Numbers vary wildly as to the total number of local independent wineries globally and in North America, with tabulations going as high as 65,000 worldwide and 14,000 in the U.S. — but a recent study from Wines & Vines magazine was a bit more conservative, revealing 8,391 wineries in North America; 7,762 in the United States; 568 in Canada (primarily British Columbia and Ontario); and 61 in Mexico. One thing not up for debate? There’s a lot of wine available in North America and the world.
Some investors have also found the sheer amount of large wine producers to be a good bet, with publicly traded wine companies such as Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ), Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO), Brown-Forman Corp. (NYSE: BF.B), Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc. (NASDAQ: WVVI), Duckhorn Vineyards (NYSE: NAPA) and Pernod Ricard ADR (OTCMKTS: PRNDY).
But the trend of buying wine from local wineries has been a conscious consumer effort in recent years, partly because many of those smaller wineries are passionate about producing a great sustainable product.
To help support their efforts, a glut of wine clubs have hit the market, all with the promise of providing selections supporting local independent growers from California and Oregon to France, Italy, Argentina and Australia. With the pandemic moving consumers to order wine from around the world online, a number of new wine subscription services appeared in 2020.
But in any crowded consumer market, building differentiation can become the catalyst for growth. One standout, international wine club, 12-year old United Kingdom-based Naked Wines PLC (OTCMKTS: NWINF), with U.S. headquarters in Napa Valley, California, believes it has found a unique twist to grab a market that wants to not only feel they’re helping local winemakers through the purchase of their products but by becoming an investor.
Naked Wines reports that it works with over 166 independent and unique winemakers worldwide, selling its high-end bottled wine for relatively low prices but with a twist. The company calls its 300,000 subscription members “Angels” (as in Angel investors), with the goal of funding independent winemakers upfront so they can concentrate solely on making good wine, forgoing the expensive costs associated with the traditional retail model of loans. The customer in return, gets world-class, high quality wines for an average of 60% less than the cost of traditional retail pricing.
Insider.com called the Naked Wine selection process a “Shark Tank for their industry,” where independent winemakers propose a wine to win approval. The company’s customers, called “Angels”, then act as funding investors, depositing a $40 monthly contribution into their Naked Wines account that they then use at their discretion to order wine from the independent winemakers. Naked Wine promotes that the more Angels they have, the more winemakers they can fund to provide hand-crafted wines at wholesale prices up to 60% less than the market offers.
Naked Wines claims it not only cuts costs by eliminating sales and marketing expenses for the independent wineries but its upfront Angel-funding gives winemakers more time in the vineyard and less in the office. The company's members can also interact with the winemakers directly through its nakedwines.com mobile app.
The company is additionally currently offering promotions such as $100 off of 6pk of Wine for $39.99 with shipping included.
For more information about Naked Wines, visit www.nakedwines.com.
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