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Impact Databank Exclusive: Top Italian Labels Driving Imported Sparklers In U.S.

April 19, 2012

Impact Databank’s exclusive analysis of the top 10 imported sparkling wines in the U.S. market finds that Italian wines continue to be the biggest volume drivers in this rising segment. Total imported sparkling wine shipments to the U.S. increased 19.7% to 7.65 million cases in 2011.

Of the 10 largest imported sparkling wines in the market by volume, half are sourced from Italy. Four of those five—Verdi, Sparkletini, Mionetto and Lunetta—grew by double-digits in 2011, the lone exception being Martini & Rossi, whose U.S. depletions have now slipped by 25% since 2007. Verdi and Sparkletini, imported by Carriage House Imports, continue to thrive on accessible pricing and flavored extensions like Green Apple, Peach and Raspberry. Combined volume for the two Carriage House labels has nearly doubled since 2007, eclipsing 1.5 million cases last year.

Selling for a few dollars more per bottle, Proseccos like Mionetto and Lunetta continue to surge in the U.S. market. Lunetta, making good on marketer Palm Bay Imports’ prediction to Shanken News Daily last summer, grew nearly 50% to 150,000 cases in 2011. Rival Mionetto more than kept pace, adding 5,000 more cases than Lunetta for the year on 21% growth.

While Italy’s top sparklers keep charging ahead, the leading Cava brands in the U.S. have seen a tougher road. Freixenet has now declined for three straight years and is off by 19% since 2008. Slightly lower-priced portfoliomate Segura Viudas added at least 20,000 cases a year from 2005-2010, but last year it slowed markedly. Competitor Jaume Serra Cristalino’s path has been similar. From 2006-2010 it grew by 70%, but an 8.5% decline in 2011 ended its upswing.

Meanwhile, Champagne shipments to the U.S. have been robust the past two years (up 14% by volume last year, according to the CIVC), but depletions for the Champagne segment’s top two brands, Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, were relatively flat last year.

USA – Top 10 Imported Sparkling Wine Brands
(thousands of nine-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand Importer Origin 2010 2011 Percent
Change
1 Verdi Carriage House Imports, Ltd. Italy 1,065 1,185 11.3%
2 Martini & Rossi Bacardi USA, Inc. Italy 650 600 -7.7%
3 Freixenet Freixenet USA, Inc. Spain 545 535 -1.8%
4 Moet & Chandon* Moet-Hennessy USA (LVMH) France 405 410 1.2%
5 Jaume Serra Cristalino CIV USA Inc. Spain 410 375 -8.5%
5 Sparkletini Carriage House Imports, Ltd. Italy 325 370 13.8%
6 Veuve Clicquot Moet-Hennessy USA (LVMH) France 365 365
8 Mionetto Mionetto USA Italy 265 320 20.8%
9 Segura Viudas Freixenet USA, Inc. Spain 215 220 2.3%
10 Lunetta Palm Bay International Italy 105 155 47.6%
Total Top 10 4,350 4,535 4.3%
* excludes Dom Perignon 

Source: IMPACT DATABANK

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