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Jim Feldkamp Discusses How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Wine Industry

Jim Feldkamp Talks About How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Wine Industry

ARLINGTON, VA, UNITED STATES, December 21, 2020 / -- For many, the right glass of wine can go a long way towards relaxation these days. While Jim Feldkamp is most well-known as a cybersecurity and terrorism expert, he’s also an avid wine aficionado. Given the many challenges the world is facing due to COVID-19, it helps Jim Feldkamp to step back and think about how other areas and industries are struggling with the on-going pandemic.

“COVID-19 has been a challenge for security experts and government officials around the world,”  Jim Feldkamp points out. “A lot of my colleagues are dealing with very stressful issues. For me, looking at industries outside my professional wheelhouse, like the wine industry, helps me develop new perspectives.”

So how is COVID-19 impacting the wine industry?  Jim Feldkamp is going to share his insights and suggestions. First off, the pandemic has impacted global travel, shipping, and indeed the entire world economy.

“A lot of people drink wine when they’re on vacation or while dining at a nice restaurant,”  Jim Feldkamp says. “With so many resorts and venues closed down, wineries have lost some important customers. However, it’s not all bad news because more people may consume wine at home.”

Beverage Daily reports that people are indeed consuming more wine at home. Online wine shopping also became more popular. However, overall spending on wine did decrease and many wine consumers are now more price conscious. Jim Feldkamp believes this tracks with overall trends.

“We’re seeing important trends in wine spending and consumption,” Jim Feldkamp notes, “that track with overall consumer trends. People are shopping online and are more price conscious. Quite frankly, this is going to present some challenges for many wineries and distributors. They weren’t set up from the get-go, like say Amazon, to take advantage of online shopping amid a pandemic.”

Many businesses have had to shift quickly to take advantage of apps, online sales, and more. For better or worse, however, online alcohol sales are more tightly regulated.

“Opportunities for online alcohol sales are going to vary. Some states and cities may have lax regulations, others may have tight regulations,”  Jim Feldkamp says. “Check the opportunities though. You may be able to sell wine and other beverages for pickup or delivery. That could be a lifeline right now.”

Jim Feldkamp Talks Wine Production Amid Pandemic
It’s not just selling to consumers that present problems for wineries. Wine production has become a major hassle. With revenues drying up, wineries have had to lay off staff, which could lead to long-term problems. A survey by WineAmerica, a national association of wineries, found that wineries laid off an over of 5 plus people on average. And with many wineries heavily reliant on manual labor, something that can be difficult to coordinate amid the pandemic, there's a risk that grape crops could be lost.

"Wineries are going to face a lot of headwinds," Jim Feldkamp notes. "Many wineries are laying off staff. And these days, anything that relies on manual labor, such as bringing in grape crops, is especially difficult. Wineries, like every other business, need to put safety first. Social distancing and the right PPE gear will help employees both feel and stay safe."

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