Posted on | June 24, 2013
Written by | W.R. Tish
The term “brand new” gets hoisted up media flagpoles with about the same frequency and impact as the sun rising in the east. And so, along comes Barefoot’s brand new “Refresh”— four takes on the wine spritzer, essentially.
But in the case of this extension, line-priced at $8, there are several reasons to believe the hype. First of all, it’s coming from the marketing minds at E. & J. Gallo. Also, Barefoot Refresh taps into multiple trends: blends; lower alcohol; Moscato/sweet wines. Perhaps most important, this is no startup—Refresh is hopping onto shelves next to the already well-distributed Barefoot wines, and in a catchy bottle that qualifies as “brand new” in its own right.
We checked in with Stephanie Gallo, Vice President of Marketing for E. & J. Gallo Winery, to learn more about the Barefoot Refresh wines and the research behind them.
THE BEVERAGE NETWORK: The Barefoot line has already 15 still wines and six bubblies. Can you tell us about the research that led to the new wines?
STEPHANIE GALLO: We did extensive testing with consumers and discovered that many are switching from wine to alternative alcohol beverages in order to satisfy their need for refreshment. We also discovered that these wine consumers were creating their own homemade version of refreshing wine by adding seltzer to their glasses and enjoying it over ice. The wines are comprised of lighter-bodied, approachable varietals, and the four blends range from drier to sweeter, but all achieve the refreshing quality and taste great over ice.
TBN: At what point did you come up with the name, and the bottle?
SG: We felt there was no need to complicate the name—it says it all in one simple word. We wanted to differentiate Refresh on the shelf, so we designed a bottle that still communicates 100% wine, but one that is unique as well.
TBN: Why have you chosen to make Refresh an extension of Barefoot, rather than a standalone brand or part of Turning Leaf, which also has two wines labeled Refresh?
SG:Turning Leaf Refresh is still available and appeals to a different consumer than the Barefoot consumer. We felt the time was right for Gallo to challenge the winemaking team to create a family of wines that keeps up with America’s growing thirst for drink options. Changes in consumer perception have led to a casualization of wine that has influenced when, where, and how people like to drink it. Barefoot Refresh is a new option for the ever-expanding number of wine occasions. Think picnic table instead of dinner table.
TBN: Can you tell us about the decision to make the Barefoot Refresh wines lower in alcohol?
SG: While the wines are lower in alcohol than traditional varietals such as Chardonnay or Cabernet, they are not any lower in alcohol than emerging types such as Moscato and in some cases, even other types such as Rieslings or Pinot Grigios. Our winemakers took care to meet a specific wine style for the Barefoot consumer, and the blends resulted in wines that contain slightly less alcohol by volume than traditional types.
TBN: The screwtop closure is not typical for a Gallo brand. Why use it here?
SG: It’s the best choice for this particular wine to maintain freshness and fizz. The re-sealable cap helps maintain the carbonation after opening—just keep it in the fridge.