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Overcoming Obstacles: The Wine Down Podcast

Comedian Ben Schwartz Spreads the Word About Wine

Out of the entire Consumer Packaged Goods grocery universe, Beverage Alcohol is the largest category – valued around $31 billion.1 While the category shows healthy growth year over year, household penetration remains flat over the past five years at 39 percent.2 That fact presents both challenge and opportunity. On the bright side, one industry study indicates an increase in wine consumption of merely 1% would generate around $185 million in additional sales.


What stands in the way of growing household penetration? The biggest obstacles for many prospective wine consumers come down to perceptions of price, taste and formality. In order to tackle these barriers to entry among younger consumers, the industry has introduced new packaging formats and increased focus on growing e-commerce platforms. We’ve also developed new, creative programs spanning in-store and digital channels.

As we explore solutions to grow household penetration of wine, particularly among coveted Millennial consumers, one untapped digital technology stood out. The podcast. This on-demand entertainment medium provides an ideal platform to reach Millennials, an estimated 42 percent of whom listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.

This is because podcasts provide a convenient, entertaining way for this consumer to discover new things – and to ultimately share those finds with friends.

How do we use a podcast to demystify wine for this key audience – and others new to wine?

The biggest obstacles for many
prospective wine consumers come
down to perceptions of price,
taste and formality.


Launching in March 2018, The Wine Down by Wine Dialogues is a lighthearted, easy to follow podcast hosted by comedian Ben Schwartz, often recognized for his role on Parks and Recreation. Ben is a wine lover though admits he’s a novice when it comes to describing, purchasing or understanding wine. This makes him the ideal guide and incredibly relatable to the audience.

During this seven-episode series, The Wine Down seeks to transform listeners interested in wine into well-informed enthusiasts. Each episode imparts knowledge about how wine is made, how to serve it and more. The Wine Down also explores how wine relates to travel, celebrations and food.

In each episode, Ben and his fellow comedians embark on a laugh-filled crash course with leading winemakers and industry experts. Each conversation flows between learning about wine and sharing personal anecdotes. With this cast of characters, expect a plethora of puns, hilarious tales and at least one catchy jingle.


The Wine Down reaches new and prospective premium wine consumers at their convenience, making enjoying wine a more approachable, fun experience with some laughs along the way. More importantly for your business, each episode ties back to one of our retail portfolio programs created for Fine Wine operators and features premium wines listeners will be primed to ask for next time they visit your location.

That makes it easy for you to use The Wine Down to promote wine education and store traffic. Get with the program. Your Wine Dialogues portfolio program of choice, that is. Contact your Sales Representative to order supplies ranging from merchandising to helpful how-to’s for sharing programrelated podcast episodes with your social media followers and email list. You can also download campaign toolkits here.

Host a listening party. Invite customers to sample featured wines as they listen along with an episode of your choosing, sharing in new discoveries.

If you like the sound of this, listen to the trailer here. Then, subscribe on your favorite podcast platform to receive new episodes in your feed.


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