Domestic Sparkling Wines Hit 10 Million Cases In U.S.July 14, 2017
While much of sparkling wine’s recent buzz has been driven by Champagne and Prosecco, domestic sparklers also are on a tear. According to Impact Databank, domestic sparklers crossed into 10-million-case territory last year in the U.S. on a 6.5% volume gain, marking an incremental increase of about 645,000 cases. Progress has been solid at the premium end, with the market’s six largest domestic brands priced above $15 collectively growing by nearly 4% in 2016.
The top-selling domestic sparkler in the U.S. above $15 a bottle, Moët Hennessy USA’s Domaine Chandon ($18) averaged about 5% growth from 2010-2015, but accelerated last year with a 9% increase to 486,000 cases. Chandon has been active at the sweeter end of the sparkling wine segment with Sweet Star, a demi-sec méthode champenoise label that can be served on its own or as a cocktail base.
Competitor Mumm Napa had a down year in 2016—slipping 4.9% to 288,000 cases—but that came after averaging 13% growth from 2010-2015. Brand owner Pernod Ricard says Mumm Napa is poised to resume its upswing, thanks to encouraging premiumization trends and the rise of more frequent, casual consumption.
“There’s been a shift recently, with consumers creating more everyday sparkling occasions, such as brunch. Mumm Napa’s core tier, including Brut Prestige and Brut Rosé ($22), is ideally positioned to benefit,” says Nicole Lockwood, Mumm Napa senior brand manager at Pernod Ricard. Other key players in the above-$15 segment include Roederer Estate (Maisons Marques & Domaines USA), Gruet (Precept Wines), Piper Sonoma (Rémy Cointreau USA) and Gloria Ferrer (Freixenet USA), all of which recorded gains in 2016.
Meanwhile, the three leading domestic sparklers priced at $10-$15—Korbel, Weibel and Michelle—collectively added 5.2%, or about 92,000 cases, to their U.S. total last year. Korbel ($14), owned by Gary Heck and marketed by Brown-Forman, dominates the segment, selling nearly 1.5 million cases in 2016 on a 5.2% rise.
Likewise, big players like Gallo and Constellation continue to make gains at the below-$10 tier, which has added about 1.5 million cases since 2010. Constellation’s Cook’s flew past 2 million cases with a 10% rise last year, while stablemate J. Roget grew 8.2% to 920,000 cases. Gallo’s André and Barefoot Bubbly combine for roughly 3 million cases, with the former up 10.5% and the latter rising 3% for 2016.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.