We have done a lot of consulting projects over the past few decades for a broad range of wine, beer, and spirits clients, big and small. Every consultation is unique and custom crafted to our client’s needs and goals. We’ve identified three consultation types as the most popular options: Comparative, Developmental, and Basic.

Privately compare your wine with its key competition to identify and leverage strengths and weaknesses for marketing or internal review.

Example: Boxed Wine Brand

Challenge

Determine the viability of possible a superior taste claim for a boxed wine brand launch. Determine strengths and weaknesses of the brand versus boxed wine competitors to create ways to provide a distinct advantage to market entry in the product development stages of the brand.

Example: Boxed Wine Brand

Solution

Selecting 3 comparative brand styles, the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) produced a panel of sensory experts to blind taste wines and apply the BTI methodology, an ordinal ranking, an attribute ranking and A-B preference pairs (i.e. Boxed Wine vs. Brand X). All samples were acquired from retailers to ensure a real-market scenario. The report’s component attributes included: aroma, texture, smoothness, quality of flavor, intensity of flavor, integration of alcohol, finish and versatility.

Example: Boxed Wine Brand

Results

The outcome was delivered to client within one month from the initiation of the tasting. It included a panel results presentation on the final ranking, attributes and 100-point rating scale with detailed taster’s notes for each wine. Because of the composition of the tasting notes and attribute rankings, potential claims of superiority from the samples in any of the attributes (i.e. “the most flavorful boxed pinot grigio”) could be credibly made and sustained by the data. The brand chose not to license the results for media publication use, but selected this confidential comparative tasting package to use internally as a qualitative assessment and further developed their marketing strategy.

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A comparative tasting of your product versus a competitive set of your choosing by the professional panel using the BTI methodology and additional attribute ranking methodologies and custom characteristic or marketing keyword tests. These tastings are geared primarily for testing marketing claims prior to advertising campaigns and any favorable results could be licensed for those campaigns, like Grey Goose, Jim Beam Black, etc.

It could also include the addition of two more panels, a trade panel and a small scale educated spirits consumer panel for additional feedback and claims testing. Or a large scale consumer panel of 200 demographically specified or diverse consumers that would be recruited to test A vs B (“Pepsi Challenge") type comparisons of a client brand versus a key competitive brand. The 200 person panel size is large enough to fulfill FTC guidelines for advertising consumer-based claims or endorsements.

Get our feedback for your winery to improve the hedonic experience of your wine.

Example: California Chardonnay Blending

Challenge

Create the proper varietal ratio, alcohol content and sugar level for a “fighting varietal” wine blend. BTI's client was using an existing blend of Chardonnay sourced from multiple central coast California vineyards but challenged BTI to fine tune and revamp their style to create a wine of increased market share potential.

Example: California Chardonnay Blending

Solution

Using the qualitative tasting method, BTI took on this challenge by recommending specific blends and structural attribute levels to produce consistency and a flavor quality for a nationally marketed bottled California Chardonnay brand.

Example: California Chardonnay Blending

Results

Leveraging relationships BTI has cultivated over years with California’s best wineries and our large database of reviews and profile keywords, a final blend was created that increased sales with an ambitious drive for national market share. The more consumer-driven flavor profile helped elevate the brand and the company. Several years after BTI development completion and rounds of profitability, a joint partnership succeeded helping to elevate this California Chardonnay brand onto the international market.

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Learn More about developmental tastings >

A developmental tasting where we either analyze and pick the best recipe for a final product from a set of recipes, or work with a your or your supplier in a back and forth manner to improve one recipe with feedback for each subsequently refined recipe until it is optimized.

Get a confidential, unpublished review and analysis for your wines before you go to market.

Example: Small Regional Winery’s Fruit Wines

Challenge

Deliver an unpublished tasting review and analysis and possibly corroborate the winemakers blending choices for a new wine that incorporated real fruit juices.

Example: Small Regional Winery’s Fruit Wines

Solution

Our basic private tasting service offered a confidential results package for our client’s challenge. Produced with our panel of sensory experts, the same BTI methodology and authoritative review is provided for all private wine tasting clients. The asset of this service for winemakers or brand owners is the unpublished review and confidential feedback from wine buyers.

Example: Small Regional Winery’s Fruit Wines

Results

For clients who do not want their product’s review published on Tastings.com, this private service offers anonymity. The results assisted the winemaker in having an objective, third party review and deeper understanding of the trade and consumer qualitative outlook. As an added bonus, the service offered a general flavor profile analysis, competitive remarks, food pairings and packaging analysis comments. It helped create verification for the winemaker for his successful blend of fruit in his product. After having stability issues of acid volatility and re-ferments, the basic tasting at his final stage of market development offered BTI” stamp of “endorsement” of the winemaker’s process, while offering confidentiality of the discussion.

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A basic private tasting yields an unpublished tasting note, score, application analysis, and packaging analysis from our professional panel with a one month turnaround and an option to publish the private reviews if you wish.

We have worked with many winemakers, craft brewers and distillers on their go-to-market strategy. Often the challenge is connecting to distribution and more importantly the right distributor. Using our Bottom-Up Methodology, we create the very best go to market strategy to limit ramp-up costs while optimizing sell through and growth potential.

Example: Brand X Wine

Problem

The owner of Wine Brand X came to us after noticing that their sell through from the distribution tier to the retail tier was slowing down.

Example: Brand X Wine

Solution

We determined that their current route to market was littered with competing wines in similar categories. So, we changed the path to market to better highlight the strengths of their brand and how it fits retailer, bar, and consumer needs. We helped them with more events and activations, focus groups, and increasing their social media geo-targeting.

Example: Brand X Wine

Results

The result was increase SKU lift, more selling off retailers’ shelves and more calls for the wine on-premise, particularly for glass pours.

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Learn more about Market Support here >

We offer six key market support services:

Last Mile Logistics

Traditional thinking is that getting into retail is the key, but that's the easy part. The hard part is picking distributors and hiring and vetting sales teams. We show you how to.

Go to Market Strategy

We explain the levels of discounts and promotions needed to enter the market and how to make compelling deal structures for selling.

Social Media and Digital Property Creation

A key to market activation - we show you the do's and don’ts and how's and why's.

On-premise and Off-Premise Activation

Tastings, dinners, and a clear road map of which kind of activations work and which do not.

Key Account Introductions with Distributors, Retailers, and On-Premise Accounts

After 30 plus years in the drinks business as well as the last 10+ years in consulting world, we have acquired key access to buyers, CFO's, CEO's, distributors in all tiers. Knowing who to call is more important than making the call.

Branding, Packaging and Label Design

Often your inner Picasso gets in the way of what a retailer and distributor want to see and more importantly what the customer is keen on. We will work with your design team and package team to create beauty, functionality, and sell-ability.

Our Clients

How can we help you?

We have the experience and expertise to help you with your project, lets talk and see if you agree!

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