Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics NovDec 2018

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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www.beveragedynamics.com November/Decemeber 2018 • Beverage Dynamics 17 parkling Wine There's another prosecco that has also seen solid growth: Mi- onetto, which is up about 13%. "We've been riding the positive trend of prosecco," says Enore Ceola, CEO and managing di- rector of Mionetto USA. Ceola also says the company has been marketing its products aggressively, especially its Prestige tier. Both La Marca and Mionetto are outpacing the overall cat- egory. The Prosecco DOC Consortium reports that exports to the U.S. grew about 4% in 2017. The smaller Conegliano Valdob- biadene Prosecco DOCG Consortium says exports grew more than 7%, although that increase is on a much smaller base. At the Wine House in Los Angeles, the growth in bub- bly sales has been "prosecco, more than anything," according to General Manager J.B. Severin. Prosecco has gotten so popular that some consumers are starting to use the word as a generic term for sparkling wine — as many do with Champagne. Scott Crestodina, owner of Indepen- dent Spirits in Chicago, said custom- ers often ask for prosecco when they just want something with bubbles. (Interestingly, he says, "we don't sell a ton of prosecco.") CHAMPAGNE ALSO SPARKLES The Champagne Bureau, USA, reports that shipments in 2017 were up almost 6% over 2016, marking the fi fth consecutive year of growth. Jennifer Hall, the bureau's director, says Champagne is benefi ting from the overall interest in sparkling wine, especially as people trade up. The No. 1 Champagne brand in the U.S. is Veuve Clicquot, best known for its non-vintage brut bottling, Yellow Label. Ac- cording to the Beverage Information and Insights Group, imports of all bottlings of Veuve Clicquot in 2017 were up more than 8% over the previous year. That slightly outpaced Veuve's sister brand, Moët & Chandon (both are owned by Moët Hennessy). Champagne consumers, says Aygline Pechdo, vice president of Veuve Clicquot, "are going after brands they trust." One Champagne brand that's been on fi re is Piper Heidsieck, imported by Terlato Wines. Piper sales were up nearly 27% in 2017. Dave Lane, president and COO of Terlato Wines Interna- tional, attributes much of that growth to a focus on on-premise sales, although he adds that retail growth has also been strong. SALES BEYOND WINTER HOLIDAYS Sales of all sparkling wines spike in November and December. But nearly everyone agrees that prosecco paved the way for consumers to drink more bubbly in the non-holiday months. Its generally modest price made sparkling wine affordable enough for every day. Luca Giavi, director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, says producers "traditionally see an increase in consumption during the summer, particularly during the start of the tradi- tional wedding season." "We built our business by pushing the sales outside the holidays," Mio- netto's Ceola says. He estimates that about one-quarter of sales are in spring and summer, when consumers are looking for something light and refreshing. Instead of, say, a glass of pinot grigio, prosecco "makes every- thing more exciting." Gelb of Total Wine also cites the Pinot Grigio comparison. People can buy good prosecco for $10 or $11 a bottle, about the same price as many Pinot Grigios. "It's an easy tradeoff," he says. Inevitably this has increased non-holiday sales of other types of bubbly. "Prosecco made sparkling wine something people are more comfortable with year-round," says Terlato's Lane. "Cham- pagne was the benefi ciary." Pechdo of Veuve Clicquot adds that Valentine's Day and Fa- ther's Day are becoming "Champagne holidays." In that vein, sister brand Moët & Chandon launched a campaign about cel- ebrating memorable moments – "the small, special moments throughout the year," as Renaud Butel, vice president of Moët & Chandon USA, puts it. One winery that does heavy promotion throughout the year "WE BUILT OUR BUSINESS BY PUSHING THE SALES OUTSIDE THE HOLIDAYS." – Enore Ceola , CEO and Managing director of Mionetto USA

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