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Prosecco Powers Ahead In The U.S. Market

April 15, 2019

Prosecco continues to be at the forefront of the sparkling wine boom in the U.S. While producers and marketers are keeping a wary eye on supply as the entry level keeps expanding, they’re also aiming to trade consumers up to higher-priced offerings. There appears to be some progress on that front, with value growing ahead of volume in both Nielsen and IRI data. Prosecco volume increased 10.5% to 2.25 million cases in Nielsen channels last year, with sales rising 14.2% to $347 million. In IRI channels, Prosecco was up 12.3% to 1.6 million cases and 16.4% to $247 million in 2018.

E.&J. Gallo has been attracting new consumers with its La Marca brand—the only Prosecco over 1 million cases in the U.S. La Marca continued its run of Impact “Hot Brand” awards this year after rising 10.5% to 1.5 million cases in 2018, up from less than 900,000 cases in 2015. Last year, Gallo launched a DOCG Prosecco Luminore limited edition commemorating La Marca’s 50th anniversary, as well as a “Celebration Set” offering 12 mini bottles of Prosecco packaged in a jewel-shaped hat box, which doubles as a water-resistant ice bucket and serving tray.

Mionetto, also a Hot Brand, likewise keeps churning out growth, advancing 10.3% to 750,000 cases last year. In January, Mionetto parent company Henkell & Co. merged its two U.S. sparkling wine subsidiaries, Mionetto USA and Freixenet USA, which became Freixenet Mionetto USA. “Joining forces with two best-selling Cavas—Freixenet and Segura Viudas—as well as a top California sparkler in Gloria Ferrer, will strengthen Mionetto by supporting our sparkling wine portfolio strategy and expertise and bringing more value to our distributors and consumers,” says Freixenet Mionetto USA co-manager Enore Ceola. Mionetto has released a number of upscale Prosecco offerings in recent years in a bid to premiumize the range.

Ruffino Prosecco is also on the rise, increasing 12.5% last year to 495,000 cases to join the Hot Brands list. Ruffino is among the brands that will form the core of Constellation’s wine business moving forward, following the drinks giant’s $1.7 billion sale of a slew of lower-priced offerings to E.&J. Gallo in recent weeks.

Other Hot Brands featuring Proseccos in their ranges include Castello del Poggio, Stella Rosa, and Roscato. Castello del Poggio entered the category with a Prosecco DOC offering in 2017, bolstering a portfolio that also includes a Sweet Red, Sweet Rosé, and Sparkling Moscato, among others. Last year, the brand was up 12% to 796,000 cases. Similarly, Prosecco is part of the mix for Palm Bay International’s Roscato label, which also features a variety of sweet, frizzante expressions, including Rosso Dolce, Bianco Dolce, and Rosé Dolce. Palm Bay is also present in Prosecco with its Lunetta brand, which grew 3% to 287,000 cases last year, and recently added a Prosecco to Cavit as well.

Another brand to watch in the Prosecco category is Riondo, imported by Terlato Wines. While Riondo didn’t quite meet the volume threshold to earn Hot Brand status, that will likely change by the end of the year if current trends hold. Riondo jumped 24% in 2018 to 192,000 cases, complementing the higher-priced Nino Franco Prosecco in Terlato’s sparkling wine stable.—Julia Higgins & Daniel Marsteller

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