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Impact Databank Exclusive: The Brands Behind Italian Bubbly’s Double-Digit Gains

April 30, 2013

Boosted by the popularity of Prosecco, Italian sparkling wines continue to expand their presence in the U.S. market. As Impact Databank’s exclusive analysis shows, a number of different brands are contributing to that growth.

The top six Italian sparkling wines in the U.S. combined for a 17.7% advance in 2012, rising to 1.6 million cases. The category garnered three Impact “Hot Brands” based on last year’s performance, with repeat award-winner Mionetto being joined by E&J Gallo’s La Marca and Zonin USA’s flagship label, Zonin.

While Mionetto has been on a steady upward climb, averaging annual growth of 20% since 2009, La Marca’s rise has been more recent. The Gallo brand, which retails at around $15 a 750-ml., depleted just 5,000 cases in 2009 but rose to 50,000 cases in 2010 and to 125,000 cases in 2011. Last year its volume more than doubled, surging to 260,000 cases. Zonin also has enjoyed an acceleration in growth of late. From 2003 through 2010, the brand—which includes Italian varietal wines, Chianti and Montepulciano as well as bubblies—was roughly flat at 100,000 cases. In 2011, though, it grew by 45%, then nearly doubled to 260,000 cases in 2012, with its sparkling wines, as referenced below, leading the charge.

Other Italian sparklers on the rise include Palm Bay’s Lunetta, whose volume slowed somewhat last year but still grew 8%, and Prestige Wine Group’s Luccio, which should easily cross 100,000 cases this year. The Italian sparkling category’s leading brand, Bacardi’s Martini, has struggled of late, falling from more than 800,000 cases in 2007 to below 550,000 last year. But Martini will be getting an above-the-line push in the U.S. this year, as its global “Luck is an attitude,” campaign is slated to arrive in the market this spring.

U.S. – Leading Italian Sparkling Wine Brands
(thousands of nine-liter cases)
Brand Importer 2011 2012 Percent Change1
Martini & Rossi Bacardi USA Inc 598 547 -8.5%
Mionetto Mionetto USA 319 382 19.7%
La Marca E. & J. Gallo Winery 125 260 108.0%
Lunetta Palm Bay International 154 165 7.5%
Zonin Zonin USA 93 164 76.8%
Luccio Prestige Wine Group 86 99 15.0%
Total Leading Brands2 1,374 1,617 17.7%
1 based on unrounded data
2 addition of columns may not agree due to rounding

Source: IMPACT DATABANK

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