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Better-For-You Wines Rapidly Expanding In The U.S.

December 6, 2022

The better-for-you wine category continues to show strong momentum heading into the holidays, with many of the leading brands experiencing triple-digit gains in retail channels. Overall, better-for-you wines nearly quadrupled in volume terms in 2021 and are expected to reach 3 million cases in the U.S. by year-end, according to Impact Databank.

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers recently made an acquisition play in the category with a deal to acquire Impact “Hot Brand” FitVine for an undisclosed sum. “FitVine isn’t just competing within the BFY segment,” O’Neill CMO Christine Moll told SND. “Expanding out to the super-premium price point at large, FitVine has multiple SKUs performing in the top 20 of their varietal, indicating that this brand is resonating with a wide range of consumers.”

Delicato is also among those making gains in the better-for-you category with Bota Box Breeze. “Bota Breeze is on fire,” CEO and president Chris Indelicato recently told SND. “It’s a home run for us and a home run for the Bota brand that continues to grow.”

The Wine Group has two brands showing strong growth in the better-for-you segment with Cupcake LightHearted and Franzia Refreshers. About one-third of the volume for Refreshers comes from consumers who are new to the 3-liter segment, according to Jeff Dubiel, CMO at The Wine Group, with notable interest from hard seltzer drinkers.

Constellation Brands debuted a low-calorie extension, Illuminate ($18 a 750-ml.), to New Zealand label Kim Crawford in the fall of 2020, and it’s up about 100% over the past year in IRI channels, after reaching 100,000 cases in 2021. Another up-and-coming brand is Sunny with a Chance of Flowers ($17 a 750-ml.), which Scheid Family Wines sources from its Monterey vineyards, with zero sugar, 85 calories per 5-ounce glass, and 9% abv. Another brand doing well in the low-calorie space is Avaline—from actress Cameron Diaz—an organic, vegan-friendly label ($24) which touts its use of little-to-no additives.

Other brands on the move in the better-for-you arena include Kendall-Jackson Lower Calorie Chardonnay ($17 a 750-ml.) from Jackson Family, Mind & Body ($13) from Trinchero, Matua Lighter ($10 and up) from Treasury Wine Estates, Yellow Tail Pure Bright from Deutsch ($7 and up), and Myx Light Chardonnay and Light Rosé ($12 a 4-pack of 250-ml. cans) from Royal Wine Corp.

U.S.—Leading “Better for You” Wine Brands
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Company Origin Total 2021
Volume1
2022 Volume
Growth In IRI2
Fitvine O’Neill Vintners
& Distillers
California/Italy 375 14.4%
Bota Box Breeze Delicato Family Wines California 365 139.7%
Cupcake LightHearted The Wine Group California 250 23.7%
Franzia Refreshers The Wine Group California 220 121.6%
Yellow Tail
Pure Bright
Deutsch Family
Wine & Spirits
Australia 142 175.4%
Kim Crawford
Illuminate
Constellation Wines New Zealand 102 100.4%
Sunny With a
Chance of Flowers
Scheid Vineyards California 58 185.1%
Avaline Avaline Multi-Origin 55 128.1%
Liquid Light Ste Michelle
Wine Estates
Washington 51 91.7%
Mind & Body Trinchero Family Estates California 31 95.2%
Matua Lighter Treasury Wine Estates New Zealand 22 958.9%
Total Leading Brands 1,671 92.2%
1 Thousands of 9-liter case depletions
2 52 weeks ending October 9, 2022 in IRI channels.
Source: IRI and IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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