Big Data & Wine Industry

How to engage Millennials with the wine category

By The Glass International has published several articles about a new wine bar concept and the way this concept helps to engage millennials with the wine category. What has not been discussed yet is the big data generated by this concept and the way it can be used.

The use of the data can be split in 2 areas:

  • 1. Online sales of wines
  • 2. Product improvement and category management

Wine Bar Concept

The wine bar concept which provides us with the type of data that will be discussed below, is based on the self-exploring of 80 to 150 open wines by the guests in a casual setting. To be able to start the “wine discovery trip”, guests buy and charge a card. When inserted in one of the wine dispensers in the bar, the card enables the guest to dispense a taster, half glass or full glass of wine by themselves.


Online Sales Of Wine

A surprisingly high percentage of guests agree to personalise the wine card they use in the wine bar and agree to receive personalised wine related information and offers. We believe this has to do with the familiarity and perceived reliability of a local wine bar versus an anonymous online wine shop.

You don’t need to be a data expert to understand the value of this information - even if the guest does not rate a wine (which is optional). Not only can you see which wines the guest likes (multiple pours) but also which wines don’t appeal to him/her (no trial to start with) or which wines do have some appeal but don’t convince the guest in terms of taste (one taster, no repeat pour). “Multichannel” and “Brick-and-Click” have become buzzwords to label these kind of initiatives.


Product Improvement and Category Management

The analysis of the data that we are able to collect through this new concept tells a lot about the individual wines and the strength of the overall assortment. Some of the key indicators that can be extracted:

  • Penetration = % of guests trying a particular wine
  • Conversion = % of guests that take a half or full glass of a particular wine after trying a taster
  • Loyalty = % of visitors that drank a particular wine during at least 3 visits
  • Volume = volume ranking versus the other 99 wines

Wines are only compared within the same price category given the impact of price on the key indicators.

Penetration = % of guests trying a particular wine

As can be seen in graph 1 the penetration per wine can differ significantly (the highest score is roughly 3 times higher than the lowest score). As guests choose the wine by looking at the bottle/label mainly, the situation is comparable with a retail situation. By diving in deeper it’s rather easy to find out which elements make a bottle/label appealing hence to advise the underperforming wineries where to improve.

Conversion for a price category

Graph 2 shows the conversion for a price category. Again the highest score is roughly 3 times higher than the lowest score. Of course, the taste of a particular wine is the end result of many elements and harder to change than the bottle/label. Many wine makers are not even looking for the greatest common denominator to create a popular taste. Nevertheless, we believe it’s important to know how well a wine scores on taste with the target group. A wine importer could very well decide to focus on a different variety from the same range based on this information or focus on a different consumer profile.


Combining all scores gives a good indication about the performance of individual wines and subgroups like tasting profiles, grapes and price categories. This helps the wine bar to optimize the assortment but could also help others (e.g. wine producers and wine importers).

We hope this article makes clear that making smart use of data is not the exclusive domain of companies like Amazon and Google. Managing and activating this incredible valuable data is a profession in itself and should not be taken too lightly. Nevertheless, you don’t need to be Alibaba to get started and to make this work. Even the data of one self exploring wine bar provides you with objective information from thousands of users beating most of the current market research in the wine and hospitality industry. Furthermore, this information enables you to sell more wine, improve the individual wines or optimise the overall assortment. At By The Glass International we’re happy to help where we can - contact us to learn more.