PAVE applies AI to connect boutique brands with new consumers
April 29, 2020 (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) – Tastry™, the leading sensory sciences company, announced PAVE (Protecting Artisan Vintners through E-commerce), an initiative to quickly grow wine sales for boutique brands during this time of crisis when tasting rooms across the country are closed for the foreseeable future. The PAVE initiative includes a rapid winery onboarding program, and a commitment to purchase the first case of approved SKUs.
Tastry, with its patent-pending artificial intelligence technology, pairs consumers with wines that match their personal palate preferences. Tastry also announced a partnership with BottleTribe™, an emerging online wine retailer that will use the Tastry Palate Matrix & Tastry Flavor Matrix to recommend wines to consumers. The technology assures wine enthusiasts a perfect match and the opportunity to shop with confidence when introduced to new brands in BottleTribe’s marketplace. BottleTribe is accelerating their onboarding of Tastry’s vast database of wines to enhance the dynamic online retail experience, which includes direct-to-consumer shipping in most states.
Artisan vintners are quickly embracing the technology to achieve sales growth. “Tolosa [winery] set goals last year of broadening our reach to wine consumers outside of our local area and of embracing new technologies to introduce Tolosa to new consumers. We are excited about the potential of the PAVE program to meet both of those goals,” said Tolosa General Manager, June McIvor. “While many online channels offer wine recommendations, those recommendations are based on the taste of the reviewer. We are intrigued by Tastry’s ability to make recommendations based on the taste of the customer, which should result in a much more satisfied consumer,” added McIvor.
Across the U.S., in-store wine sales have risen 25% during the four-week period ending March 21, 2020. Direct-to-consumer sales from wineries rose by 18%, with an average bottle price of $42.08, according to Sovos ShipCompliant. Though this news is good for larger wineries with national distribution, this is not the case for thousands of boutique wineries whose only options are tasting room or wine club sales.
“Over 40% of wineries produce less than five thousand cases and count on sales through their tasting rooms to sustain their business. With the current closure of tasting rooms, we felt motivated to create a means of sustaining these boutique wineries. For many, this program will keep their business alive,” said Katerina Axelsson, CEO and founder of Tastry. “Long-term we want to introduce consumers to new brands they didn’t have access to before by providing a frictionless channel of distribution across the country for wineries,” she added.
“It’s a perfect match,” said Nick Pringle, CEO of BottleTribe. “Tastry and BottleTribe connect great winemakers with people who love to drink delicious wine. Tastry provides the most advanced technology for matching consumers to wine, and BottleTribe sources and provides great value boutique wines from the United States,’ he added.
The PAVE program is being launched in California’s Central Coast, including Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. Wineries interested in learning more about the PAVE program can contact [email protected].
Tastry™ is a sensory science company based in San Luis Obispo, California. Their patent-pending artificial intelligence evaluates shopper preferences with consumer-friendly technologies, analytical chemistry and machine learning. In essence, Tastry has “taught a computer how to taste and smell” in order to accurately provide hyper-personalized product recommendations. Retailers use this information to optimize product mix, which increases sales, margins and store loyalty. Tastry technology also provides science-based insights used for product development and a variety of business improvement strategies. Learn more at Tastry.com.