IT’S GOOD TO BE THE OTHER GUY!
Last year was challenging for many California wine companies, but for The Other Guys, part of the Don Sebastiani Family of Companies, it was a very, very good year. According to the company, sales for its rapidly growing portfolio were up 66% over 2OO9. Three brands accounted for the bulk of the sales increase, led by the company’s Leese-Fitch label, which is almost solely dedicated to on-premise accounts. Four wines under the Hey Mambo label – Kinky Pink, Swanky White, Chardonnay, and Sultry Red – also experienced exponential growth, and the Plungerhead line, devoted to Zinfandel, took advantage of the cult following for Lodi fruit, with sales particularly strong in major urban areas. Other brands in the portfolio – MooBuzz, Pennywise and The White Knight – also showed strong sales increases, according to Sebastiani. The Other Guys first entered the wine market as a division of Don Sebastiani & Sons in 2OO5 at a boutique winery production level of 5OOO cases. Initial distribution was limited to Northern California under a two-tier model. As production increased, distribution was expanded nationwide under a three-tier system. In January of 2O1O, The Other Guys was officially launched as a stand-alone company and by year end production grew to more than 169,OOO cases. According to Sebastiani, the company expects to continue its upward trajectory and is forecasting a 5O% sales increase for 2O11. Keep an eye on that Other Guy!