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Ste. Michelle’s Sales Rebound In The First Quarter

April 29, 2021

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has posted net revenues up 2.7% to $150 million for its first quarter ended in March, bolstered by higher pricing across its portfolio. The Washington state-based winemaker’s shipment volume increased 1.7% to 1.7 million cases during the period, while adjusted operating income jumped by 46% to $19 million.

The results mark a return to growth following a difficult 2020, in which Ste. Michelle’s sales declined 11% to $614 million on shipment volume down 12% to 7.3 million cases. According to Impact Databank, the company’s flagship Chateau Ste. Michelle brand slipped 4% to 3.1 million cases last year, and its Columbia Crest and 14 Hands labels struggled, although the newer H3 brand—formerly part of Columbia Crest and retailing at $14—hit 154,000 cases in its first year as a standalone offering.

Ste. Michelle recently augmented its lineup with two new products aimed at the rapidly growing spritzer and lower-calorie wine segments. The company’s new Fruit & Flower Spritzers are wine-based spritzers that come packaged in 250-ml. cans and are retail priced at $11 a 2-pack. Meanwhile, its new Evenly label is targeting the health-conscious consumer with a line of four wines—Chardonnay, red blend, Papaya & Honeysuckle white, and Dragon Fruit & Orange Blossom rosé—that all clock in at 100 calories or less, contain zero sugar, and are available in 750-ml. ($15) or 375-ml. ($8) bottlings. Wine industry veteran David Dearie took the helm as Ste. Michelle’s CEO on November 1, replacing Jim Mortensen.—Daniel Marsteller

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