Gallo backs UK Moscato boom

E&J Gallo Winery is looking to build on the success of Moscato in the US with a UK launch.

The company believes that its new Gallo Family Vineyards and Barefoot Moscato styles could appeal to as many as three million UK consumers whose needs, according to Gallo managing director for Europe & Africa, Bill Roberts, “are not being met by the white wine offer on shelves today.”

Having seen Moscato sales in the US leap by 73% in the last year, with Gallo brands holding a 42% share of this market, Roberts announced a plan “to invest more money in Moscato than we have ever invested in any single product launch in the UK.”

However, he stopped short of predicting quite the same level of success for Moscato as it has enjoyed in the US, where the grape has now eclipsed Sauvignon Blanc to become the country’s third biggest selling white variety. “I would be surprised if it got to that level,” he admitted.

Amy Engelhardt, international marketing director for Gallo, suggested that the trend towards sweeter wine styles was not restricted to a female consumer base. “I do think the sweet trend is quite balanced,” she commented. “A significant number of men are also interested in sweeter flavours.”

The 8.5% abv, “lusciously sweet” Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato is due to appear across UK on-trade and off-trade channels from March with an RRP of £6.79.

The Barefoot Moscato, described by Roberts as “a little sweeter” than the Gallo brand, has already seen a limited UK release but is now due to be rolled out in larger quantities.

The company also confirmed ongoing UK investment in other styles, in particular its Gallo Summer Red, launched last year, and E&J Brandy, which Roberts reported “saw 24% growth last year in a challenging market.”

Attributing this success largely to the launch of its 35cl format, Roberts said the company was doubling its investment in a product it believes “really has the opportunity to revitalise the brandy market in the UK.”

In total, Gallo reported a sales increase of 14m cases worldwide, split fairly evenly between its domestic and export markets.

In the UK, the company attributed its 3.5% volume increase within a declining category to its decision three years ago to move away from entry level styles towards varietal wines, which now account for 95% of its sales.

Summing up this latest launch, Roberts concluded: “We’re just trying to find and meet a need that consumers may or may not know they’re looking for.”

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