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Market Watch: Rosé Comes Of Age

August 26, 2022

With more than 500 stores in North America, leading organic grocer Whole Foods Market has built a reputation on offering high-quality, curated products for its discerning client base. The company’s wine department is no different, with its wine buyers seeking freshness and the most current vintage available from its winery partners. “The Whole Foods Market customer loves a good rosé, especially from the South of France and Provence. That being said, there’s great rosé being made everywhere now,” says Whole Foods’ senior principal of product development and innovation Doug Bell. “Those that are the palest salmon in color remain popular, but those a little deeper pink in hue also sell quite well. Sparkling rosé, specifically rosé Prosecco, is selling so fast we can hardly keep it on the shelf or in the cooler.”

Whole Foods actively focuses on the segment, with 10%-15% of a store’s wine set featuring still and sparkling rosés. Each spring for the past decade, Whole Foods has run a rosé promotion across its wine departments in addition to covering store floors for eight weeks in a variety of standout rosé options that range in price from $8 to more than $30 a 750-ml. Throughout the warmer months, the company also focuses on a dozen rosé wines and will rotate those brands throughout the season. “It should be noted, however, that rosé isn’t just for summer anymore,” says Bell. “It’s a year-round buy for a lot of our shoppers, even during the winter holidays.”

The enduring appeal of rosé is clear, with increasing sales volumes for the leading rosé brands in the U.S. and high export volumes for the overall category despite a flood of new entries in recent years. Provence rosé exports to the U.S. stood at more than 1.8 million 9-liter case shipments in 2021, according to Impact Databank.

While rosé brands have proliferated in recent years, those that maintain quality and authenticity are continuing to perform well among U.S. consumers who are growing more familiar with rosé. “We’ve never seen as many rosé offerings in the category as we are seeing now,” says Bell. “I don’t know if we’d say that it’s saturated, but it is definitely nearing the point of becoming a mature category.” But the company says there are still new segments within rosé to explore, such as sparkling rosé and rosé Prosecco, as well as organic, which it notes is a growing subset of rosé wine sales each year.

Meanwhile, winemakers like Gérard Bertrand are looking to continue growing rosé’s appeal at the high end by promoting the rosé category in the family of Grand Vins and the potential for aging. “That means a new era for the rosé industry,” Bertrand says. Market Watch has more on the vibrant U.S. market for rosé wines.—Kimberly Carmichael

Leading French Rosé Brands in the U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Company 2020 2021 Percent
Change1
Whispering Angel Moët Hennessy USA 534 565 5.8%
La Vieille Ferme Vineyard Brands 436 397 -9.0%
Gérard Bertrand Gérard Bertrand USA 330 345 4.5%
Yes Way Rosé Prestige Beverage Group 151 165 9.6%
Miraval Vineyard Brands 147 158 7.8%
The Beach by Whispering Angel Moët Hennessy USA 110 150 36.4%
Total Leading Brands2 1,708 1,780 4.2%
1 Based on unrounded data.
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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