Kitting Can Be Creative, But Start Planning with Your Fulfillment Partner Now

eCommerce and buying patterns have drastically changed in the wake of COVID-19. With these DTC shifts comes the opportunity for wineries to really explore and expand their unique and personalized offerings. 

Corporate gifting, holiday gift packs, and tasting kits really took off as companies and individuals replaced in-person happy hours and parties with gifts shipped to people’s homes. As we experienced over the last year though, supply chains have also been greatly affected, leaving many supplies we take for granted unavailable.

What this means is that kitting could potentially be a much more profitable line than before, but wineries will have to both get creative with their kitting ideas to stand out from the crowd, and be flexible in implementing those ideas to stay within what is feasible.

Doing both will take some planning, and the time to do that planning is now, in the summer, with your logistics partner.

Getting Creative with Kitting

Offering kits is a great way to increase revenue by further tapping into the holiday gift season. People don’t just want more stuff though, they want an experience—even if that experience is simply opening and exploring a well-curated wine package. 

Here are some ideas to get you started thinking about the kind of experience you might want to build around your wine shipments:

  • A fun-looking package. Hire a designer and see what they can do in terms of colors and images. Think of the emotion you are going for: Are you trying to invoke a feeling of nostalgia for the consumer? Or do you want to inject some humor?
  • Food items and recipes. By themselves, small shelf-stable food items are a traditional gift item. But what if you combine them with recipes? For example, you could provide cheeses with a great fondue recipe. Honey and olive oil are also shelf-stable and can be a part of many recipes. Think: What would the end consumer want to prepare along with your wine(s)?
  • A sensory experience. Get your consumer extra excited about your wine by creating a sensory experience when they open the package. How does it smell? One of the most interesting kits we’ve seen had a winery putting a sprig of lavender in the box. Different for sure, and the aroma made the experience of opening the box really stand out! 
  • A leatherette or leather carrying case. Wine in a leather carrying case? Why not? Leather is easy to monogram, and the carrying case could have many uses outside of carrying a wine bottle—which makes it a nice reusable gift item. Think of what you could package your kits in besides just a plain box.
  • Opportunities for virtual tastings. Virtual tastings became a big thing during the pandemic. Why not turn those into a gifting experience? Offer to coordinate delivery with an online tasting class or a cooking demonstration to make the gift interactive.

It’s always a good idea to brainstorm a list of ideas. Some ideas that seem really enticing might not be feasible right now, or might be too expensive once priced out but if you have several ideas to choose from, you can narrow down your list as you work through the implementation details with your suppliers and fulfillment partner.

And remember, price point is key. If the kits are not affordable, they won’t be a profitable product line.

Understanding Current Constraints

Plan your kitting in advance.

There are several factors that are putting undue pressure on suppliers, and that has had a ripple effect throughout the shipping and logistics industry.

The more you plan in advance and allow for some flexibility in the process, the better the consumer experience will be! We recommend to our clients, for example, that they talk to their account exec to cover some of the basics when it comes to their kitting. Basics include:

  1. What is going into the shipping box, exactly? We suggest creating a list of every item that will be included in each package. 
  2. What items will you be adding to the shipment? For example, are you including a wine opener? Glasses? A bag of chocolates? Make sure to note if any of the items are fragile or perishable.
  3. Will you be supplying the boxes or would you like us to? Something to keep in mind is if the additional items will fit into a standard box size or if a different size will be needed. 
  4. How are items going to fit? Are there any items that have a different size or shape for some kits? (A good example: A Champagne or Chardonnay bottle might have a bottom that is a little too big for standard wine gift boxes—a good thing to know before shipping time!)  
  5. What is the minimum number of packages needed on hand for quick turnaround? 
  6. Are you adding a note or message to the kit? If so, personalization and printing will need to be thought through. 
  7. Is everything logoed or monogrammed that needs to be? If not, timing will need to be thought through and planned out. 

Thinking through some of these contingencies will give you the flexibility you need to continue to supply a unique experience around your wine. Dealing with the gritty details now means meeting and exceeding expectations once the holiday season gets into high gear.

If you are interested in speaking with one of our professionals about fulfillment and kitting possibilities for your winery, contact us.