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Newly Combined Freixenet Mionetto USA Eyes Further Growth In Sparkling Wine

June 4, 2019

Last year, Spanish Cava producer Freixenet sold a controlling stake to German sparkling wine giant Henkell and Co., which already owned Italy’s Mionetto, among many other brands. This past January, Henkell merged the U.S. businesses of its Spanish and Italian labels under the Freixenet Mionetto USA banner. The combined portfolio now includes a host of wine brands from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Australia.

Enore Ceola, co-CEO of Freixenet Mionetto USA, tells SND, “With the launch of Freixenet Mionetto USA, our sparkling portfolio has grown to cover most sparkling segments including Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Crémant, Sekt, and domestic. Looking at the sparkling market development and consumers’ thirst for bubbles, we’re in a great position.”

Riding the Prosecco wave, the Mionetto brand had a strong 2018, depleting 750,000 cases on 10.3% growth to earn Impact “Hot Brand” honors. Allaying fears of a shortage amidst the Prosecco category’s surge, Ceola says, “We had a very good harvest last year, and with the recent purchase of Montereale—nearly 200 acres in the Prosecco region—we have greater quality and supply control.”

Interestingly, the company has also launched a line of Prosecco and Italian sparkling rosé under the Freixenet brand, which has received positive feedback so far, retailing at around $20. “Positioned higher than many others, Freixenet Prosecco is our frontrunner for premiumization within the Prosecco category,” Ceola says.

Freixenet’s Cava portfolio saw mixed results last year. The brand’s eponymous label fell by 2.5% in the U.S. to 575,000 cases. But stablemate Segura Viudas enjoyed solid progress, advancing 5.5% to 285,000 cases. Ceola noted that Segura Viudas’ rosé performed particularly well, logging double-digit growth.

The company has also introduced a canned sparkling wine brand called Bollicini, whose lineup includes Cuvée and Rosé expressions, both made in Italy and packaged in 187-ml. cans that are retail priced at $12 a 4-pack. Ceola says the brand has started fast, and he sees ample runway for further growth.

California sparkler Gloria Ferrer, which came from the Freixenet side of the portfolio, took price in late 2017 and declined by 3% last year to 90,000 cases. But noting Gloria Ferrer’s pedigree as a pioneer in the Carneros region, Ceola expects the brand’s performance to improve moving forward. Freixenet Mionetto USA’s range also includes Champagne Alfred Gratien and Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire from France; Schloss Johannisberg from Germany; and Castello di Monsanto, Capezzana, Pertinace, and Rocca Sveva from Italy.—Danny Sullivan

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