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EXCLUSIVE: Diageo Chateau & Estate Reshapes Portfolio, Focuses On Millennial Segment With Trio Of New Wine Brands

June 6, 2012

Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E) is aggressively targeting millennial consumers with the launch of three new wine brands featuring colorful names, eye-catching packaging, screwcap closures and prices in the $12-$14 range. The new brands—Butterfly Kiss, Rose’n’Blum and Stark Raving—will begin shipping to distributors on Monday. Diageo expects to sell more than 100,000 cases of each of the new brands by year-end.

“We have a large population of younger wine drinkers that are far less influenced by wine traditions and ‘rules’. They grew up with wine as part of their families’ lifestyle, and they are fearless in their selections,” says DC&E president Greg Kryder. “We aim to create wines that fire that enthusiasm and satisfy that curiosity.”

Butterfly Kiss and Rose’n’Blum are both aiming for the female millennial demographic. Butterfly Kiss’s range includes a Pinot Grigio, Pink Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, all produced in California. In August, the brand will add a Chilean Moscato. Rose’n’Blum, created by winemaker John Kane of Rosenblum Cellars, features a Pinot Grigio and Pink Moscato.

Stark Raving, also created by Rosenblum’s Kane, targets male millennial consumers. It currently includes red and white non-vintage California blends, and the line will add an Argentine Malbec and a French Cabernet within the next few months.

DC&E is marketing its new entries with a “through the line” approach, said Kryder. The company is planning an extensive in-store tasting initiative for the brands—all of which will be focusing on the off-premise and national on-premise accounts—and will also support them with an array of PR efforts.

One of the largest U.S. wine marketers with annual sales of around 4 million cases, DC&E has been relatively quiet in recent years while competitors have aggressively gone after millennial consumers with new brands. With the launch of its new trio, though, the company has made a major play of its own. “We have a new strategy around growing our heritage wines like Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling, Provenance, Chalone, Acacia, Hewitt and Rosenblum, while also building a lifestyle wine portfolio that targets a different consumer,” said Kryder. “Going forward, we will now have two prongs to our business.”


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