Rethinking Points of Distribution

The acronym is PODs, and if you work in a larger wholesaler or for a big winery, you hear this term often.

If you work for a small wholesaler you may not hear it at all.

PODs represent placements, and for every wine in every market with every distributor there is a certain number of PODs to be hit to be comfortable.

“Comfortable” here means the wine is selling through, you can reorder it, and enough is going through the pipeline to avoid uncomfortable phone calls with the winery manager questioning your performance.

But PODs have one massive weak point: they don’t taken into effect WHO the wine is sold to.

A wine with ten PODs might look fine on paper, but those ten PODs are Bill’s House of Booze chain (“best pint prices!”) and does nothing to build the brand.

On the other hand, an underperforming wine in terms of PODs might only have three placements, but they are at 1) the hot new southeast Asian bistro downtown, 2) the new natural wine shop that is getting a lot of buzz, and 3) by the glass at the premier local wine bar.

Where a wine is sold to matters. Place the wrong wine in the wrong shop and you’ll be dusting bottles for years. Place the right wine in the right shop and watch it find a home.

Rethink PODs. It’s a number that for many wines in many categories simply doesn’t tell the truth. A POD for the sake of a POD is what commodity brands do. If it’s an artisinal or niche brand be careful who you sell it to, and don’t count up the points of distribution.

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