Friday, May 30, 2008

Market Watch - Top Growth Brands

There is a trade magazine for the beverage industry called Market Watch which gives a glimpse into the global reality of the beer, wine and liquor world.  This magazine reports on major brands and follows new releases, trends and growth. The April issue with "hot brands" from 2007 is a real eye opener.  At Wine Authorities we work with wines on a smaller scale.  Sometimes we buy a wine that is very limited, perhaps as little as 10 cases available, or perhaps we buy 50 or 75 cases of 2,000+ available.  

Looking at the top growth wine brands for 2007 is staggering.  These are wines which had the largest increases in their sales of 9 liter cases (12 x 750 ml bottles) over their 2006 depletions.  Here are the top 10 brands for growth:
  1. Peter Vella (Gallo) 5,940,000 cases [that's almost 6 million cases!]
  2. Barefoot Cellars (Gallo) 4,000,000
  3. Foxhorn (Wine Group) 2,950,000
  4. Chateau Ste. Michelle (Ste. Michelle Wine Estates) 1,760,000
  5. Crane Lake (Bronco) 1,200,000 [Bronco also makes Two Buck Chuck for Trader Joe's]
  6. Smoking Loon (Don Sebastiani & Sons) 1,190,000
  7. CK Mondavi (C Mondavi & Sons) 1,190,000
  8. Fish Eye (Wine Group) 950,000
  9. Sterling Vintner's Collection (Diageo Chateau & Estate) 900,000
  10. Black Box (Constellation Brands) 795,000
Other brands on the top growth list frequently seen in NC are Estancia, Rodney Strong, Mirassou, La Crema, Pepperwood Grove, Chateau St. Jean, Menage a Trois, Toasted Head, Concannon, Foxbrook, Simi, Castle Rock, Red Truck, Edna Valley, Big House, McManis, 3 Blind Moose and Gnarly Head to name a few.

Keep in mind these brands are not necessarily the top selling wines.  These are just the top brand increases for 2007.  It's scary.  Why?

Let's say you make a great apple pie by hand, taking care to select the apples, peeling the apples, make the crust with the best ingredients, use the freshest spices, etc.  Now make 5 pies.  Okay, it's do-able.  It will take time but it can work.  Now make 100 pies or 1,000 pies.  How do you do it and be sure they all come out, they all look the same, they all taste the same?  Maybe you buy pre sliced apple cinnamon filling, buy par baked crusts and bake them in an assembly line oven.  Will the quality be the same? Probably not.  -Salamanzar