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Lolailo Leads Sangria Category’s Rapid Growth As It Nears Half-Million-Case Mark

March 3, 2014

Biagio Cru and Estate’s Lolailo Sangria has emerged as a key player within the fast-growing premixed sangria segment, bolstered by consecutive double-digit gains over the past few years. The accessibly-priced Spanish import was up 37% in 2013 to reach 460,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. For 2014, Biagio Cru and Estate Wines principal and marketing director Darren Restivo tells SND the brand is expected to surpass the 500,000-case-mark, fueled by U.S. consumers’ continued interest in sweeter wine options.

“What’s driving the sangria segment is a growing demand for fruitier, slightly sweet beverages. People are also looking for a bridge between beer and wine, and sangria fits the bill,” says Restivo, adding that Lolailo has demonstrated broad success across independent, big-box retail and restaurant chain channels.

Retailing at around $8.99-$9.99 a 1.5-liter, Lolailo is also available in a 750-ml. format and recently launched in 187-ml. bottles for the first time. Other recent changes include updated packaging, designed to create a more refined look and emphasize the sangria’s fruit-forward profile. Additionally, Lolailo has made an effort to redefine sangria’s reputation as a summer-only offering in the U.S., using social media to promote options targeted for cooler weather consumption, such as a Spiced Apple Cider Sangria cocktail.

The U.S. sangria category has been on the rise, and sangrias priced above $6 a 750-ml. were up more than 25% by value for the 52 weeks ended March 2, 2013, according to Nielsen data. Competition within the segment has heated up, with established, accessibly-priced players like Shaw-Ross’s Cruz Garcia Reál and E&J Gallo’s Madria facing new pressure from premium entrants like Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits’ Eppa—made using antioxidant-rich “super fruits”—and Aveníu Brands’ Pomagria, which differentiates by featuring pomegranate juice. Lolailo is positioning itself as an authentic, traditional option.

“The rise in competition is welcome—it’s helping to grow the overall segment,” says Restivo. “It’s also brought a competitive edge for us. Recently, brands have been trying to find new ways to produce sangria, but they’re not creating a true sangria. As far as Europe is concerned, traditional sangria must come from Spain or Portugal, and that’s a primary differentiation for Lolailo.”

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