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Interview, Part 1: Marc Taub, President And CEO, Taub Family Cos.

September 23, 2020

New York-based Taub Family Cos. encompasses Palm Bay International, known for million-case players like Cavit and Roscato, as well as fine wine unit Taub Family Selections, housing a stable of higher-end labels including Bertani, Fontanafredda, Planeta, Ferrari, Mastroberardino, Sella & Mosca, Trimbach, Jean-Luc Colombo, Champagne Boizel, Lafite Rothschild, Saget La Perriere, Greysac, Invivo, and Taub Family Vineyards, among many others. SND executive editor Daniel Marsteller recently spoke with president and CEO Marc Taub to get an update on trends within the portfolio and the state of play in the U.S. wine market heading into the fall season.

SND: What key developments have you seen in the Palm Bay portfolio this year?

Taub: Fortunately, we’ve seen tremendous resilience on the part of our biggest brands, including an exceptional acceleration for Cavit. In the last 26 weeks we grew at 30%. In the last couple of years, there was a misunderstanding of a change in the mindset of the 1.5-liter consumer. A lot of chains stopped promoting 1.5-liters to a certain degree, because they were looking at the negative overall trend line. But that included some very low-end 1.5s that had been discontinued. With fewer 1.5s in distribution overall and the brand recognition that Cavit represents, we’ve seen an incredible resurgence with all of our varieties. With Roscato, we’ve seen 40% growth in the last 26 weeks, and we added a Moscato to the Roscato line earlier this year. We also launched Roscato cans in March, and we’re seeing wide acceptance there.

SND: Which other labels have good growth potential for Palm Bay?

Taub: We’ve launched another sweet wine called Confetti Sweet Pink through Olive Garden restaurants, which have really outperformed as they’ve done a terrific job of tilting toward takeout. We’ve also seen very positive trends on Vanderpump. The rosé is continuing to show tremendous growth, and we’ve just added a Cabernet and Chardonnay from Sonoma to the line. We had a dramatic package change this year on Peter Yealands from New Zealand, now known as Yealands. It’s a terroir-centric package that centers on the origin and heritage of the Yealands vineyard on the coast outside of Marlborough. And from California, we launched Mon Frère last year, with very even growth across the Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Pinot varieties.

SND: What’s the situation at Taub Family Selections (TFS), your fine wine unit?

Taub: When you look up and down our fine wine portfolio, anything that’s doing more than 25% of business on-premise is going to be down. In many cases, it’s more like 50% of the brand. We’re utilizing the strength of our retail teams to help bring those brands into the retail market, and many of them are developing a natural pull. Trimbach has made up more than 50% of their on-premise losses at retail. Los Vascos, a tremendous brand from the Rothschild family from Chile, is seeing a resurgence in retail growth. With Bertani, which depends heavily on the on-premise for Amarone and Ripasso, we’re seeing good growth in Bertarose rosé and Pinot Grigio. We’re shifting gears on Mastroberardino, which we began bringing to market in the spring, to push it to retail as much as possible. Last year, we launched SJP by Invivo, the Sarah Jessica Parker Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. That also was joined by a rosé in the spring, and it’s definitely working in the retail market. Sella & Mosca’s Cannonau, from Sardinia, is also doing phenomenally at retail right now.

SND: This month, you transitioned the TFS portfolio to your Independence Wine & Spirits wholesale operation in New York. Why was that the right call?

Taub: It puts us in a position to be able to talk about our brands with the retail and on-premise communities first-hand every day. The market is changing, with a major shift toward the retail environment, and bringing distribution back into our own hands is the right move at just the right time. New York retailers are familiar with my family and our history (at the wholesale tier) and I think will very much embrace our expanded role in the New York market.

Palm Bay International―Key Brands
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Origin/Type 2018 2019 Percent Change1
Cavit Italian Table 3,484 3,550 1.9%
Roscato Italian Table 891 982 10.2%
Lunetta Italian Sparkling 287 298 3.8%
Roscato Dark & Smooth Italian Table 53 64 20.8%
Yealands New Zealand Table 31 37 17.0%
Vanderpump Rosé French Table 19 33 72.9%
Drumshanbo Irish Gin 20 30 50.0%
Total Key Brands2 4,785 4,993 4.3%
1 Based on unrounded data.
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2020
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