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Barefoot Taps Sweeter Styles, Alternative Formats To Connect With New Drinkers

May 20, 2021

A common theme in the drinks market during the pandemic has been consumers’ move to trusted brands. As the second-largest wine label in the U.S., E.&J. Gallo-owned Barefoot surely fits that description. The core Barefoot brand was up 12% to 17 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, not including its Bubbly, Spritzers, Wine To Go, Seltzer, and Barefoot On Tap offerings. This year, Gallo tells SND it expects further gains for the franchise, driven by sweeter expressions like its Fruitscatos range as well as its wine-based seltzer and Barefoot on Tap formats.

Both Barefoot Seltzer and Barefoot On Tap earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors for their 2020 performances. Barefoot On Tap, the brand’s 3-liter box offering ($19), jumped 55% to 1.7 million cases last year, while Barefoot Seltzer topped a half-million cases in its first year on the market. Barefoot Seltzer includes Pineapple & Passion Fruit, Cherry & Cranberry, Peach & Nectarine, and Strawberry & Guava flavors that are at 4% abv and retail at $8 a 4-pack and $20 for a variety 12-pack.

“Alternative formats will continue to play a critical role for Barefoot and for the broader wine category,” Gallo’s director of brand marketing Adam Weinberg tells SND, adding that Gallo “expects to see continued growth of On Tap with larger formats staying in high-demand. We also expect to see strong acceleration of our single-serve formats, such as our line of Barefoot Wine To Go 500-ml. and canned wine offerings including Barefoot Spritzer and Hard Seltzer.”

Another area of growth for Barefoot is within its range of fruit-flavored Fruitscato wines, which debuted in fall of 2019. Weinberg says the company is seeing ongoing momentum for the Fruitscatos across the spectrum of flavors, which include Peach, Strawberry, Watermelon, and Apple, as well as two recent line extensions, Blueberry and Mango. Characterized by a sweeter taste profile, Fruitscato has been successful at widening Barefoot’s audience, with one in four of its consumers new to wine.

“The trend toward sweeter and more indulgent offerings has staying power and we’ll continue playing a leadership role in breaking down barriers to the wine category for sweet seeking consumers,” says Weinberg. “There is tremendous potential in this space and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.”—Daniel Marsteller

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