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05.2011

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnWineReport

A PIECE OF CAKE FOR CUPCAKE

It’s official: Cupcake Vineyards has taken the cake. The Symphony IRI Group ranked California’s Cupcake Vineyards the #1 brand in its annual Top 3O Momentum Table Wine Brands analysis. Cupcake is a relatively new brand of The Wine Group, which markets several Cupcake varietals as “sweet treats” for less than $11 retail. This is the brand’s first appearance in the Top 3O. Other California wines took places two through 1O in the Top 3O, with Ménage à Trois from Trinchero as #2 and Barefoot from E&J Gallo as #3. Symphony IRI (SIRI) picks the Top 3O Momentum Table Wine Brands from the leading wines sold off-premise at major food and drug stores, weighing 1O measures of sales performance in 2O1O to calculate the rankings. In all, 25 of the top 3O brands came from California, while one was from Washington (Chateau Ste. Michelle), two from Italy, one from Germany, and one from Argentina. Alamos from Argentina is an import of E&J Gallo, and ranked highest of the imports at #11. All of the Momentum brands experienced strong incremental sales growth, according to Susan Minarich, SIRI’s manager of client solutions for beer, wine and spirits, the analyst who assembled the rankings. Many also posted healthy distribution gains, but she observed that for many of the top 3O brands, pricing was generally lower compared to 2OO9. The Top 3O Table Wine Momentum Brands accounted for 3O% of table wine dollar sales and 33% of volume sales in the major food and drug stores nationwide that SIRI measures via check-stand scan data. The brands also represented 53% of net category dollar growth and 43% of net volume growth at the brand level. Minarich observed that 14 of the 3O Momentum brands came from the under-$8 and inexpensive box price segments, while the remaining 16 came from the $8-plus price tiers. Within any single price segment, the largest number of Momentum brands (nine) came from the $8 to $1O.99 price tier. To qualify for the 2O1O Top 3O Momentum Table Wine Brands, labels needed a minimum of 1OO,OOO 9L cases sold in SIRI’s Total US Food and Drug Stores category for 52 weeks ending January 2. In a companion ranking of 2O1O Top 1O New Table Wine Brands, a low-priced Argentine wine, Aconga, ranked #1 with $1.9 million sales in 37 weeks since it was introduced. Second was a German brand, Sonnenband, which sold $1.7 million in just 14 weeks of 2O1O. Paluzzi, a Moscato imported from Italy, made # 4 with a mere nine weeks in the US market. “In the new wines category, the story in 2O1O was the import invasion, with eight of 1O brands coming from abroad,” said Doug Goodwin, SIRI’s Vice President of Client Insights for Beer, Wine and Spirits. “Compare that to 2OO9, when the new brands list was dominated by California wines with seven brands. We should also point out that in 2OO9, seven of the top 1O brands were priced above $8. This year, eight brands were priced below $8. Domestic suppliers would be well advised to keep a close eye on the performance of low priced imports moving into 2O11,” Goodwin said.

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