia's huge boutique wine sector.” (The Advertiser, (Adelaide). 2011 Mar 15). In the Australian wine market the opportunity for small boutique wine producers to reach the market has been cut off. Boutique Cellar Door. (2007, Jan 18).
What this means for The World of Wine This is largely due to the two large super market chains controlling the shelf space with more than 100 labels owned by them. In turn, this gives them huge power over price and availability in the Australian Market (The Advertiser, (Adelaide). 2011 Mar 15). This can be seen being from the increased demand for cheaper wine, hinting towards the fact that a majority of consumers aren’t worried about collecting and investing in wine any more. This trend in Australia could eventuate in damaging the image of the Australian wine industry on the international front.
Challengers for the Future Autumn Evening Vineyard (2005, Nov 6) The wine industry is forever changing, it seems it is down to the consumers what purpose wine will hold in the future. There will always be a market for the collectors, but with supermarkets making it harder for boutique wine producers to get their product to the shelves, they may well become rare. It may be up to the large wine producers to supply both markets (for the low price consumers and the quality seeking collectors), which many are doing currently with their entry level supermarket brands as well as their premium products both being available.
Conclusion The question or statement “Wine as Food or Wine as Collectors’ Item” is a very complex one. Wine is whatever the person who has it, perceives it to be to them. But as previously stated, the different types of demand shape and mould the wine market tremendously, and will continue to do so well into the future. Cognac and Wine Hediard in Paris, France. (2006, Dec 13).
References Ritchie, C. Elliot, G. Flynn, M. (2010).International Journal of Wine Business Research. Buying wine on Promotion is trading-up in UK supermarkets, 22(2), 102-121. http://library.eit.ac.nz:2099/pqcentral/docview/578120025/1313A8E273B3804AF55/1?accountid=39646 Oleary, R. McCullon, H. (2006, Aug 2). Business Wire. Wine Collectors Near and Far Eagerly Await 19th Annual Auction of Washington Wines. http://library.eit.ac.nz:2055/docview/445188303?accountid=39646 Supermarket Wine Labels. (2011, Mar 15). Advertise, The (Adelaide).p032. Stock.Xchng. (2009, Mar 10). Still Life. http://www.sxc.hu/ Stock.Xchng. (2005, Oct 7). Supermarket Trolleys. http://www.sxc.hu/ Stock.Xchng. (2006, Apr 4). Bottles of Red Wine in Wine Cellar. http://www.sxc.hu/ Stock.Xchng. (2005, Nov 26). Autumn evening in Vineyard. http://www.sxc.hu/ Stock.Xchng. (2006, Dec 13). Cognac and Wine Hediard in Paris, France. http://www.sxc.hu/ Stock.Xchng. (2007, Jan 18). Boutique Cellar Door. http://www.sxc.hu/ LaMar, J. (2000).Wine History. Science and Social Impact through Time. Retieved from http://www.winepros.org/wine101/history.htm