Chocolate wine takes US and UK by storm

on 12/03/12 at 1:43 pm

Booze News

A chocolate infused wine called Chocolate Shop has surprised its creators with surging demand from a wide range of consumers in the US and UK.

“We thought the market would be female and young, but we’ve found that it has much broader appeal,” said Andrew Browne, founder of the product, citing demand from men and women, as well as older and experienced wine drinkers.

The Chocolate Shop is owned by Washington-based Precept Wine and was launched in January last year in the US using a Bordeaux blend from California, mixed with sugar and natural chocolate.

“We called it the chocolate lover’s wine,” explained Browne, although in the UK, where the product was introduced in November, it must also be classed as an “aromatised wine-based drink”.

In 2011, as many 1.2 million bottles were sold almost entirely in the US retail market, although Lewis Jones, managing director at D&D Wines, importer of Chocolate Shop in the UK, told db that he expected to sell as many as 50,000 cases in 2012 in Britain.

“We’ve sold 8,500 cases in the last two weeks in the Coop alone,” he added, stressing the demand for Chocolate Shop in the run up to Valentine’s Day and now Easter.

Speaking of its international demand, Browne added, “The wave just keeps getting bigger”.

He said that the company had created line extensions for the US, such as a strawberry and chocolate version, which have similarly attracted a surge of interest.

“We made 10,000 cases for Valentine’s Day and sold out,” he said of the new flavoured wine.

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