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Shaw-Ross Sees New Sparkling Extension Reinvigorate Blue Nun

July 12, 2019

Once a million-case brand in the U.S., Germany’s Blue Nun now sells about 180,000 cases stateside, according to Impact Databank, imported by Shaw-Ross International. While the brand has faced challenges over the years as younger consumers have been slow to embrace the Riesling category, Blue Nun has seen improved momentum lately, boosted by its 24K Gold Sparkling extension. Retailing at $15 a 750-ml., the sparkling offering contains real 24K gold flakes and is present in 38 states.

“The launch of 24K has helped introduce the Blue Nun brand to many first-time consumers,” says Mark Tramont, who oversees the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean for Blue Nun parent F.W. Langguth Erben. Tramont adds that the sparkling extension skews toward female drinkers and has had particular success with multicultural consumers in markets like Texas, Georgia, California, New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois—most of which are not traditional strongholds for Blue Nun overall.

Regarding the outlook for German wine (a 2-million-case category in the U.S.) and for Riesling in particular, Tramont says consumer education is the key. “Our challenge is that many people overlook the category without exploring it. But there’s no other grape as versatile as Riesling, which can go from sparkling to still and bone-dry to sweet,” he notes. Blue Nun Riesling has a “substantially drier” profile than most of its competitors, he adds, which the company sees as a positive differentiator in the current market.—Daniel Marsteller

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