Private label wines moving in on national brands

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Lidl's range of private label wines

According to Wine-Searcher, an online wine database that also writes news and features for the industry, sommeliers and small wine shops are less than impressed with private label wines.

In a feature titled, “The Growing Attraction of Private Wine Labels,” the article looks at the rise of private label wines in the U.S. and U.K., and cites a history of own brand wines that were used to simply move volumes of bulk wine. But the article also acknowledges that “private label wines are going to devour more market share over the next five years, leaving less retail space for branded wines.”

The article referred to Nielsen reports of private brand wine success, such as a 9% improvement in sales of private label wine in the U.S. between 2014-2018. In the U.K., private label wine consumption increased by more than 13% during that period, while national brands declined by 2.4%.

While wine snobs may not be down with a private label wine, per the article, the majority of consumers seem to be on board. As the article intuits, wine is a complex category and shoppers often rely on education, recommendations and reviews before buying. To simplify what to buy, and perhaps easing up on some of that confusion, if a shopper is loyal to their store, they will simply buy that retailer’s brand of wine. Basically, shoppers are transferring their trust in a brand into that wine brand. 

Retailers launching wine brands include Aldi, Walmart, Costco, Target, Amazon, Gelson’s Markets, Lidl, Trader Joe’s and more. In addition, not a value brand but a high-end market in the U.K., Waitrose unveiled an own brand and said in the article that the wines are very popular.