Winery Expands Food, Drink Packages For Holiday Catalog

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Windsor Vineyards has added four new food and wine gift packages to the holiday catalogs it will mail to 200,000 past customers next month.

The winery added a holiday pack that includes cocoa mocha and eggnog; a package tailored for nights at home with a movie, that contains popcorn and chocolates; one called "Life In Provence" that features flavors of southern France such as olives, brie and breadsticks; and one that has linguine, olive oil and a dessert.

Pricing for the packages ranges from $54 to $75, depending on the type of wine ordered. The wines and dried foods are shipped in wooden gift boxes and take up to 10 working days for delivery.

The Windsor, CA-based winery hopes the additional packages boost its average order size of $200. Seven other gift packages from past efforts are also offered in the catalog.

Another recently added upsell offer is the catalog's private labeling service, which lets buyers personalize wine bottles for an extra cost. Names and messages can be printed on the label or etched into the bottles.

While the mailing will be scattered throughout the 27 states where direct-to-consumer alcohol sales are legal, the majority of the books will land in the proven wine markets of California, Florida, Illinois and New York.

"The catalog targets people who have already grown to appreciate our brand of wines," said Donna Elias, executive vice president of marketing at the winery, which has been strictly direct-to-consumer since its inception in 1959. "We don't do prospecting except with some direct mail pieces."

Windsor Vineyards also mailed 50,000 corporate holiday catalogs to business customers that are generally midsize to large firms. Elias said the companies use the wines for large events, for employee gifts or to treat clients. She said her firm's average corporate order amounts to $500.

The consumer and corporate books total 32 pages each and largely include the same products and services but have different covers and copy.

Both versions are testing creative elements new to Windsor Vineyard's quarterly book. For instance, the company has organized each version so their 15 sections are marked by a pastel shade of blue, peach, gold or green.

In the table of contents on Page 3, the colors provide a background for photographs of the wines and products that make up each section. Inside the book, the images appear at the top right corner of every page to make thumbing through the catalog for a particular section easy.

"We've also stopped using serif fonts for [headlines] because sans-serifs are just easier to read," Elias said. "And we added more lifestyle photographs inside the book to show the wines being used by people of all ages. Our audience is very multigenerational."

Windsor Vineyards' consumer audience is made up of couples of all ages without children at home. Typical customers are homeowners with disposable incomes, Elias said.

Past catalogs have received response rates from 4 percent to 5 percent during years with healthy economies, Elias said. However, she said, her company is shooting for only a 3.5 percent response this holiday season because of the economic downturn.

The catalogs cost 75 cents apiece to print and mail, totaling around $150,000 for production. And according to the average order size of $200 and the projected 3.5 percent response rate, that investment would bring a return of about $1.4 million for the consumer catalog alone.

At the same time, the company paid advertising agency Brix Direct, Mill Valley, CA, an undisclosed fee to design the book.

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