Identifying Americans’ favorite wine is harder than it seems. How do you account for different price points? Should you focus on the opinions of experts? Or embrace the wisdom of the crowd? How can you avoid bias?
Anytime you attempt to crown a “most popular brand” — whether for cars, clothes or cheese — you must answer these questions, and wine is no different. Luckily, wine drinkers are forthcoming with their opinions about wine brands and preferences on social media.Whether discussing their favorite flavors or criticizing overrated (or overpriced) brands, consumers aren’t sparing with their wine talk. This conversation, which includes millions of posts, is more than enough data for us to identify the most popular wine brand on social media.
Crimson Hexagon analyzed social media conversations between 2010 to 2016 to discover how the nature of wine consumption and the culture around it has changed with evolving tastes and better access to a wide variety of options and new flavors. In the process, we unearthed some key discussion topics in the wine conversation, and that data helped identify the brands that consumers love as well as the ones the ones they dislike. Do we have a winner? Yes, it’s Robert Mondavi.
In this post, we explore the wine discussion taking place on social media in detail including:
- What people look for when they go wine shopping
- How different brands stack up according to those topics
- What makes Robert Mondavi social’s favorite wine
What makes wine fine
We broke down wine-related posts into topics to analyze the major factors that wine drinkers are most concerned with.Ultimately it comes down to three factors: affordability, quality and wide selection.
Now that we have identified what’s important to consumers buying wine, we can see how different brands stack up.
Beringer, a Napa Valley winery, ranks high (with most posts per thousand) for affordability and is known for offering decent quality wine for reasonable prices. Concha y Toro, originating from Chile, ranks high in terms of quality and a wide selection, though it is considered slightly expensive. Gallo and Sutter Home are affordable but fall behind in quality and variety. Robert Mondavi attains some middle ground on all three factors.
How consumers feel about different brands is decided heavily based on what’s important to them. The negative and positive emotions associated with different brands is based on where they each fall on the affordability, quality, and selection scale.
Of the top mentioned wine brands we analyzed, Gallo has the highest negative sentiment, at 48 percent. Contributing factors to this negative sentiment are complaints about Gallo misleading people by branding their wines as natural and organic. Appropriately, we can see that the brand ranks low in quality and selection. People complain about the taste of Gallo wine, likening it to juice. However, its 26% positive conversation is driven by its inexpensiveness. Similarly, Sutter Home also has high negative sentiment, and like Gallo, it is lambasted for its poor quality.
Barefoot earns social media’s good graces as it’s considered to be a relatively affordable wine, with consumers noting that the quality is decent for the price. Whereas, Beringer receives positive posts for being relatively inexpensive, but is also criticized for not being a legitimate “real” wine. Blackstone is perceived as a legitimate wine brand for “winos,” especially it’s red wine, which contributes to its high positive sentiment.
For a grocery store wine, Robert Mondavi is considered to be one of the best, adding to the highest positive sentiment for any brand at 46%.
What makes Robert Mondavi special?
Based on the clues of why certain brands fare well with consumers, it’s not hard to see why Robert Mondavi tops the list. It’s considered affordable for the quality and variety it offers.
Known for its Moscato, the brand’s winery tours are quite a hit in Napa Valley, with concerts featuring an eclectic mix of musicians including blues and folk musician Ben Harper, pianist Andrew McMahon and rapper Michael Franti.
The brand is doing its bit in fueling winery tourism by organizing events and concerts in their wineries. Social media conversations testify that consumers want their wine experience to extend beyond store-bought wines to include some indulgence.
Recently, wineries have gained recognition as great spots that not only sell unique, local options but also act as great places to socialize outside the typical party scene. Wine tastings add to the fun experience and wineries sweeten the deal by waiving tasting fees for purchases.
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If there’s any magic at all in 2017: I want to retire, spend time at wineries and beaches, help lots of people, and get super hot. #bye2016
— Katie (@MurphskyWurfsky) December 30, 2016
Brands can learn a lot about what’s working in their favor and what they can do better, thanks to consumers flocking to social media to talk about their experiences. Brands can now tailor experiences based on social feedback and opinions voiced by wine drinkers. As their tastes become sophisticated, consumers demands also evolve, but social media is always there to hint at where the trend is going.
This is a part of a larger series on consumer packaged goods. Stay tuned for the release of our larger, in-depth report on consumer opinions about beverages in the consumer packaged goods industry.