Market Watch: Wine’s Supermarket Surge Appears Here To StayApril 2, 2021
Over the course of 2020, supermarket wine sales accelerated significantly as more consumers turned to grocers for a true one-stop shop, forgoing an additional trip to dedicated wine and spirits retailers. In IRI channels, the top 25 table wine brands in supermarkets saw their dollar sales grow to $3.79 billion last year, on considerable growth of 17.5%. Sparkling wine snowballed even faster, with dollar sales of the top 20 bubbly brands up nearly 20% in the supermarket channel to $846 million.
Of the top ten table wine brands in supermarkets for the 52 weeks ending December 27, half were available in alternative packaging, either exclusively or partially. These alternatively packaged brands posted some of the strongest growth overall as well, with dollar sales and volume skyrocketing in tandem. Delicato Family Wines’ Bota Box, for example, saw its supermarket volume leap 47.4% last year to 4.57 million cases, with dollar sales up an even higher 48.4% to $252.8 million, according to Impact Databank. Behind Bota Box as the No.-4, -5, -6, and -7 wine brands on supermarket shelves, respectively, were Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Franzia, Black Box, and Sutter Home, all of which offer at least some form of alternative packaging. All of the above had steady upward momentum over the course of 2020.
“Customers tended to stick to well-known brands, indicating they wanted to spend their money on the tried-and-true,” says Walmart vice president for adult beverage Jason Fremstad. “Within that, one of the main wine sales shifts we saw was customers purchasing more 3-liter items like Bota Box and Black Box; while this 3-liter trend is not necessarily a new one, it certainly accelerated.” Walmart operates more than 4,700 stores in the U.S. alone, most of which sell beverage alcohol, though the types allowed vary from market to market.
“Consumers continue to gravitate towards brands they know and trust, but have shifted to purchasing larger packaging sizes across all beverage alcohol categories,” says Kroger’s director of adult beverage Jason Milburn. Based in Cincinnati, Kroger operates some 2,800 stores across the U.S., with beverage alcohol selection shifting from store to store based on local laws.
No.-2 supermarket wine brand Josh Cellars—owned by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits—made mammoth gains in the supermarket channel in 2020, leaping 36.1% to 1.67 million cases. While Deutsch CEO Peter Deutsch notes that considerable effort has been put into building Josh in the on-premise, the brand greatly benefited from the pandemic-related off-premise boom, reaching 4.5 million cases overall last year. Deutsch’s Yellow Tail, a stalwart of the supermarket, also saw steady growth in the channel last year, rising 9% to 2.7 million cases. Other brands filling out the top 25 supermarket wines list include Gallo’s Barefoot and Apothic, Jackson Family Wines’ La Crema and Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve, and Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes. Overwhelmingly, the major supermarket brands hail from California and fall somewhere in the $10-$15 price range, though price points have risen in recent years. Market Watch has more on wine’s booming supermarket channel.—Julia HigginsSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.