IRI Unveils Top Table Wines

California-based brands leading growth

CHICAGO Smoking Loon topped the list of Information Resources Inc.'s (IRI) just-released second-annual 2005 Table Wine Top 30 Brand Performers, a study that identifies the top 30 most-influential table wine brands.

These individual brands have experienced significant growth in U.S. supermarkets and drugstores across multiple variables during the 52-week period ending Jan. 1, 2006. IRI, a provider of consumer behavior insights to the consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and beverage alcohol industries, has also unveiled its 2005 Table Wine Top 10 New [image-nocss] Brands, a list of emerging new brand entries.

IRI analyzed volume growth, share of segment trends, merchandising effectiveness, frontline pricing stability, profitability, distribution gains, incremental sales and sales velocity growth to develop this list of brands. To qualify for the study, brands had to meet a minimum requirement of 100,000 nine-liter cases sold.

The IRI 2005 Table Wine Top 30 Brand Performers

1. Smoking Loon

2. Cavit

3. Yellow Tail

4. Barefoot

5. La Crema

6. Red Bicyclette

7. The Little Penguin

8. Crane Lake

9. Robert Mondavi Private Selection

10. Beringer

11. Mirassou

12. Ravenswood Vintners Blend

13. Pepperwood Grove

14. Blackstone

15. Estancia

16. Francis Coppola

17. Fetzer

18. Peter Vella

19. J Lohr

20. Black Swan

21. Columbia Crest

22. Foxhorn

23. Black Box Wines

24. Chateau Ste Michelle

25. Century Cellars by BV

26. Schmitt Sohne

27. Sutter Home

28. Hess Select

29. Clos Du Bois

30. Rodney Strong

In addition to the top 30 ranking, the study also revealed the following key trends that are driving the growth of today's rapidly evolving table wine marketplace:

An increase in merchandising support appeared to contribute to the success of the top 30 brands; 29 of the 30 brands experienced an increase in weeks of support and the majority of brands increased their display presence. 22 of the top 30 brands are domestic table wines from California. Imported table wine brands held six of the 30 spots, with Australia as the No. 1 import country of origin with three brands. The vast majority of brands, 83%, are premium priced at $5.50 and above. 29 out of 30 brands increased their presence at retail with an increase in distribution 29 of 30 brands that made the ranking grew double digits or more in dollar sales during the 52-week period; 27 out of 30 brands grew double digits in volume sales.

What really jumps out at you from this list of top-performing wine brands is the diversification of the U.S. wine industry, said Rich Cartiere, editor and publisher of the Wine Market Report. A problem of concentration in certain sectors has plagued the U.S. wine industry and continues to cause problems for other winemaking countries, most notably Australia, because of its overdependence on selling wine abroad in a narrow price of $5 to $8.

He added, Even a year ago imported brandsnow at a record market share by volumewould have dominated or had a more dominating influence. The breadth of products here is remarkable and probably unmatched by any wine industry anywhere in the world.

Wine is more popular than ever with consumers, and wine makers are taking full advantage of their opportunities with bold new packaging, advertising and grocery displays, said Dan Wandel, vice president of the IRI Beer, Wine and Spirits practice. The brands on this year's top 30 list have delivered breakout performance through new and innovative thinking.

The IRI 2005 Table Wine Top 10 New Brands

(Based on dollar sales in total U.S. food and drug for the 52-week period ending Jan 1, 2006)

1. Twin Fin

2. Monkey Bay

3. 3 Blind Moose

4. Dog House

5. Blue Marlin

6. Five Oaks

7. Wine Block

8. Four Emus

9. Blue Fish

10. Kelly's Revenge