Constellation Courts Millennials With 50 New Wine Brands

on 06/04/12 at 8:23 am

Industry

–Company plans to launch more than 50 new wine brands and extensions this year, above last year’s 25

–Wine launches come as Constellation’s total domestic wine business has lagged the overall market

–Constellation hopes to court Millennial drinkers, who have driven wine category’s growth in recent years

An evolving palate and high interest in wines among the Millennial generation are two potential tailwinds that can aid Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) as it launches a more plentiful slate of new wines this year.

The maker of Robert Mondavi and Ravenswood wines intends to launch more than 50 new wine brands and line extensions this year, a figure far greater than the 25 new products it launched last year. The alcoholic-beverage firm is hopeful it can win over customers, particularly those between 21 and 34 years old, as it focuses on the explosive demand for red blends, Moscato and unoaked, or stainless-steel fermented, wines.

The wine launches come as the company’s total domestic wine business lagged that of the overall market on a year-to-date basis through the fiscal third quarter, which ended Nov. 30, 2011. Constellation, which will report fourth-quarter results Thursday, has sought to court younger consumers that favor sweeter and more lush flavored wines.

Constellation Chief Marketing Officer Chris Fehrnstrom said industry data show that over the last five to six years Millennials have driven growth. And there is a general sense across the industry that this generation is embracing the culture of wine drinking and wine enthusiasm at a younger age than their parents and grandparents did.

He said the company has sought to better understand what tastes appeal to those drinkers and is developing brands to meet their interests.

FULL STORY via WSJ

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