June 9, 2011

After two years of slow sales, U.S. consumers are reaching for and spending more on wine. Wine sales grew 7 percent in 2010 over the previous year, according to the Wine Institute in San Francisco. We now consume more wine than France. Of course, the French still drink far more wine per capita than we do. Restaurateurs are also reporting that more diners are ordering full bottles of wine, rather than a glass. Technomic Inc., a Chicago research firm, forecast that alcohol sales at restaurants and bars will grow 1.9 percent in 2011, compared with 2010.

Why are we drinking more? Is it because the economy is so bad, we want to forget it? Or do we feel more secure about the recovery and want to celebrate? That’s the interesting thing about statistics. If you don’t take the time to find out why someone is doing something, statistics are just statistics. Successful marketing begins with knowing what is motivating someone’s actions, and that takes research and not stats. How much have you spent on research this year?

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