Posted on | August 13, 2012
Written by | Kristen Wolfe Bieler
Fresh Trio from Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Targets a Younger Audience.
Any retailer or restaurateur can tell you the wine drinking public is changing. Americans are drinking more wine than ever, so market opportunities abound, but the most important and coveted demographic is the new LDA drinker, and engaging these new consumers—who have a greater affinity for wine than previous generations—requires a new approach.
“Consumers find shopping the wine category overwhelming,” says Diageo Innovation Brand Manager Nicole Lockwood. “There are so many choices, particularly for someone for whom wine is a beverage, not a hobby. They want to have fun with wine brands that fit their lifestyle. Impulse buyers often make purchase decisions based on labels. Today, many wine consumers are looking for branding that is lighthearted fun. Something that makes them smile, think, or feels relevant to their life and interests.”
Characterized by a willingness to experiment, they respond enthusiastically to non-traditional packaging, new taste profiles and innovative blends. “We realize that younger wine drinkers are far less influenced by wine traditions and ‘rules,’” says Greg Kryder, Diageo Chateau & Estate President. “We have a large population of wine buyers that turned 21 after the millennium. They grew up with wine as part of their families’ lifestyle, and they are fearless in their selections. For instance, millennial men are turning to interesting wines on the same occasions, and with the same regularity that they may order craft beer. We aim to create wines that fire that enthusiasm and satisfy that curiosity.”
With precisely those men in mind, winemaker John Kane of Rosenblum Cellars created Stark Raving, a line of wines whose “retro-futuristic” label aims to “convey a sense of time-hopping irreverence toward history and culture.” Stark Raving Red is a big, juicy, novel blend of Tannat, Zinfandel and other red varietals; Stark Raving White is a full-bodied blend of Chardonnay and Moscato. By August, Kane plans to add an Argentine Malbec and French Cabernet to the line-up.
“As male millennial consumers enter the wine category, they typically look for bolder wine offerings, as they also enjoy craft beer, whiskey, bourbon and bold food flavors,” says Lockwood. “These young men are at place in life where they are fully independent and are exploring their personal passions, making long time life decisions and setting goals. Stark Raving was created to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit—a spirit which can appear crazy or obsessive to others.”
Female new LDA drinkers will enjoy Butterfly Kiss, created by winemaker Jason Dodge. Launching with a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pink Pinot Grigio, and soon to be joined by a Moscato, Butterfly Kiss offerings are bright, delicate and aromatic with just a hint of sweetness. The iridescent holographic printing technique used for the labels makes the butterfly’s wings appear to shimmer with movement. “The majority of wine shoppers are women—there is a growing opportunity to create wine brands and label designs for them,” explains Lockwood. “With Butterfly Kiss, we wanted to create something that is a visual treat as well as lovely to sip after a long day.”
At Rosenblum, John Kane makes big, bold Zinfandels and Rhônes. However, he noticed that a number of women in his life preferred something lighter, whiter and a little sweeter. This inspired a side project called Rose‘N’Blum. “It’s just a little play on words to show our softer side,” says Lockwood. “These luscious white and pink wines are light and fragrant—the perfect sip for summer, for a night out with the girls, or dinner in with take-out.” The labels employ thermochromatic inks—when chilled to perfection the large roses on the label “bloom” to a more vibrant pink and orange, with delicate shading and line art. “It injects a note of fun when sharing with friends,” adds Lockwood.