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Premium Boxed Wine Continues To Surge, As Gallo Preps New Entry

March 17, 2015

Driven by the ongoing growth of heavyweights like Constellation’s Black Box and DFV Wines’ Bota Box, premium boxed wines enjoyed an 11% volume increase and a 14% value advance in IRI channels in the 52 weeks through February 22. This year, E.&J. Gallo is looking to step up its game in the segment with a new brand, Vin Vault ($20 a three-liter box), which will go head-to-head with the two stalwarts aforementioned.

Gallo’s Vin Vault is debuting nationally in April with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Malbec and Red Blend offerings. “We’re targeting premium drinkers who consume wine regularly,” says vice president of marketing Stephanie Gallo. “There’s a sea change occurring in consumers’ perception of wine. It’s becoming a casual social beverage as an adjunct to the dinner table.” Gallo first entered the three-liter box category with its The Naked Grape brand a year ago. After torrid growth from 2011-2013, The Naked Grape—which also comes in bottled format—slowed to a 6% advance last year, to roughly 770,000 cases.

Constellation’s Black Box continues to lead the premium boxed segment with a nearly one-third share. Last year, Black Box crested 4 million (nine-liter) cases on 18% growth, according to Impact Databank, and Constellation CMO Chris Fehrnstrom tells SND it’s projected at 5 million cases for calendar 2015. “Younger consumers are more receptive to the brand than older (55+) consumers,” says Fehrnstrom. “And a core demographic is comprised of high-income ($75k+), college-educated two-person households.”

Meanwhile, Bota Box topped 3 million cases for the first time last year, matching Black Box’s growth rate with an 18% advance (both brands have roughly doubled in size since 2011). Boosted by a new Pinot Noir extension in 2014, Bota Box augmented its line with a 1.5-liter box called Bota Brick ($13) in December. Both Bota Box and Black Box are also present in the 500-ml. Tetra Pak segment as well. Fehrnstrom says the Tetra Pak format enables trial and helps extend the wines into “grab and go” occasions.

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