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Innovations Drive Barefoot To New Heights

January 3, 2019

At more than 20 million cases, E.&J. Gallo’s Barefoot franchise trails only The Wine Group’s Franzia in the U.S. market in volume terms, according to Impact Databank, but Gallo believes the brand’s best days are still ahead. To maintain Barefoot’s momentum, the wine giant continues to innovate with the goal of extending into new consumption occasions.

Among the offshoots driving gains for Barefoot, E.&J. Gallo CMO Stephanie Gallo tells SND that its canned Spritzers are rising fast. Retailing at $3 a 250-ml. can or $9 a four-pack, the canned Spritzer range has a low abv of 5.5% and comes in Moscato, Rosé, Summer Red, Crisp White, and Red Sangria expressions.

“Barefoot as a whole has maintained positive growth, due in large part to the explosive growth of Barefoot Spritzer in cans as well as the extraordinary growth of all things pink in the brand family, such as Rosé, Brut Rosé, and Pink Moscato,” Gallo says. Barefoot’s core wines retail at $6 a 750-ml., while its Bubbly range—which alone sells above 1.2 million cases—sits at $10.

This month, Gallo is rolling out Barefoot’s first three-liter box format nationally, taking aim at another fast-growing segment of the market. Noting that two-thirds of wine consumers adjust their beverage choices based on the consumption occasion, Gallo says further innovations that target various consumer moods and settings are on the brand’s agenda. The trends toward lower-alcohol wines and single-serve packages are among those the company has been monitoring.

On the marketing side, Anna Bell, Barefoot’s vice president of marketing, says the brand continues to “heavily leverage social platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook” as part of its effort to connect with existing consumers and further expand its audience. Among its recent initiatives, Gallo has backed Barefoot with a pair of music videos over the past year featuring influencers like Anna Faris and Tituss Burgess.

In an industry that continues to premiumize, Gallo says Barefoot will remain one of the key brands offering consumers an accessible entry into the category. “While we recognize the premiumization trend, it’s crucial that we continue to democratize wine in the United States, making the industry more approachable and accessible to bring people into the fold,” Gallo adds.—Daniel Marsteller

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