This is a continuation of our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, examining the funding tiers of successful mead Kickstarter projects to identify commonality between funding levels and determine what items are most likely to be purchased by a project’s backers. For a list of articles in this series, see the first article here. In this article, we will examine the Melovino Meadery Kickstarter project, which can be found here.
Sergio Moutela, founder and meadmaker at Melovino Meadery, created New Jersey’s first official meadery with the help of Kickstarter. Moutela grew up helping his grandfather produce homemade wines, and per his Kickstarter funding video, “earned [his] purple foot from a very young age.” As an adult, Moutela began exploring with home winemaking and brewing. After submitting Moutela’s homemade concoctions to many competitions, he realized his mead came away with many more medals than his beers. As such, he decided to take the plunge and begin the journey of creating Melovino Meadery.
When Moutela started his Kickstarter project, he had already secured a Federal winery license, was working on receiving a state license, and had purchased much of the necessary equipment to run the winery. However, Moutela needed just a bit more money purchase the ingredients for his first mead production runs.
Melovino sought $15,000 through Kickstarter, offering 16 funding tiers starting at a $10 Melovino Supporter sticker up to $2,000 to assist Moutela with the development of a new production mead recipe. During the 36 day project, Moutela raised exactly $15,000 from 59 backers. Details concerning the funding tiers, number of backers who supported the funding tiers, and the total amount of funding per funding tier can be found in the figures below.
Melovino received support for 12 of the 16 available funding tier options, and secured two backers at the highest funding tier (to consult on the creation of a new production mead recipe). With the large variance in backer purchasing decisions, the three funding tiers providing the most amount of funding from the backers were: funding tier 16 received $4,000 from two backers to consult on creating a new production mead recipe; funding tier 11 received $1,600 from eight backers that included a wine glass, t-shirt, deluxe personal tour of the meadery, the backer’s name on the MVP (MeloVino Pledgers) plaque; and funding tier 10 received $1,000, and included everything in the tier 11 option except only a personal tour (not deluxe).
Given how broadly the Melovino backers spread their support, it is difficult to draw many conclusions from this project. One interesting item is worth noting, however. Tiers 5 and 6 included options to purchase wine glasses, and received six and four backers respectively. Tier 7 included a t-shirt and sticker, and received no backers. This may suggest that wine glasses are a more popular item than t-shirts when given the option to purchase both. These three tiers are within $15 of eachother, so it is unlikely the difference in popularity is solely due to price.