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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.

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