Exclusive: Gallo Leads Impact’s Domestic Wine “Hot Brands,” Italy Paces ImportsMarch 18, 2015
While the total U.S. wine market inched ahead by less than 1% to 322 million cases last year, Impact’s roster of 2014 wine “Hot Brands” reveals that a mix of established players and ambitious challengers achieved strong growth last year amid the tepid market conditions.
In all, 20 domestic wines earned Hot Brand honors for their 2014 performances, down from 26 brands a year earlier. The majority of this year’s winners are premium California labels retailing at between $10-$20 a 750-ml. In fact, only one wine brand from outside the Golden State cracked the list this year, a Washington state wine also positioned in the premium segment.
E.&J. Gallo looms large on the domestic wine Hot Brands list, boasting seven entries, while DFV, Constellation and Trinchero are also represented with multiple brands.
On the import side, 19 wines achieved Hot Brand status, up slightly from last year’s 17-member honor roll. As has been the case in recent years, Italy dominated the list with 10 entries. New Zealand also extended its hot streak, with five brands included among the winners.
To earn Hot Brand status, wines must have achieved double-digit growth in each of the past three years, or they must be established brands with at least 15% growth, or top-10 volume leaders with at least 5% growth in 2014 and at least 15% growth since 2011. Significant new products also can qualify. The minimum volume requirement is 250,000 cases.
The full list and analysis of Impact’s wine Hot Brands can be found in the magazine’s March 1&15 issue.
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