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John Lawlor





shelf-squeeze problem







New Video: Introduction to Competitive Research
New Video: Introduction to Wine Label/Packaging Competitive Overview Report for Wine Marketers
Wine Retailing Webinar: Solving the Shelf-Squeeze Problem


 Solving the Shelf-Squeeze Problem

25 years of wine industry expansion combined with 5 years of retail shelf space stagnation plus 2 years of distributor consolidation have contributed to a shelf-squeeze problem for most wineries.


Wine Retailing Tips: Solving the Shelf-Squeeze Problem

on Apr 26, 2018 3:00 PM Pacific (6:00 PM EDT) at:


25 years of wine industry expansion combined with 5 years of retail shelf space stagnation plus 2 years of distributor consolidation have contributed to a shelf-squeeze problem for most wineries.

Join the co-founders of Label Analytics to explore how you can turn your current labels and packaging into an effective solution to the shelf-squeeze problem.

Label Analytics ...about your package, about your customers and about your competition

Questions? contact

News Archive

The People Bringing Big Data to Wine
21 November, 2017

Label Analytics price sensitivity chart sample 

The People Bringing Big Data to Wine ||  November 17, 2017 / by Olivia Schonewise

The wine industry has an annual $220 billion economic impact in the United States. The Big Data Analytics Market is worth $203 billion.

Yet the terms "big data" and "wine industry" are rarely used in the same paragraphs, let alone the same sentences. Why is that?

This is the question that Don White and John Lawlor set out to answer when they founded Label Analytics. In just three short years they've done something seemingly impossible; brought big data to wine. 

Read more »

Label Analytics | Caution - Your Label may be killing sales
02 March, 2017


Your label passed the taste test, right? So, why isn't it selling?

Your label may be the culprit...or,  maybe the competition has done a betterjob selecting sales pulling labels!

Now might be a great time to explore how shoppers are reacting or not reacting to your packaging designs.


your label may be killing sales...

Wine Shelf Plaque - my biggest highlight of The Exchange July 16th event
29 June, 2016

Cynthia Lohr, Bear Dalton, DC Flynt MW and Amelia CejaEarlier this month I had the pleasure of participating in The Exchange event in Yountville thanks to my friend Jeff Slater (aka The Marketing Sage).


Jeff posted a good overview plus "how to run a great event" suggestions here: The Marketing Sage article on The Exchange.

Over the course of my business life I have travelled thousands of miles and attended hundreds of events in my ad photographer, direct response show producer, dot-com CEO and now as wine marketing research company co-founder/CEO. Unfortunately many of these events left me feeling less than fulfilled. Happy to report that The Exchange was an exception. 

The theme of the event was "Seriously, who is your customer?"  Wine industry panelists included Cynthia Lohr, Bear Dalton, DC Flynt MW and Amelia Ceja. 


"Wine Shelf Plaque" is Bear Dalton, Fine Wine Buyer at Specs in Texas, coined that phrase to describe and highlight wine brands that sit on the shelf too long. 

Why does Plaque matter to retailers? If you guessed 'money' you are probably right. I imaging that the annual cost of dusting those bottles must add up - especially if the plaque brands go unnoticed too long. Bear is determined to root out the plaque and he has the brand data to prove it! 

What can cause plaque? 

1) Labels don't that grab enough shopper attention.

2) There is a mismatch between the label's shopper price impression and the retail price

      (see our previous WIN article "47% Failure in the Wine Aisle")

3) Your bottles are not on the shelf - they are collecting dust in the back room.

Cheers- John Lawlor 

 John Lawlor badge The Exchange June 2016

At Real Picture Research we help wineries, wine retailers and importers recognize wine label problems that can lead to underperforming labels.

@sellmorewine @theexchange @johnlawlor @JLohrWines @Moments_Later 



47% Failure in the Wine Aisle -- Surprise-- Nine Buck Labels Don't Sell $12.99 Wine
22 June, 2016

I was shocked when my partner showed me the research data for wines priced between $10.00 and $29.99:

Real Picture Research Shopper Price Impression 1

"The shopper price impression of 47% of two-hundred and fifty wine labels tested were perceived to be priced twenty to forty percent BELOW the retail price." 

But wait -- that's is not the really bad news -- the bottles selling between $20.00 and $29.99 had a failure rate of 82%.

Real Picture Research Shopper Price Impression 2

Where is the good news in the data? 

It looks like it is easy to produce labels for wine selling below $9.99 that generates a positive shopper price impression! 

We are currently running a new series of tests to expand our initial data* and will be releasing our SPI Report (Shopper Price Impression Report) later in the summer. 

If you are interested in learning the wine shopper price impression of your labels across 14 shopper segments, please drop me (John Lawlor) an email ( ) or call 561.866.5387 (EDT).


Cheers- John Lawlor CEO Real Picture Research 

* Respondent base for each label was between 450 and 2,000



@sellmorewine @johnlawlor







Is There a Bold, Bizarre, Daring, Macabre, Weird or Wacky Wine Label Design In Your Future?
02 May, 2016

In recent years, the wine business has seen an increasing number of unconventional label designs – bold, bizarre, daring, macabre, weird or wacky designs – that push the envelope. It seems some wineries have tried to out-do others to create even more daring labels. Wine authors and reporters seem impressed with the creativity.

“How do wine shoppers respond to unconventional labels? What are the patterns across demographic and wine practice segments?”

For one answer to that question, we worked with Katie Kelly Bell of to test labels she featured in her July 2015 article – Coolest Labels of 2015.



Five of Katie’s fifteen labels were judged to be unconventional by “push the envelope” standard.


Those five labels were tested in a Real Picture Research study among 400+ US wine drinkers and compared to a shelfscape (1) reference set of over 360 retail labels evaluated in earlier Real Picture Research studies.

The reference set labels were chosen as representative of the range of design styles in the market: traditional, contemporary and unconventional.


Consumers across all demographics, Millennials to Boomers, frequent to occasional wine drinkers are almost uniformly impressed with all five labels for grabbing shelf attention and memorability.

Shelf attention for all respondents is higher than 88 to 90 percent of reference set labels while memorability is higher than 77 to 88 percent of reference set labels.


The high sales indicator scores carried through to purchase interest (2). Across demographic groups, males show more interest than females in purchasing these unconventional labels – higher than 72 percent of reference labels for males vs 58 percent for females.

Older Millennials and GenXers showed the highest purchase interest, higher than 65 percent of reference set labels. Yet, Younger Millennials and Boomers still show purchase interest above 50 percent of reference set labels.


The greatest difference across groups was driven by usual purchase price.

Among consumers who usually buy bottles above $15, purchase interest was higher than 70 to 79 percent of reference labels. Even among consumers who usually purchase bottles under $15, purchase interest was higher than 35% of other labels. 35% is a high purchase interest when the retail price is more than twice the typical price range for the consumer.


Interestingly, neither under $15 nor over $15 purchasers have high price impressions (3) for these labels. Both groups think the price would be $10.00 to $15.00, yet they are sufficiently intrigued with the unconventional labels that many indicate purchase interest for $20, $25, $40, $60 brands.

Possible Action

How should wineries apply these insights? Is it time for more wineries to up the unconventional content of their labels? First, we should point out that this report covers just five labels judged by a wine writer as “cool”.  Also, it is important to note that “unconventional” is not a uniform group.  Authors often include – bold, bizarre, daring, macabre, unusual, weird or wacky designs – in this “push the envelope” group of labels.

Based on this small sample, scary and macabre appeal more to men while wacky appeals more to women. Yet, taken as a group these five labels from the Coolest 2015 Labels article all tested well above average for shelf attention, memorability and purchase interest.

As a closing point, these five labels strongly suggest this is not just a Millennial trend. GenXers and Boomers show strong interest in these labels as well, in some cases stronger than Young Millennials.

Our suggestion, from those of us at Real Picture Research, is if you are comfortable with an unconventional label as the face of your brand, you may strike gold by directing your label designer to develop some more bold, bizarre, daring, macabre, unusual, weird or wacky designs in your next label design program. We suggest you develop a range of designs from conventional to unconventional then test those design alternatives with wine buying consumers to see which labels fall flat and which strike gold. You might be surprised with which labels wine buyers respond to.

(1) shelfscape: the term we apply to the landscape of competitive brands on the retail shelf that compete for wine buyer attention.

(2) Purchase Interest: Real Picture Research Label studies measure wine buyer interest in purchasing a brand for “themselves and their friends” before the retail price is revealed and again with the retail price. Purchase interest reported here is the second measure when the respondent knows the retail price.

(3) Price Impression: The respondent’s first impression estimate of what they think the price will be at retail based on the look of the label before any retail prices are revealed.

The First Sale: What motivates wine shoppers to buy?
18 April, 2016

The First Sale: What motivates wine shoppers to buy?


#sellmorewine @sellmorewine #realpicture @johnlawlor 

Online Wine Label Testing – What’s Up With That? What's In It For Me?
30 March, 2016

Online Wine Label Testing – What’s Up With That?
“Do your online survey takers represent the wine shoppers I want for my brand?”


Author: W. Donald White, Real Picture Research - Chief Research Officer

We were presenting Real Picture Research to a new prospect, an experienced sales executive. Nearing the end of our first conversation with him he said “I really like your research. I see how I can use it. But I have a really basic question. You get your respondents on the internet and you pay them. My daughter in college does that kind of work when she wants to make extra money. Are most of your online survey respondents just scraping by and do they really represent the wine shoppers I want for my brand?”

Pew internet usage among American adults 2015


“Tom” I replied, “You raise an interesting question about the possible effect of the source of respondents and their motivation to make money on an internet based survey. This is certainly a question I’ve been sensitive to since I focused on internet based research over the past several years. Here are four insights that I believe tell the story.

First: Academic social science researchers have been concerned about the same question. As they researched the "who" and "why" of working on the internet, they made two key conclusions. (a) The reason people devote time to internet job work is they find it interesting. It is certainly not for the below minimum wage payments of many online jobs. (b) They confirmed that survey respondents from internet job sites are just as representative of the US population as internet survey panels and are more representative than through-the-mail surveys or telephone surveys. Today, most academic social researchers recruit their respondents this way.

Second: Does the age profile of internet respondents reflect the age profile of the population of wine shoppers? Pew Research describes the overall internet numbers best: Most adults in the US use the internet. As of 2015 ...97% of 18-29; 94% of 30-49; 81% of 50-64; 61% of 65+ use the internet.

In Real Picture studies, we get about the same number of Millennials as the total of GenXers and Boomers. Our sample of 70+ Matures is too small to report separately. So as a "single total" our numbers are skewed somewhat to Millennials. However, we encourage wineries to view our results for each generation rather than looking at everyone together as one lump number. What Millennials think versus what Boomers think offers more insights than the total. We view our abundance of Millennials as a plus. It allows us to present the reactions of Young Millennials (21-29) versus Older Millennials (30-36). Sometimes those differences can be quite interesting with bigger differences than between GenXers and Boomers.

Third: Are online respondents representative of purchasers of higher priced brands? When asked their purchase interest across brands our respondents reflect the mix of sales by price point in the market. Our respondents, like most wine shoppers, take price into account. Each respondent it seems has their own personal "acceptable price range" they stay within when they express interest in purchasing. Based on their purchase interest picks about 33% would purchase a $20.99 wine on occasion. This number drops to 19% for a $29.99 wine and declines more as the price goes higher. For about 8% of our respondents, the bottom of their acceptable price range is $20 or higher. This is pretty much in line with the pattern in the retail wine market

If a winery specifically wants the reactions of only purchasers of $30-40 wines, a special study would be needed to recruit a sufficient sample. We would recommend they first run our standard study to see if attitudes toward their labels shift as respondent usual price ranges go up.

Fourth: How do we know these wine shoppers, who rarely take surveys, are giving us honest reactions to the labels in the study? Our survey methodology includes three unobtrusive validity checks to ensure respondents are paying attention throughout the survey and not just “clicking through”. All invalid surveys are removed from the results. But respondent attention has not been a problem. The game-like feel and fast pace of the survey engages people. At the end of the 15 minute survey most respondents say "That was fun."

Why do we talk about reactions rather than opinions? --Because that is how people shop. They react to what they see on the shelf, whether it grabs their attention, how expensive they think it is (their price impression), how interested they are to purchase. The survey is designed to measure those reactions.

So Tom, your college student daughter is a good example of one segment of our respondents. Yet, we also attract wine shoppers in all stages of life from single young adults, starting families, families with high school children, empty nesters to “time for grandchildren” Boomers. It is a broad mix of people who have a little time to relax, want to do something interesting and even make a little money at it.

Keywords: online survey takers, wine label testing, real picture, realpicture, label research, wine packaging

Hashtags: #sellmorewine #labeltesting #winemarketing

Source of chart data:

Real Picture Research explainer video:

For more wine label study information, contact John Lawlor – Real Picture Research CEO 561.866.5387 or