Trio of UK Gallo launches offer new optimism

28 February, 2013

E&J Gallo has launched a 5.5% abv wine named Gallo Family Vineyards Summer White to the UK, Netherlands and the Nordics, and rolled out distribution of Barefoot Pink Moscato and Apothic Red to the UK.

Speaking to Drinks International about the launches, Bill Roberts, general manager of E&J Gallo for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said sweeter and lighter styles are driving the group’s sales growth.

In the US, which is around 75% of the group’s business, revenues were up 7.7% last year.

The UK market had been sidelined by E&J Gallo at the start of the recession but the trio of launches represents renewed optimism in the market from the group.

Roberts said: “A few years ago, we consolidated our portfolio and reduced our SKUs. But since 2009 we have been growing. We are very optimistic about the UK."

At the heart of E&J Gallo’s market strategy is providing styles that match ever-changing consumer tastes.

The California-headquartered wine group will back the launch of Summer White with a £1m marketing campaign in the UK.

The group expects to sell 6-700,000 bottles of Summer White in its first year.

Roberts acknowledged that hitting an abv of 5.5% made the wine less sensitive to duty but argued there was a clear trend towards “lighter, easier drinking wine” regardless.

Barefoot Pink Moscato, which is the first Californian pink Moscato to arrive in the UK, will also be available in mainland Europe.

Described on the label as "Deliciously Sweet”, the wine has an abv of 9%.

The group's third launch, Apothic Red (13% abv),  is now available in the UK abut also in the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe, and is “leading growth in the red blend category” according to Roberts.

At around CAN$16, it has become the number one wine in Canada at any price point and the best selling premium wine in the US. In the UK it is priced at £9.99.

Roberts also noted growth in sweeter wine styles in Eastern Europe, where its Carlo Rossi brand is popular, Africa and China. 

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