(OTCMKTS: NWINF) CEO Nick Devlin sat down with Benzinga’s
Jordan Robertson to discuss Naked Wines’ unique business model that
brings consumers closer to the winemakers producing their favorite
bottles and how that business model is disrupting the wine industry.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the interview.
How The Naked Wines Business Model Benefits
Wines operates on a kind of membership model. Customers—referred to
as Angel investors (or simply “Angels”)—deposit $40 into their
Naked Wines account each month that they can then put toward buying
wines that are shipped directly to their homes. This is, in Devlin’s
words, “the world’s largest purely online direct-to-consumer wine
addition to offering a purely online option for buying wines to its
members, those monthly deposits from Angels help Naked Wines provide
the upfront funding independent winemakers need so that they can
concentrate solely on making wine.
“We connect over 900,000 members, including over
300,000 here in the states with 250 passionate, talented independent
winemakers,” Devlin told Benzinga. Angels can follow their favorite
winemakers on the platform, leave feedback, and rate the wines they
partnership with independent winemakers allows Naked Wines to sell to
members at a significantly lower cost than consumers would see for a
comparable bottle at a store.
“When you buy a bottle of wine at your local
liquor store, that’s the third time that wine has been sold. As a
consequence, Americans pay more for wine than consumers anywhere else
on earth,” Devlin said. Distributors buy wine from the producer,
then sell it to liquor stores at a markup to generate a profit. Those
stores, in turn, sell the wine to you at an additional markup. By the
time you’re buying that bottle, the price tag will be at least
double the amount the producer was paid.
“At Naked Wines, we flip all of that and
change it completely,” Devlin told Benzinga. “We connect you
directly to talented independent winemakers. We cut out all of those
middlemen. We get out of the way and the result is you get amazing
quality wine. You know the person who made it. You get all of that at
a much better value.”
By partnering with wine producers and then selling directly to
consumers, Naked Wines cuts down on the number of times a bottle is
sold before it reaches the consumer. “When you take out a bunch of
intermediaries, in terms of distributors, you also touch the product
less and it’s a more efficient system all around,” Devlin said.
“On average, our members receive between a 30% and 50% discount
compared to the price of comparable quality products in their local
How The Naked Wines Business Model Benefits
wine industry today is heavily consolidated, making it a tough one for
small, independent producers. In the United States alone, there are
11,300 wine producers nationwide as of 2021, but just the top three
of domestic-produced wine sales by volume. When you move to the
distribution side, that bottleneck continues with the top three wine
distributors accounting for about 65% of revenues.
That consolidation makes
it tough to compete for the grapes winemakers need to make great wines
and the retail shelf space they need to sell them, especially if they
don’t have the resources to invest in bottling, distributing, and
marketing at scale.
That’s where Naked Wines comes in. “We help our winemakers
in a number of different ways. We provide them with the financial
support and security to enable them to put in place long-term
contracts, get access to the best fruit, make the best wine
possible,” Devlin explained. The online wine company also handles
much of the logistics for its winemakers, including bottling and
Independent winemakers get the upfront capital they need to
make great wines as well as the logistical support to bottle and sell
them. Consumers get access to a wider variety of high-quality wines
that might not have been possible in the traditional distribution
model – at a fraction of the price.
What’s Next For Naked Wines?
Lately, Devlin said the company has been
focused on expanding its range of wines, especially at higher price
points where Naked Wines has noticed a lot of change in terms of how
consumers buy those special occasion wines. “We launched a series of
luxury wines from amazing winemakers: people like Rudy von Strasser,
who was one of the founding fathers of the Diamond Mountain AVA
[American Viticultural Area] in Napa and Dan Baron, the former head
winemaker at Silver Oak to give our members access to an even broader
range of choices,” Devlin said.
Going into next year, Naked Wines plans to launch
even more new products while also working on getting its story out and
building its member base.
Right now, investors can get their first six-pack
of wine for just $39.99 including shipping by using
for $100 off.
Powered by the belief that great wine should
be an everyday pleasure and not a privilege, Naked gives talented,
world-class winemakers the creative and financial freedom to make
wines that inspire – supported by a community of passionate wine
drinkers. Naked’s customers, known as Angels, fund exclusive
collaborations with over 180 worldwide independent winemakers like
Daryl Groom (former; Penfolds Grange) Daniel Baron (former: Silver
Oak) and Camille Benitah (former: Merus) and Jean Philippe Moulin
(former: Rothschild). A virtuous circle is created where everyone is
better off; customers get better wines for their money; and winemakers
can focus their time in the winery, not on distribution and
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