• Vintage Economics

    Market Research and Analytics for a New Era in Wine

  • About Vintage Economics

     

    The wine industry is currently facing an array of disruptive challenges, ranging from demographic change to distributor consolidation, that pose both opportunities and threats to wine-related businesses. Success in today’s rapidly evolving and hyper-competitive market environment demands a more systematic and strategic approach than ever before, informed by relevant data, rigorous analysis, and creative and critical thinking.

     

    The mission of Vintage Economics, founded by Dr. Chris Bitter, is to provide insightful market research and analytics that enable clients to identify opportunities, make better informed business decisions, and position themselves for success in the new era for wine.

     

    Based in Carmel California, Vintage Economics offers research and advisory services focused on market analysis, strategic studies and data analytics. The firm also produces research reports and provides customized metrics and intelligence on the U.S. and Canadian markets. Selected clients include the Washington State Wine Commission, Aquilini Brands, Wineshipping.com, and Fall Line Capital.

     

    See Dr. Bitter's blog for commentary on topics of local, national and global interest. Please contact Chris for additional information, to arrange a consultation, or to inquire about speaking engagements.

  • Chris Bitter, PhD

    Founder and Wine Economist

    Dr. Chris Bitter, founder of Vintage Economics, is a wine economist with more than twenty years of experience in market analysis and applied economics. His research has been published in a variety of national and international publications including the Journal of Wine Economics and he has delivered presentations at wine industry conferences around the globe. Chris left his academic position in 2016 to launch Vintage Economics with the goal of providing market analysis and intelligence to help position clients for success in a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive market environment. Prior to launching Vintages Economics, Chris spent seven years on the faculty with the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies where his teaching and research focused on market analysis and valuation. Chris has also held senior positions as an economist and market analyst in the private sector with RREEF, a prominent commercial real estate investment advisor, and the Dorchester Group, a boutique consulting firm focused on complex valuation-related assignments. Chris holds a Doctorate from the University of Arizona in Economic Geography with a minor in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Anthropology.

  • Research and Analytics

    Market Analysis and Forecasting

    In today's hyper-competitive and rapidly evolving market environment, accurate and nuanced assessments of market dynamics are more important than ever. A well-informed and appropriately segmented market study is an essential tool for strategic planning, identifying opportunities and risks, and developing realistic financial assumptions.
     
    But wine market data tend to be fragmented, incomplete and often conflicting. Vintage Economics separates the signal from the noise to help clients navigage the evolving market and make better informed and more profitable decisions. Areas of expertise include wine and grape market analysis and forecasting; consumer trends; market potential and targeting; and strategic assessments.

    Data Analytics

    The proliferation of "big" data tracking consumers and their purchasing behavior, along with the growing volume of internal data wineries are collecting through their own POS software and customer databases, has the potential to transform the wine business similarly to the way that "Money Ball" revolutionized the business of baseball.

     

    Vintage Economics leverages its data and analytical expertise to unlock insights that enable clients to more effectively segment and target consumers; grow their direct-to-consumer sales and wine clubs; optimize pricing; and improve operational efficiency. We also help clients to appreciate the benefits and limitations of predictive analytics and how they can exploit their data to maximum advantage.

     

    Geodemographic Targeting

    Wine consumer spending is highly correlated with household demographic attributes including income, education, age, sex, and race, as well as geographic attributes such as region and city size. And high-value wine consumers tend to be heavily concentrated within a narrow range of geographic areas.
     
    Utilizing our proprietary wine consumer demographics database and extensive experience with geodemographic data, we can identify areas with concentrations of high-value wine consumers or specific demographic groups that match a brand’s unique customer profile to help wineries acquire new customers in existing markets as well as target the most lucrative new markets for expansion.

     

    Strategic Studies

    The wine industry is facing an array of disruptive challenges including COVID-19, economic uncertainty, demographic and generational shifts, a rapidly evolving consumer and path to market, climate change, and competition with alternative and emerging alcoholic beverage categories, among others. This rapidly evolving environment presents both opportunities and threats to wine-related businesses.

     

    Success in the new era for wine requires a broad perspective and forward-looking focus. Vintage Economics designs and executes customized research projects to help clients achieve a nuanced understanding of emerging trends and their strategic implications.
  • Reports and Data

    Analysis, insights and intelligence to support better-informed decisions

    Demographics and Wine

    Published December 2021

    Demographics are crucially important to wineries and the wine trade. But relevant data are hard to find and often incomplete and conflicting. Demographics and Wine provides the most comprehensive and nuanced information and analysis on U.S. wine consumer demographics available.

     

    Demographics play a vital role in shaping the propensity to buy wine – and some groups are far more impactful than others – particularly in the upper tiers of the market. Demographics and Wine clarifies the audience for wine and provides insights into consumer behavior to inform segmentation, customer targeting, and marketing strategy.

     

    The U.S. is also undergoing a profound demographic transition that is altering the composition of the wine consumer base and creating potential headwinds for wine demand. The report highlights the opportunities and threats associated with demographic change and their implications for strategic planning and marketing.

     

    The report is based on analysis of public use micro data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey, which collects two-week spending diaries from approximately 6,000 households per year. Households are segmented by age, income, education, race/ethnicity, sex, and generation. The new edition of Demographics and Wine, published December 2021, includes data through 2020.

     

    Click here for a detailed description of the content.

     

    Regular price: $895. Discounted small business / nonprofit price: $595.

     

    Use the online store to purchase by credit card. If you would prefer to pay by check, please call 206-981-6885.

     

    Washington Wine Industry Report

    The Washington Winery Report

    Published May 2021

    The Washington Winery Report is an annual publication that provides shipment and production totals for the past year for all 1000+ Washington winery licenses as well as more extensive metrics for wineries that shipped at least 1,000 cases, including shipments broken down by sales channel and three years of historic data on total shipments and net production. It also contains industry statistics and winery rankings.

     

    The report represents the most comprehensive source of intelligence available on Washington wineries and wine shipment trends. The metrics will be valuable to wineries for benchmarking performance, growers and service providers for generating new business leads, and others seeking insight into the Washington wine industry more generally. Click here for a sample of the report.

     

    Regular Price: $595. Small Business Price: $395.

     

    Use the online store to purchase by credit card. If you would prefer to pay by check, please call 206-981-6885.

    California Grape Market Data

    Available Upon Request

    The California Grape Crush Report is an indispensable source of information on the state’s grape markets. However, the report provides only a narrow set of metrics, which limit its usefulness for market analysis. For example, the weighted average prices it presents are heavily biased toward large contracts and have little relevance for “boutique” segment of the market. Moreover, the annual report includes only one-year comparisons, making it difficult and time consuming to situate pricing and crush trends within a longer-term context.

     

    Vintage Economics has developed a broader range of proprietary metrics based on the crush report data, including pricing benchmarks and price indexes segmented by contract size, and more than twenty years of historical data. They enable clients to gain a more nuanced understanding of grape pricing and market trends by varietal and district and support better informed decisions. Click here to view sample metrics. Please contact Chris Bitter with questions or to purchase metrics.

    Washington Wine Industry Intelligence

    Available Upon Request

    Leveraging its proprietary databases and industry contacts, Vintage Economics supplies customized metrics and intelligence on the Washington wine industry including:

    • Monthly wine shipment metrics broken down by sales channel
    • Data for individual wineries including size, shipments by channel, production, ownership, locations, tasting rooms, etc.
    • Grape production, pricing, and acreage trends
    • Washington State wine sales by volume and market share by company

    Applications include winery performance benchmarking; targeting customers for grapes, services or equipment sales; identifying and evaluating acquisition targets; or tracking industry performance trends.

     

    Click here to download a winery metrics sample.

    U.S. Wine & BevAlc Imports & Exports

    Available Upon Request

    Our comprehensive and timely metrics on U.S. wine import and export trends enable clients to better understand import demand and competition, monitor the performance of individual countries within the U.S. marketplace, and evaluate potential export opportunities.

    • Imports by volume, value, country of origin & destination state
    • Exports volume, value, state of origin and destination country
    • Metrics can be broken down by wine category and packaging type
    • Available on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
    • Released approximately 5 weeks after the end of the month
    • Data on spirits, beer and refreshment beverages are also available
    Click here for a sample.

    Canadian Wine & BevAlc Imports & Exports

    Available Upon Request

    Canada ranks 8th globally in wine imports, and imported wines (including bulk shipments bottled in Canada) comprise 85% of the market. The metrics can be broken down by country of origin as well destination province to provide a nuanced view of Canadian wine market trends.

    • Imports by volume, value, country of origin & destination province
    • Exports volume, value, province of origin and destination country
    • Metrics can be broken down by wine category and packaging type
    • Available on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
    • Released approximately 5 weeks after the end of the month
    • Data on spirits, beer and refreshment beverages are also available
    Click here for a sample.
  • Dr. Bitter's Blog

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  • Contact Vintage Economics

    Carmel, California
    206-981-6885
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    The purchaser agrees to only share the report with employees, board members, and consultants working on projects specific to them. The purchaser may extract elements of the report for use in internal and external presentations, subject to the doctrine of fair use, provided that Vintage Economics is identified as the source.
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