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Schmitt Söhne USA’s Relax, Fünf Growing Strongly On “Everyday Wine” Message

October 8, 2012

Positioned as easy-drinking, everyday wines, German producer Schmitt Söhne’s Relax and Fünf wine brands have been surging in the U.S. market. Relax, an Impact “Hot Brand,” depleted 398,000 nine-liter cases in 2011 on a 10.6% volume increase, while Fünf (an Impact “Hot Prospect”) was up 22.5% to approximately 134,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

Schmitt Söhne USA president Chris Klau says the company’s emphasis on accessible price points and appealing packaging has been the key to success. “The concept behind the Fünf brand was to accent the word ‘Fun’ in Fünf and make the ‘ü’ look like a smiley face on the label and on all promotional materials,” says Klau. “The logo and brand name, produced in various colors depending on the type of wine, becomes very noticeable on the pure white bottle. The whole brand concept and packaging has resonated with consumers.”

The Fünf lineup includes Sangria, Sweet Red, Moscato and the brand’s top seller, Sassy White (a Riesling), priced between $7.99-$8.99 and all packaged in the same white-painted bottle with the trademark silver “5” on the front label. Klau says female millennial consumers comprise nearly 75% of the brand’s demographic.

Relax wines share a heavily female consumer base (roughly 65%), but attracts a broader range of ages. “The concept behind Relax was developing a lifestyle wine—a wine people could enjoy without complicated names or flashy labels,” Klau says. “We wanted to keep it simple.”

Each Relax varietal has its own distinct bottle color. The brand’s range (priced from $8.99-$10.99) includes the flagship Riesling, as well as Pinot Grigio, Pink and Cool Red.

In August, Schmitt Söhne added Quick Response (QR) code technology to all of its bottles to increase consumer awareness and engagement. Besides Relax and Fünf, the company’s other brands include Schmitt Söhne Blue Bottle Rieslings, Schloss Vollrads, Franz Keller, Franz Anton, Superstition and SV Dry, among others. In total, the Schmitt Söhne USA portfolio sells around 1.4 million cases annually in the U.S., accounting for nearly 50% of the market’s German wine imports.

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