Palm Bay’s Fast-Growing Lunetta Rides Prosecco Trend, Approaching 150,000 CasesSeptember 30, 2011
Palm Bay International’s Lunetta Prosecco brand posted a 41.1% volume leap last year to 103,000 cases, earning Impact “Hot Prospect” honors. Launched in 2006 and retailing at $11.99-$12.99, Lunetta is projected to hit 150,000 cases this year. Sales are strong in major markets including Florida, New York and Texas, although senior vice president of marketing Marcy Whitman adds that the business is broadly spread across the market.
“The Prosecco category is certainly in a healthy place, with growth up 44% year-to-date at retail, according to Nielsen,” Whitman says. Back in 2007, Prosecco volumes in the U.S. were around 450,000 cases. By 2009, sales had jumped to roughly 750,000 cases. This year, Prosecco sales are poised to catch Champagne, whose volume reached 1.3 million cases last year. Year-to-date ending September 4, Prosecco volume in SymphonyIRI channels grew 87% versus the year-earlier period. “It helps to be in an expanding market, but Lunetta is far outpacing the growth of the category,” Whitman adds.
Lunetta’s whimsical brand image has attracted a broad swath of consumers, including millennials. “Bubbles are a product that people associate with festive occasions, but sometimes they can be prohibitively expensive,” says Palm Bay senior vice president Mike Petteruti, emphasizing Lunetta’s position as a lower-priced, approachable alternative. Palm Bay also credits Lunetta’s role within its Cavit Collection as part of the brand’s appeal. The Cavit table wine brand sells roughly 3.455 million cases annually and is second only to Yellow Tail among imports. Palm Bay plans to roll out television support for the Cavit brand—and Lunetta in particular—in the fourth quarter.
While Lunetta continues to surge, it certainly has company. Mionetto’s Il Prosecco ($11 a 750-ml.), profiled in SND’s June 24 issue, is the market’s top Prosecco brand and now commands nearly a third of the U.S. category. Lunetta is in second place, followed by Zardetto at 81,000 cases. Well behind the top three is Maschio from Banfi, at 16,359 cases. New companies, including Constellation, are preparing to enter the category.
|USA – Leading Prosecco Brands
(thousands of nine-liter case depletions)
|Lunetta||Palm Bay International||52||73||103||40.4%||41.1%|
|Total Top Three||308||371||451||20.2%||21.6%|
* based on unrounded data.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK