Gallo’s portfolio grew volume sales by 7% in the UK off-trade last year (Nielsen, year to December 2014) while the total wine category stagnated and US wine dipped 1%.
It plans to build on this success with the launch of Gallo Family Vineyards Spritz, a pair of 5.5% abv wine-based drinks mixed with fruit, along with a new 8.5% abv range called Barefoot Refresh.
Bill Roberts, Gallo’s general manager for Europe, told OLN: “There are barriers to enter into the wine category. Many Millennials view the wine category as stodgy. It’s also a roll of the dice – they buy a wine they think they will like, but they don’t like it. People don’t like the taste, the higher alcohol taste.
“This group of consumers aspires to the sophistication of wine but they haven’t found one for them.
“Our plan to reach these consumers is Gallo Family Vineyards Spritz.”
There is a Pinot Grigio with pineapple and passionfruit, and a Grenache rosé with raspberry and lime. The new drinks will be backed by a £1 million marketing campaign including advertising and a sampling campaign targeting 300,000 consumers.
The rrp is £5.99 and Roberts expects it to sell for £5 on average after promotions.
“People are buying a real wine in a real bottle and if it’s too low in price it becomes not serious,” he said. “People want somewhat of a serious wine.”
Barefoot, the world’s number one wine brand, has now moved up to number 13 in the UK trade after growing volume sales by 40% (Nielsen, year to December 2014). Roberts expects to crack the UK top 10 this year.
“We exceeded 1 million cases, and that’s at 54p higher than the average price for a bottle of wine,” he said.
Barefoot Refresh will come with the strapline: A Little Fizz, A Lot of Fun. The variants are Crisp Red, Crisp White and Perfectly Pink, all at 8.5% abv.
Gallo is also targeting this Millennial generation with its New Amsterdam vodka, which has been gaining traction in independent retailers and will now be aimed at the wider trade.
“Nobody in that popular price point where Russian Standard, Smirnoff and Absolut sit has been talking to the Millennial consumers in the past five years,” said Roberts. “Millennials in our research say New Amsterdam is a vodka for their generation.
“It’s the number three brand in the US, behind Smirnoff and Absolut so we think it will work here. We are investing £2 million in a campaign called It’s Your Town to promote it.”