Wine label certifications, the pot farmer vs. winegrower, influencer bots and fake followers, a plastic straw update, plus food & wine events inspiration. Read on for these stories and more of the week’s trends and news on today’s Friday Five.

1. Organic wine, made with organic grapes, Sonoma County Sustainable, biodynamic, California Certified Sustainable, Help! What do all these wine labels translate to for wine buyers and producers?

Everyone wants wine from a vineyard that treats the environment like their BFF, but how are consumers reacting to the plethora of wine labels and certifications? A frequent wine consumer would spend about $1 – $3 extra per bottle with one of the aforementioned labels, according to a Wine Market Council survey. The jury is still out on how each specific label affects wine consumers and whether or not buyers are able to differentiate between sustainable, organic or biodynamic plus everything in between.

How do you measure the power of your label on a consumer’s purchasing habits?

2. I’m getting notes of raspberries, currants, black pepper and… marijuana? The fight for resources between wine and weed continues.

Photo Credit: The

We previously covered weed grabbing a share of the wine market. As the market continues to grow, so does the concern for shared resources. Grape growers and pot growers are taking these concerns to the courts, like this case about a winegrower suing a neighboring marijuana farmer for tainted flavors in his wines. TBD on the outcome of this type of dispute as we continue to monitor how the expanding ganja industry is affecting an established wine industry.

How do you think the battle for resources between pot farms and vineyards will change the flavors or pricing of wine?

3. Bye Bye, bots! Unilever’s CMO declared that the brand will no longer be working with influencers who use bots to grow their audience or purchase fake followers.

The advertising giant (parent company of various major brands including Dove, Suave and Ben & Jerry’s) calls on other advertisers–including Instagram–to do the same. Weed attributes his decision in part to the need for transparency from the influencers that Unilever collaborates with but also his firm belief that consumers should be able to trust the brands they purchase.

Do you choose to work with influencers based solely on numbers, or do you consider the quality and compatibility of their audience?

4. Ditch the plastic. Major Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You joins the movement by phasing out straws by October 2018.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Chronicle

Is plastic out? The sustainability movement isn’t going anywhere but your plastic straws are. It appears that yet another restaurant group has decided to phase out straws this year. With the growing demand for alternative straw materials, Bay Area restaurants are concerned with a shortage of paper straws.

Restaurant and hospitality brands should take note that the anti-straw sentiment is still gaining traction. How would removing plastic straws from your business affect your customer experience??

5. Our industry inspiration this week? This list of 18 food and wine events in the Denver market.

Photo Credit: Maria Empanada

We are always looking for a new or innovative way to engage and grow our audience. These 18 events use lifestyle interests, community involvement and brand partnerships to bring people together for a food or wine event. From nonprofit fundraisers, taco-making contests, mezcal education events to capitalizing on cultural milestones like the World Cup, these brands used creative mediums to achieve product awareness, consumer engagement and purchases.

How are you using your customers’ lifestyle and interests to engage them and introduce them to your brands?

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Sarah Daniel

About the Author, Sarah Daniel

A passionate traveler and a skilled writer, Sarah Daniel joined McCue as an intern and has become an integral part of the team, supporting clients as an Account Coordinator with media research, pitching, writing, social media content development and reporting.  She is a social media savant and enjoys telling client stories through content creation and paid strategies.

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