In an effort to build online and digitally influenced grocery revenues, alcohol brands including Bacardi, Jackson Family Wines and Francis Ford Coppola Winery are partnering with digital meal planning service eMeals to include branded wine, beer and spirits recommendations as options on the weekly eMeals shopping list.
Subscribers can send their final food and beverage selections for the week to Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart or Shipt for online grocery fulfillment with a tap or use the list for in-store shopping.
The partnerships are executed through eMeals’ BrandBuilder program, which offers a combination of recipe discovery on the service’s 15 weekly meal plans, shoppable recipe content with brand placement on eMeals shopping lists and related promotional campaigns. Tests of specific meal ingredients indicate that the program can double a food brand’s sales in online grocery carts, despite the fact that consumers have the option to either accept the branded recommendation or choose an alternative product.
For alcohol brands, the program also serves as a neutral multi-retailer platform that helps raise awareness of alcohol’s availability within grocery pickup and delivery. Historically, wine, beer and spirits have extremely low online penetration compared to food products. Although a recent Rabobank report estimated that US online alcohol sales increased by 22 percent between 2018 and 2019, including 115 percent in online grocery and 60 percent in online marketplaces, the same report calculated that alcohol’s share of online food and beverage spending remains 88 percent lower than its wallet share in brick-and-mortar stores. Those lagging e-commerce sales also indicate a failure to build digital relationships with omnichannel consumers who purchase alcohol through both traditional and online channels.
eMeals helps close that gap by both influencing and facilitating the path to purchase through weekly and special occasion menu pairings along with automatic placement on associated shopping lists.
“The digital environment is critical to alcohol sales growth, both directly from e-commerce sales and indirectly from the role that online visibility plays in building brand awareness and generating demand,” said Lorran Brown Cosby, Vice President of Digital Commerce at Bacardi North America. “eMeals’ BrandBuilder program offers a unique platform for alcohol brands to fuel growth from the top to the bottom of the funnel, including coupling drink recommendations with special occasion menus to drive awareness of online alcohol delivery and availability.”