Winemaking Industry SWOT
While information on the homemade winemaking industry in the United States is very limited and a SWOT analysis of the industry is not readily available in the public domain, details gathered from various sources, including local news articles, companies selling home winemaking supplies, publications targeting small businesses, and publications dealing specifically with home winemaking, offer a few insights into the industry's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths appear to center on the growing number of home winemaking kits and people trying home winemaking, the low preservative content of homemade wines, and the social and money-saving benefits of home winemaking, while weaknesses appear to center on space and production limitations. Opportunities appear to revolve around potential recognition and exposure in competitions and the broad demographic that home winemaking can attract, while threats appear to revolve around misconceptions about homemade wines and home winemaking and the tedious and expensive process of securing permits and licenses in case the homemade wine will be sold.
- The number of people trying home winemaking is growing. This was observed in the number of people attending the Sacramento Home Winemakers' yearly Winemaking 101 gathering.
- For many people, home winemaking is now "a hobby they plan their lives around." Not only is home winemaking enjoyable and gratifying, it also gives people plenty of reasons to get together.
- There are now winemaking kits that are suitable for small-space dwellers, such as those living in small apartments or condominium units. Demand for homemade wine kits is growing.
- Homemade wine can be made without the sulfite preservatives that most commercial wines have. It is viewed as a cleaner alternative to commercial wine. Preservatives in home wine kits are very few.
- Homemade wines offer people a means of saving money during celebrations.
- Federal regulation limits the amount of homemade wine a household can make. A single-person household can make at most 100 gallons of wine a year, while a household with two or more members can make at most 200 gallons a year.
- Space for winemaking at home is often limited. What usually holds the aspirations of home winemakers back is the lack of space.
- Home winemakers typically do not have any dedicated space for winemaking. Not everyone has a decent-sized basement, workshop, or room that can be used solely for home winemaking.
- Home wine making can attract a wide demographic. In the case of The Purple Foot, a company in the United States offering home wine making supplies, the customers it is able to capture are of different ages and ethnicities. The customers have different motivations too, with some simply enjoying the hobby or the wine and some looking for creative ways of using fruit.
- Competitions are an opportunity for home winemakers and the home winemaking industry to showcase their talents and strengths and get recognized. In these competitions, home winemakers get the chance to be judged professionally and to taste what other contestants have poured.
- The long and expensive process associated with securing permits and licenses at the state and federal levels may deter home winemakers hoping to sell their homemade wine from doing so.
- Misguided assumptions and misconceptions about homemade wine and home winemaking may discourage people from patronizing or making homemade wine. The most common myths about homemade wine revolve around the taste, the production time, the expenses, the shelf life, and the legality of home winemaking.
- There are myths saying homemade wine spoils easily and does not taste good, home winemaking is expensive and time-consuming, or home winemaking is illegal.