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New Products Report: U.S. Wine Market Embraces Innovation

January 4, 2017

The U.S. wine market hit another all-time high in 2016 in consumption volume terms, according to Impact Databank, bolstered in part by American drinkers’ affinity for new, competitively-priced styles—particularly red blends—as well as a growing interest in alternative packaging formats, including premium-boxed and single-serve wines. The industry continues to innovate at a breakneck rate, as marketers attempt to court Millennials and keep pace in a hyper-competitive environment with evolving consumer tastes.

Innovation has been led by the surging red blend segment. Red (non-varietal) blends accounted for over 100 new products out of roughly 400 still wine brands introduced in 2015 and 2016, even though red blends account for less than 8% of the total U.S. table wine market in volume terms, according to the recently-released Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast, New Products: Wine (2017 Edition). Prominent red blends launched within the past two years include Trinchero Family Estates’ Ménage à Trois Silk Soft Red Blend and Sutter Home California Red Blend, DFV Wines’ Gnarly Head 1924 Double Black and Bota Box Nighthawk Black, and even luxury-priced entries like Treasury Wine Estates Americas’ Stags’ Leap “The Investor” ($53 a 750-ml.).

In an effort to target a wider range of drinking occasions, some wineries have tried a variety of new packaging formats, including single-serve wines, such as The Wine Group’s Flipflop Fizzy line of canned offerings, featuring Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sangria and Crisp White, in 250-ml four-packs ($12). Likewise, Connecticut-based importer Votto Vines also entered the single-serve category with its Vinaago wine brand ($2.99 a 187-ml.). At the opposite end of the spectrum, E.&J. Gallo Winery launched Vin Vault ($20 a three-liter box) in April 2015, featuring Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Malbec and Red Blend varieties. Vin Vault was projected to be the largest-selling new wine brand to have been introduced the past two years, at an estimated volume of 500,000 nine-liter cases in 2016. Meanwhile, Gallo’s Naked Grape three-liter box now outsells the brand’s bottled variants after only two years on the market.

For more information and to order Impact Databank Review & Forecast, New Products: Wine (2017 Edition) as well as other exclusive Shanken reports, including a detailed Table of Contents, visit: impactdatabank.com—Juan Banaag

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