Love Wine? Good…Now get to work!!

I’m a trend watcher. I watch for trends in marketing and politics and culture, but I do focus on wine. The idea in my business (PR) is to try to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends so that, basically, they can be exploited to help clients get publicity and positioning.

There are a number of ways to watch for trends that apply to the wine industry:
1. Watch Pricing at the wholesale level
2. Keep an eye on changes to import/export values
3. Read the design oriented magazines
4. Keep an eye on early color forecasts
5. Watch for the appearance of wine as a topic where it doesn’t usually appear.

Today, something in concerning #5 hit my radar. has recently begun touting wine as a “growth industry”. They also identified wine as one of the 13 hot business for 2005.

Essentially their message is: Wine is growing. More people drinking wine. There is room for entrepreneurs who love wine to make money in the industry.

I’m not sure if this is good advice, particularly if the idea is to start making and selling wine. But that’s not the point. The point is this: when a mainstream consumer business publication starts recommending people look to the wine industry as an entrepreneurial opportunity, you have to ask what spurred them to do make this recommendation. It may be one staff writers dream and therefore meaningless. But you also have to ask what conditions now exist for such an article to be approved and seem worthy to pass on to a fairly large readership.

I think what’s happening is we are seeing is a major shift in the mainstreaming of wine; wine as as an acceptable beverage for more than just the “elite”. A lot has to come together at one time and work together for this to happen:

1. Large excesses of bulk wine leading to lower prices
2. A new generation that is accepting of wine: 20 somethings
3. Packaging and marketing that ignores tradition
4. Increased consumption
5. Wine showing up in the popular culture as a positive
6. Continued rise in the standard of living
7. Greater accessibility to information of wine.

With all these factors in place, you get the slow mainstreaming of wine….to the point where a publication now recommends the industry as an entrepreneurial opportunity. It’s happening.

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