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Wine Spectator: The Evolution Of Canned Wine

July 19, 2021

Canned wine continues to be one of the most rapidly growing wine categories in the United States. Volume sales in Nielsen-tracked channels reached $253 million in the 52 weeks ending March 20, up 62% over the previous 12 months. There are now at least 580 wineries offering more than 1,450 canned wine SKUs. In addition, many big-name wineries are adding cans to existing brands, including Michael David, with its already popular Freakshow label, and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates with its 14 Hands brand.

The lion’s share of canned wine sales are in the white and rosé sector. Drinks delivery platform Drizly reported that rosé accounts for nearly 32% of sales, with sparkling and white wines accounting for 45%, and red wine just 6%. Wine spritzers make up the balance.

Perhaps above all, canned wine is pushing the wine industry to evolve. “Cans are a secret weapon that the industry has to bring more people into wine when the industry is desperate to lure them in,” says Sarah Hoffman, co-founder of the San Francisco-based Maker brand, which partners with boutique wineries to source its offerings.

Recent modifications to packaging regulations by the TTB are helping the category continue to expand. Cans of wine can now be sold individually, rather than in three, four or six-packs, and a variety of sizes are now legal, including 355ml and 250ml cans. Previously only 375ml cans were permitted to be sold individually.

Of course, portability continues to be a big draw. It’s one reason canned wines are increasingly offered at large venues. In June, the L.A.–based canned wine brand Bev became the official canned wine of the Rose Bowl Stadium and will be served at all events, from concerts to sporting events, and even the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market.

In past years, Constellation began putting its Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon in cans in partnership with select NFL teams. And Anheuser-Busch’s Babe brand became the official wine sponsor of the NFL. Wine Spectator has more on the canned wine market in the U.S.—Aaron Romano

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