Better-For-You Wine Market Presents Opportunity for Independents

Jul 13, 2022

Now more than ever, consumers are conscious about what goes into their bodies, and that includes alcohol, too.

"Health-benefit products are experiencing double digit comp growth across our industry. From gluten-free to low carb to low calorie, shoppers are buying 'better for me' products in every department," IGA CEO John Ross says. "The near-beer/seltzer category has exploded, and we have unlocked new shoppers in our stores. The good news? What worked there works with wine, too. Problem is we haven't had great products to offer shoppers looking for healthier wine options. Until now."

Enter the Independent Grocer Alliance's Red Oval partner Fresh Vine Wines, a premium line of better-for-you wines produced in Napa Valley, California and co-founded by celebrities Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough. With a unique collection of bold, crisp, and flavorful wines that embody a deeper connection with active lifestyles, Fresh Vine has a wine for everyone. That includes health-conscious shoppers who, until now, have steered clear of wine because of sugar, carbohydrate, and sulfite levels; and premium wine drinkers who are seeking a better-for-you choice without sacrificing taste and quality.

With national distribution up and running, it's time for independent retailers to uncork this opportunity in the wine category. 

"I've spent much of my career in the alcohol industry working alongside IGA, and have always been impressed with the tenacity and creativity of independent retailers," says Fresh Vine Wines President and interim CEO Rick Nechio. "That's why we are launching this exciting campaign for independents—it allows them to break into the premium wine category at the ground floor of a fast-growing segment." Nechio says.

Independent Grocers Alliance members can be among the first grocers to carry this wine in stores and leverage Fresh Vine Wines' resources on wine marketing and merchandising in time for the fall and holiday gatherings. 

Here's how:

1. Place your order for Fresh Vine Wines

Find your distributor by state in this PDF and contact them to place your order of Fresh Vine Wines. Your distributor can help you select the perfect assortment for your shoppers based on current sales data. Choose from:

  • Pinot noir–Medium-bodied flavors of blackberry, red raspberry, and ripe plum. Tasty, long finish of red plums and baker's chocolate with a hint of acidity.
  • Cabernet sauvignon–Medium-bodied with concentrated flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, and baker's chocolate. Finishes long with supple tannins and flavor of plum.
  • Rosé–Fresh flavors of nectarine, stone fruit, and melon framed wonderfully with a bit of mouth-watering acidity.
  • Chardonnay–Expressive, full-bodied palate of green apple, tropical fruits, and citrus. Finishes long with lingering notes of pear and bright acidity.
  • Sauvignon blanc–Light, golden straw in color. Pretty aromas of citrus peel, pomelo, and fresh melon. Fresh flavors of Meyer lemon and melon with a crisp, refreshing finish of ruby red grapefruit.
2. Use Fresh Vine Wines' Visual Merchandising Assets

Order three or more cases to receive a 3-shelf floor display that shows off the unique, better-for-you attributes of the wine along with a photo of the celebrity co-founders Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough. 

Fresh Vine wine display in IGA store

Use glorifiers, case cards, shelf talkers, and bottle riders to further promote the wines in-store. Fresh Vine Wines' merchandising support is available to retailers at no cost.

3. Announce you have the wines in stock

"The Fresh Vine Wines online shopper spends on average $48 dollars per Fresh Vine Wines purchase and are willing to drive up to 25 miles to purchase Fresh Vine Wine at a local store versus online," Nechio says.

Shoppers are clamoring for these wines! And with celebrity co-founders Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough's nearly 31 million Instagram followers, their reach and influence easily prompts fans and followers to seek out these wines.

"If Nina and Julianne post that Fresh Vine wines are available at the local IGA store, shoppers will flock there immediately and trust me, you want to have it in stock," Nechio says about their passionate fans.

Let your shoppers know you're one of the first retailers to carry these wines and get ahead of the demand.

4. Educate the shopper

"Today’s shoppers are better educated about their food consumption and are looking for better-for-you products across all CPG categories. In fact, 93% of consumers feel compelled to look for lower-sugar products while shopping,” Nechio says. 

As you promote your selection of Fresh Vine wines online, share tasting notes and other education pieces to help your shoppers understand the value of what they're purchasing. 

Highlight the unique attributes of these wines:

  • Less calories, carbs, and sugar
  • Low sulfites
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly (third party independent laboratory tests reveal no trace of dairy, eggs, fish or animal products in the bottled wine)

Offer insights on the winemaking team and process:

  • The winemaking team includes venerated winemaker, Jamey Whetstone, and a family owned and operated wine making facility in the heart of Napa Valley with a combined 50 years of experience.
  • The team uses environmentally conscious practices from the vineyard to the cellar.
  • They choose the highest-quality grapes from the best appellations in California’s top grape-growing regions.
  • They combine modern and traditional winemaking practices.
  • The team uses only natural ingredients and minimal manipulation of the wines during fermentation.

IGA and Fresh Vine will also be sharing IGA Better Choices recipes that pair with the wines to offer your shoppers a unique Napa Valley wine-tasting experience.

5. Take the course & promote the sweepstakes

In the coming month, IGA will be sharing more details on the IGA Coca-Cola Institute course we're developing with Fresh Vine Wines to help independent grocers learn how to best market and merchandise better-for-you wines like Fresh Vine. We will also be announcing the exciting details for a sweepstakes that gives your shoppers the opportunity to win a trip to meet Fresh Vine Wines Co-founders Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough!

To get ahead of the competition with these unique wines, start by contacting your distributor to determine the perfect assortment for your market. Place your order, use the above merchandising and marketing tips, and let shoppers know you have the wines they're looking for!

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