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CHICAGO - Strong merchandising was a key factor behind the sales growth of top-performing table wines, according to a new study by market research firm Information Resources, Inc. And apparently, coming from a California-based Vineyard helps, too.
The study, IRI's third annual 2006 Table Wine Top 30 Brand Performers, ranks the top 30 most influential table wine brands, those brands that have experienced significant growth in U.S. supermarkets and drugstores across multiple variables during the 52 week period ending Dec. 31, 2006.
IRI also unveiled its "2006 Table Wine Top 10 New Brands," a list of emerging new entries.
"In 2006, we saw record sales again in the wine industry, which means that America is clearly still experiencing a wine boom," said Bump Williams, general manager, IRI Beer, Wine and Spirits Practice. "Wine makers do a great job of demystifying the product and are also having a little fun with it at the same time. Just like last year, we are continuing to see the trends of eye-catching packaging, advertising and grocery displays. And now, we're even seeing some non-traditional premium box wine that is hitting the mark with consumers."
The study also revealed key trends driving growth:
- An increase in merchandising support contributed to the success of the top 30 brands; all brands experienced an increase in weeks of support, and the majority had significant incremental sales gains from promotion.
- Twenty-three of the top 30 are domestic table wines from California.
- Imported table wine brands held five of the 30 spots, with Australia the No. 1 import country of origin with four brands.
- The vast majority of brands, 83 percent, are premium priced at $5.50 and above.
Nearly all, or 28 out of 30 brands, increased their presence at retail with an increase in distribution.
- Twenty-six of 30 brands grew in double digits or more in dollar sales during the 52 week period; 26 also grew in double digits in volume sales.
IRI analyzed volume growth, share of segment trends, merchandising effectiveness, everyday base pricing stability, profitability, distribution gains, incremental sales, and sales velocity growth to develop its list of leading brands. To qualify for the study, brands had to meet a minimum requirement of 100,000, nine-liter cases sold.
The IRI 2006 Table Wine Top 30 Brand Performers
2 Francis Coppola
3 Sterling Vintner's Collection
4 Chateau Ste. Michelle
5 Crane Lake
6 Bogle Vineyards
7 Smoking Loon
8 J Lohr
10 La Crema
11 The Little Penguin
12 Rex Goliath
13 Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve
14 Fish Eye
15 Pepperwood Grove
18 Five Oaks
19 Sutter Home
20 Clos du Bois
21 Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull
22 Rodney Strong
23 Yellow Tail
24 Black Box Wines
25 Columbia Crest
27 Chateau St. Jean
29 Jacob's Creek
The IRI 2006 Table Wine Top 10 New Brands
2 Cycles Gladiator
3 Little Black Dress
4 Bohemian Highway
6 Red Guitar
7 Lost Vineyards
8 Mattie's Perch
9 Rubeus of Lore
10 French Rabbit