Gallo, Barefoot Dominate Off-Premise Sales

Five wine companies account for 80% of sales by top 20 brands in U.S.

by Wines & Vines staff
San Rafael, Calif.—E. & J. Gallo Winery and Constellation Brands own half of the wine brands on the list of top 20 labels sold off-premise. The same two companies also account for almost half of the nearly $4 billion in sales by the top 20 brands. (Click here for the full list.)

The top 20 off-premise wine brands generate $3.89 billion in sales, which is about 41% of the entire off-premise market, as measured by IRI, the Chicago, Ill.-based market-research firm. Five companies with more than one brand on the list—Gallo, Constellation, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, The Wine Group and Trinchero Family Estates—accounted for nearly 80% of sales by the total top 20 table wine brands.

Gallo’s Barefoot wines continued to lead all other brands in off-premise sales during the past 52 weeks, with 5% in value growth and 7% in volume. Gallo’s other top brands—Gallo Family Vineyards, Apothic, Carlo Rossi and Livingston Cellars—generated $1.13 billion in sales, or about 30% of total sales by the top 20 brands.

The latest list of the top 20 brands is part of the most recent Wine Industry Metrics report by Wines Vines Analytics. All of the key metrics including off-premise sales, direct-to-consumer sales and winery hiring activity remained positive in June, which is the fifth consecutive month of solid growth in all categories.

Constellation’s top brands of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Black Box Wines, Clos Du Bois, Robert Mondavi Private Selection and Rex Goliath generated a total of $740 million in sales in the past 52 weeks.

Barefoot races to top
Barefoot increased its lead on the No. 2 brand, Sutter Home by Trinchero Family Estates, which shrank 2% in sales and 3% in volume in the off-premise sector. The average price for Barefoot decreased by 8 cents per bottle, while Sutter Home’s average bottle price rose 2 cents.

Newcomers in the Top 20 list since Wines & Vines last published it in 2013 were 14 Hands and Apothic. The two brands that dropped off the list were La Crema and Peter Vella box wines.

Trinchero had the fastest-growing brand in the top 20. Ménage à Trois moved from No. 15 two years ago to No. 10 in June. Ménage à Trois managed a 24% increase in sales and a 23% increase in volume during the most recent 52 weeks. The brand also took a price increase of 11 cents per bottle during that period.

An examination of the more expensive brands versus the lower priced brands was revealing. All but one of the eight brands priced $9 per bottle and above rose in sales, while seven of the 12 priced less than $9 dropped.

DtC stays summer strong
Despite the routine warm-weather, month-to-month slide in June, DtC sales still grew 6% compared to June 2014. Volume, meanwhile, rose by 11% from a year ago. Sales for the most recent 12-month period grew 14% compared to the previous year. The total value of DtC shipments was $92 million according to the Wines & Vines/ShipCompliant model and the total volume reached 256,206, which is 11% more than in June 2014.

In reviewing the June data, Wines Vines Analytics took a special focus on wines from Sonoma County over the past 12 months. Pinot Noir clearly led in average bottle price among Sonoma County wines shipped directly to consumers. At $47, the per-bottle price of Pinot Noir was $15 higher than Cabernet Sauvignon. Total shipments from Sonoma County wineries had a value of almost $347 million.

Winejobs hits record

The Winery Job Index in June jumped 22% from June 2014, reflecting very positive movement in hiring activity, as recorded by Winejobs.com. Coming in at 366 points, June reached its second-highest point since the index was set at 100 points in January 2007. Only April of this year was higher. The increase in June also helped boost the 12-month index to 19% more than the same period a year earlier.

Job postings in the subcategory of winemaking were the highest on record, growing 18% from June 2014. Wineries often concentrate their winemaker searches from April through July to prepare for harvest.

Hiring for winery sales and marketing positions turned around this year, showing gains over 2014 in each month except February and peaks in January and May. By contrast, hiring in this subcategory showed negative growth during eight months in 2014.

Posted on 07.16.2015 - 08:47:34 PST
If the wines listed make up 80% of the US wine sales I'm proud to be a "20 Percenter."