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Delicato Debuts Lower-Alcohol Bota Breeze, Targeting “Better-For-You” Wine Segment

February 26, 2021

While Manteca, California-based Delicato Family Wines owns a broad portfolio of wines, there’s none more substantial than boxed wine juggernaut Bota Box, which leapt 41% last year to 11.3 million cases, according to Impact Databank, and has nearly doubled in size over just the past three years. The brand’s core line still accounts for the majority of volume, but its Nighthawk extension—introduced in late 2019—is already closing in on 3 million cases, and a variety of newer packaging formats, including 500-ml. TetraPaks and 1.5-liter boxes, have also prompted growth. Now, the label is set to launch its newest line extension: Bota Breeze, a lower-alcohol, lower-carb, and lower-calorie alternative. SND senior editor Julia Higgins spoke with president and CEO Chris Indelicato ahead of the release.

SND: What spurred the creation of Bota Breeze?

Indelicato: The better-for-you wine category seems to be the next step in giving consumers what they want, and Bota Breeze answers that. Forty-percent of people are choosing lower-alcohol wines at least on some occasions, and that’s what drove us to release this wine, which clocks in at just 8% abv. Additionally, the lighter wine category grew by almost 90% last year, and we’re seeing retailers embrace that specific category across a number of beverage alcohol sectors. Bota Breeze accentuates the theme of a healthy lifestyle; the 3-liter packaging is a huge benefit to those looking to indulge a little with something they can drink over a long period of time.

SND: Bota Breeze is launching with Pinot Grigio, Dry Rosé, and a Red Blend. Why those varietals?

Indelicato: We chose varietals that are doing extremely well both for the core Bota brand and for the 3-liter category in general and that showed strong results in the consumer research we conducted for Bota Breeze. The Bota Box Rosé, in particular, is responsible for half of all dollar sales for the premium 3-liter boxed rosé category, while Pinot Grigio is our largest-selling product, and so we expect that’ll do well. And we wanted to offer a red alternative as well, for the consumers who are looking for a lighter, lower-abv red wine. The wines are already getting a lot of placements with retailers, so we’re on track for great distribution.

SND: What else is happening within the Bota Box brand?

Indelicato: We’ll be launching a Malbec from Argentina within the Nighthawk extension in May. We believe Argentine Malbec offers a fantastic price-value proposition for the consumer who wants that big, fruit-forward wine, and we think it matches the style and quality of the other wines under the Nighthawk umbrella, which tend to be bigger, bolder wines. Millennials, in particular, have really rallied around that wine style, and they’re driving a lot of growth for Nighthawk, which is on pace to reach 3 million cases by the end of this year. The Nighthawk Bourbon Barrel Cabernet has done extremely well for us, and we’ve had tremendous growth for the 500-ml. TetraPaks, which were up 35% last year.

SND: What drove Bota Box’s massive gains in e-commerce channels last year?

Indelicato: We have a huge e-commerce marketing program called “This Is How You Bota.” It’s been incredibly successful, and we’ve been working on it for years. Our big push is to really have an e-commerce-driven strategy for this brand, and it’s taken us a lot of time to develop that and get up to speed. Now, the program is widely available and we spend millions of dollars advertising it, to great effect.

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