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Sparkling Wine Player Henkell Freixenet Aims To Capitalize As On-Premise Reopens

April 28, 2021

Germany-based sparkling wine giant Henkell Freixenet has posted sales down 6.5% on an organic basis to €1.2 billion ($1.5b) for 2020, with on-premise closures in key markets offsetting 5.2% growth among its core brands globally. The European company’s U.S. business, operating under the Freixenet Mionetto USA banner, managed to hold its top two brands—Mionetto Prosecco and Freixenet Cava—steady in volume terms, but overall Henkell Freixenet’s Americas unit was down 20% to €133 million ($161m) for the year, as on-premise shutdowns in the U.S. and Mexico took a toll.

The Mionetto brand, with its strong position in the U.S. on-trade, was especially vulnerable last year, according to the company, with the Freixenet and Segura Viudas Cava labels faring better from a value perspective. Henkell Freixenet also noted that its Gloria Ferrer winery in Sonoma was hampered by the pandemic lockdowns, which necessitated its closure for several months and depressed its on-site sales for the year.

Reloading on the innovation front, Freixenet Mionetto USA has introduced a number of new products in recent months, including a Mionetto Prestige Prosecco Rosé DOC ($15), which debuted in December. The same month, Freixenet added alcohol-removed white and rosé sparklers ($12) to its portfolio to capitalize on the low- and no-alcohol trend. And earlier this year, Segura Viudas launched a new certified-organic offering made in Spain’s DO Penedès, retailing at $13 a 750-ml., to target the rising interest in organic wines.

In addition to its core sparkling labels, Freixenet Mionetto USA imports wine brands including Schloss Johannisberg, Alfred Gratien, Castello di Monsanto, Pertinace, Rocca Sveva, and Rene Barbier among others.

Despite a challenging 2020, Henkell Freixenet CEO Dr. Andreas Brokemper is optimistic that growth will return for brands across the portfolio, particularly as on-premise accounts reopen in full force and sparkling wine consumption occasions come back in abundance. “At the moment we assume that demand will pick up in the restaurant, hotel, and catering sector in the second half of the year, depending on the progress of the vaccination campaign and the further development of the pandemic,” he said in a statement. “As a result of our strong regional and brand diversification, we are confident we can continue to overcome the challenges associated with the crisis.”—Julia Higgins

Freixenet Mionetto USA’s Leading Brands
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Origin 2019 2020 Percent
Mionetto Italy 840 840 0%
Freixenet Spain 559 559 0%
Segura Viudas Spain 248 224 -10%
Gloria Ferrer Sparkling California 92 84 -9%
Total Leading Brands 1,739 1,707 -2%
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2021
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