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Tapping Moscato Trend, Riviera Imports’ Elunés Tops 100,000 Cases

February 13, 2013

New York-based Riviera Imports has enjoyed a strong start with its Elunés Moscato brand, which hit the 100,000-case mark in 2012 after less than a year on the market. A line of three fruit-infused Moscatos, the thriving Elunés range is currently in 19 U.S. markets and Puerto Rico and is expected to achieve national distribution by the end of this year. Riviera Imports founder and CEO Ed Caan is projecting volume of 200,000-250,000 cases of Elunés for 2013.

Launched in February 2012, Elunés is produced by Italy’s Cusmano Vini in the Asti region of Piedmont. The brand’s portfolio includes sparkling Moscato and Peach, Moscato and Strawberry and Moscato and Mango expressions, all priced between $10.99-$12.99 a 750-ml. A coconut flavor is also currently in the works.

“We’re very bullish about the premium Moscato category, and while there are competitors out there, we’re the first ones in with a fruit-flavored Moscato,” says Caan, a Seagram veteran. For the 52-week period through December 8, U.S. Moscato sales were up 33% in Nielsen channels.

The Elunés range sells roughly 85%-90% of its volume in the off-premise, across grocery, c-store and liquor store outlets. However, Caan believes the flavor-driven entry could have plenty of upside on-premise, particularly among accounts that offer outdoor dining. The brand’s largest market is New York, which accounts for approximately 28% of sales, followed by Louisiana at 12%.

In addition to Elunés, Riviera Imports—which has a footprint across 30 states and seven countries—also handles brands such as Feudo Antico wines, Cu Chulainn Irish whiskey, Don Nacho Tequila and Dutch vodka Rokin, among others. Its largest spirits player is currently Pride & Clarke vodka, which moves around 200,000 cases in the U.S., and its second-largest wine—following Elunés—is Il Poggio, at roughly 72,000 cases.

 

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