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Treasury Wine Estates Opens The Innovation Gates With A Flurry Of New Products

January 31, 2012

Treasury Wine Estates is making good on its promise to innovate by starting the year with a slew of new product launches. “We’re seeking to offer wines for every occasion—wines which can compete against all beverage alcohol categories,” said Treasury CEO David Dearie in an interview with Shanken News Daily.

One key new addition to the Beringer portfolio is a brand called “Be.”—which targets “sophisticated women who seek a more chic, stylish yet casual approach to wine,” noted Stephen Brauer, Treasury’s managing director for Beringer. “Be. addresses precisely what David (Dearie) is talking about—wines for very casual, social occasions that might otherwise be for spirits or beer.”

Be. (the brand name includes the period) will start shipping nationally in March and hit the shelves by April, retailing at $12.99 a 750-ml. The brand will have four varietals in the line: a Chardonnay, Riesling, Pink Moscato and Pinot Grigio. Treasury envisages Be. as a casual-occasion wine for both on- and off-premise, with by-the-glass pricing at around $8.

Another major innovation from Treasury is Emma Pearl, which began test marketing in the southeastern U.S. last year. Treasury is now expanding Emma Pearl to 25 states starting in February (in time for Valentine’s Day), with plans to go national by year-end. Aimed at females age 30 and over, Emma Pearl retails at $16 a 750-ml. The wines, which have a subtle hint of sweetness, include a Chardonnay and Merlot.

Meanwhile, Treasury is currently rolling out its new Beringer Founder’s Estate Smooth Red Blend ($8.99), as well as a new Beringer Pink Moscato ($6.99), which follows on last year’s launch of Beringer Red Moscato ($6.99). “We were a little late to the game with Moscato, but we’re now very much there and seeing nice growth,” Brauer said.

In May, the Beringer line also will add a Malbec ($8.99), while a new red blend from Chateau St. Jean ($12.99) will begin shipping in June. “All these initiatives represent a sweep of innovation across brands and across price tiers,” Brauer added.

Treasury, which began trading as a stand-alone wine company last May after separating from Foster’s Ltd., is building on a number of launches executed in 2011. Last summer, shortly after the Beringer Red Moscato launch, Treasury introduced a Lindeman’s Bin 46 Sweet Red ($6.99). The company also began targeting millennial males last year with a line called Sledgehammer ($14.99). Sledgehammer, seeded in selected markets last year, is now in 30 states and is in the process of being rolled out nationally. The line currently includes a Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, and Treasury plans to add two more wines this year.

At the top end of the Beringer portfolio, the company is now offering a new Beringer Knights Valley Reserve ($50). Plans for other new launches at the top end of the portfolio are still in discussion and will be unveiled later in the year.

“We want our winemakers to use our cellars as a testing ground,” said Dearie. “We’ve got great, talented young winemakers. They have the technology and scale to push the boundaries, and that’s what we’re encouraging them to do.”


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