Winning With Wine in 2018

7-Eleven embraces the category with its own private-label brands

There’s positive news in the wine aisle: Per capita consumption of wine in the U.S. market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.48% from 2014 to 2018. Compare that to the negative 0.52% CAGR predicted for beer over the same period, says Tom Vierhile, innovations insights director for GlobalData, New York.

“The growth outlook for wine is good,” he says.

And as wine consumption grows, some c-stores are expanding or changing their sets. 7-Eleven, for example, expanded its selection in October 2017 to include its second private-label brand: Trojan Horse. It is available in 80% of U.S. stores and is “already a favorite among customers,” Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven told Convenience Store Products.

Two white varietal wines—chardonnay and pinot grigio—are offered under the Trojan Horse brand, for a suggested retail price of $6.99. In 2009, 7-Eleven’s other private-label brand wine, Yosemite Road, was introduced as a limited-edition vintage from California to the United States and Japan. Available now in chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, pinot grigio, Moscato and pink moscato varietals, Yosemite Road “proved so popular it has been on shelves ever since,” 7-Eleven says.

“At the time, value-priced wines (those under $5) were gaining in popularity and enjoying double-digit sales growth at 7-Eleven stores as consumers searched for exceptional value during the economic slowdown,” the company says.

Nowadays, “consumers, especially wine consumers, are demanding and discerning,” 7-Eleven says. “We strive to provide customers with what they want when and where they want it.”

The typical wine consumer is generally older and female. Americans ages 55 and up account for 44% of wine volume, and women account for nearly 59% of wine consumption in the United States, according to GlobalData.

Vierhile says this is a “potential issue.”

“Convenience stores have long had a reputation of catering to younger men, not the top demographic for wine, and this could be an issue that would deter the industry from embracing wine to a greater degree than is currently the case,” he says.

That said, 7-Eleven appears to be embracing the category fully, offering a wide assortment of wine in its stores.

“We constantly monitor wine trends, both nationally and locally, and select red, white and sparkling varieties depending on regional preferences and time of year,” the c-store chain said.

7-Eleven has found that its customers prefer red or sparkling wine during the holidays: “We adjust our wine assortment during the holidays—and yearround—to meet those needs.”

And it merchandises its wine assortment to align with each varietal. 7-Eleven offers white, blush and sparkling options chilled in the refrigerated section, as well as on an ambient display alongside red wine. It also merchandises wine accessories, such as gift bags and corkscrews, adjacent to the wine section.

“Our wine team will continue to explore other options that appeal to our customers, whether they are looking for a value or premium bottle,” 7-Eleven says.

2.48%

Expected compound annual growth rate of U.S. wine consumption from 2014 to 2018

Source: GlobalData