Jackson Family Wines, based in Sonoma, California has entered a partnership with digital planning service eMeals. Through this arrangement, users may find a Jackson Family Wines selection as a recommended pairing included in their shopping list. It’s one way that the wine industry is embracing digital and ecommerce opportunities to get their wines in the hands of both seasoned and new consumers.
With an eMeals subscription, users access a range recipes created and curated by a professional food team and registered dietitians. These recipes can be narrowed by user selection into categories such as heart healthy, gluten free, budget friendly or under 30 minutes.
Based on the chosen recipes, eMeals will build a shopping cart with all the needed ingredients. Users can take the list and shop themselves or send the list to their choice of online retailer including Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Instacart or Shipt.
I spoke to Doug Allan, trade marketing director of Jackson Family Wines, in early March, before most Americans were social distancing. Now this offering seems incredibly timely, though the motivation to sell more wine digitally has been an emerging focus of all segments of the wine industry, from large international brands to family wineries.
“Digital commerce is growing in the wine industry,” says Allan. “We have regulations that other industries don’t have, so we have to be more creative.” These include the obvious, such as minimum age restrictions, as well as the complex, such as shipping rules.
For many consumers, a suggested wine pairing is a welcome bit of advice. “There is an appropriate wine ready to go, when you are ready,” says Allan. Together, the eMeals and Jackson Family Wines team worked together to select wines with flavor profiles that match the range of meals and ingredients that are presented, including something special for a holiday meal last year.
Allan has worked in the wine business for years, and holds a WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits and he sees digital commerce as an emerging channel for “keeping wine relevant” and that the partnership with eMeals helps keep Jackson Family wines at “the top of the list” for users.
Allan says that this is an exciting time for digital commerce and when we spoke in early March 2020 he commented that the scope has evolved over the past 12 months and that the “digital shelf is different.”
I’d argue that it’s evolved in the past 12 days as wine brands prioritize direct to consumer access that doesn’t rely on the tasting room, ideally with ease and convenience for more wine shoppers.
The partnership between eMeals and Jackson Family Wines meets people where they are. “The walls are coming down,” says Allan. “The wine industry is coming up to providing a seamless and engaging experience for the consumer.”