Latitude Beverage’s 90+ Cellars Rising Fast, Targets 25% Growth For 2014September 3, 2014
Negoçiant wine brand 90+ Cellars, part of the portfolio of Boston-based Latitude Beverage Co., has achieved notable growth in the U.S. in recent years despite having a limited footprint of around nine states. The value-focused range was up 44% last year to 182,000 cases, according to Impact Databank, and has emerged as a top seller in its home market of New England, where it ranked among the top 21 table wine brands in the 52 weeks through June 1, 2014, according to SymphonyIRI. This year, 90+ Cellars is expected to grow more than 25% and reach upwards of 230,000 cases.
“Since 2011 and 2012, we’ve more than doubled our business, but we haven’t expanded our footprint too much—we’re going for organic growth,” says Latitude Beverage founder and president Kevin Mehra. “Next year, however, we’re looking at Maryland, Washington D.C., and possibly Virginia. We plan to launch about two states a year.” 90+ Cellars currently has full distribution throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, as well as a handful of small retail partnerships in additional states, including California and Texas.
90+ Cellars sources its wine from surplus supply of wineries with a history of 90+ ratings or other accolades and has a rotating portfolio of around 30 offerings priced between $10-$30, with most retailing in the $10-$15 price range. The brand’s domestic labels—all sourced from California—account for around 35% of its business, and imported wines comprise the majority of sales. The brand’s top-selling wines include a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand and a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, both priced at $10-$12.
Looking ahead, 90+ Cellars is aiming to make an impact in the on-premise, where the brand’s presence has been nearly nonexistent to date. Latitude vice president and co-founder Brett Vankoski says the company plans to expand its on-premise sales capabilities significantly over the next year. “We’ll be entering into on-premise territory because we’re a perfect fit (given the price-value equation),” he says.