Walmart launches new private label wines for $11 a bottle

US retail corporation Walmart is launching a new range of 10 private label wines, most priced at US$11 a bottle, to help foster a reputation for “quality at value”.

Called the Winemakers Selection line, the collection has been produced by winemakers working directly with Walmart’s wine buyers. The range will be rolled out across 1,100 stores in the US and will include wine sourced from California, France and Italy.

This follows similar moves to produce affordable private label wines by discount retailers including Trader Joe’s, Lidl and Aldi.

Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart, launched its own branded wine called Member’s Mark last year. Walmart itself introduced a ‘private label wine’ range back in 2000 which featured a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and White Zinfandel – all produced by E. & J. Gallo. However, unlike the new Winemakers Selection, the bottles were neither Walmart nor Gallo branded and instead carried the name Alcott Ridge Vineyards.

Speaking to Winsight Grocery Business, Al Dominguez, senior vice president of merchandising said: “In the past, we would canvass the world and figure out what was available and what we could do quickly at scale. We took a slightly different approach in working directly with winemakers”.

He added that while the bottles will mostly retail for $11 they will “drink like a $30 bottle”.

Chief merchant Steve Bratspies told Winsight Grocery Business that the new wines were intended to reinforce the store’s reputation for “quality at value”.

“It’s how we display it, but also about making sure we have the pure linear square footage to carry the breadth of assortment we need,” he said. “We are also working on the experience, looking for different ways to present the product”.

According to the Walmart website, the new range is described as a selection of “highly drinkable wines for any occasion.”

It continues: “Each wine in the Winemakers Selection has been carefully curated from the best wine regions of the world to bring you exceptional taste at an affordable price. Also, the labels are pretty cool too.

“We think it’s perfectly okay to try a wine based on its label. A lot of thought and intention has gone into reflecting the history of the wines and regions they came from through the labels”.

The range includes a red blend, a Chianti Classic, a Chianti Riserva and a Sangiovese from Italy; a Grenache rosé, a sparkling rosé, a Grenache, a Syrah and a Cabernet Franc from France, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

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