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The Wine Group Relaunches Franzia With Multi-Million Dollar Campaign

April 1, 2019

Franzia has been the largest-selling wine brand by volume in the U.S. for nearly a quarter-century. This entry-level wine brand has hovered at around 23 million 9-liter cases in the U.S. over the past few years, retailing at approximately $17 a 5-liter box. This spring, Franzia owner The Wine Group is backing Franzia with its first major marketing campaign in 35 years. A full packaging revamp, as well as new products and line extensions, are also hitting the market. SND executive editor Daniel Marsteller recently spoke with The Wine Group CMO Jeff Dubiel to discuss the relaunch and the future of Franzia.

SND: What was the impetus for Franzia’s new campaign and relaunch?

Dubiel: Franzia has always been the centerpiece of The Wine Group. We’ve always invested at a high level, but for the most part the investment was in great packaging and product. We haven’t had a huge consumer campaign behind Franzia for many years. The business has been healthy, but we want to make sure we keep it relevant over the long term. We have a large consumer base of millennials that come into the brand, and eventually they start to get interested in other wines and play around in the category. So we’re trying to make sure that they don’t leave us over time.

SND: What are the key elements of the campaign?

Dubiel: Because we’re targeting millennials, it’s focused on digital and social channels. But we’re really talking to consumers across every age demographic. The spots are set to Andrew Gold’s song “Thank You for Being a Friend,” which was the theme from the show The Golden Girls. The campaign is all about the idea that friendships are made around a box of Franzia, and often those friendships last a lifetime.

SND: What’s happening on the new product front?

Dubiel: For a long time we’ve been driving with our 5-liter and 3-liter boxes. We’re now adding a 500-ml. Tetra Pak. With that, we’re hoping to capitalize on the growth of the convenience channel and offer a trial package for consumers who are interested in Franzia but don’t want to start with a 5-liter. The Tetras initially will include a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio-Colombard, Sunset Blush, and Crisp White, and we’ll be adding a Rosé. Secondly, we’re coming out with a new Chardonnay called Rich & Buttery. Chardonnay is our biggest SKU—we do a couple million cases. Taking a look at the butter trend and the growth in that segment, we felt it was a natural addition to come out with this heavy oak, malolactic fermentation, Rich & Buttery SKU to go after younger consumers. That’s launching in 5-liter and 3-liter.

SND: How is the feedback on the changes so far?

Dubiel: You’ve got the new campaign, the new consumer offerings, and we’re wrapping it all up with a packaging refresh across the entire line. It features bold colors and really stands out on the shelf. Suffice it to say, retailers and our whole system are very happy for the world’s biggest brand to see the level of investment not going away. A lot of companies decide to start pulling off of some of their bigger brands and funneling only into the new stuff. We’ve decided that we’re going to take Franzia to the next level.

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