AMSTERDAM, June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wine lovers around the world no longer have to leave their favorite supermarket to discover the best wines to buy. Retailers in Europe are introducing a variety of outstanding wines under their own brands as private label wines are reaching 40% or more market share in key countries.
The U.S. may seem far behind, but in California, where trends often start, more than 80% of wines are now purchased in supermarkets. In addition, Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and other retailers are aggressively marketing their own brands there.
The growth of supermarket-branded wines was clearly demonstrated at the Private Label Manufacturers Association's 2017 International Salute to Excellence Wine Awards, which were announced in Amsterdam last month during the Association's annual trade show. There were 48 Award winning wines from 13 countries, covering 22 red and white categories ranging from Bordeaux to Rioja, from Chardonnay to Grüner Veltliner, from Champagne to prosecco, and many others, too. Austin, TX based Whole Foods Market won awards for its Criterion Collection Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir 2014, Criterion Collection Rioja Reserva 2010 and Criterion Collection Carménère Reserva Valle de Colchagua Chile 2015.
Three wine panels with a total of 20 judges evaluated nearly 300 wines. The panels included Masters of Wine, sommeliers, wine professionals and journalists and manufacturing executives. Each panel was led by a wine expert. Panel 1 was led by Cees van Casteren MW of The Netherlands, author of ten books and more than 500 articles on wine and food. Panel 2 was led by Beverly Blanning MW, a London-based independent wine journalist and author. Panel 3 was led by Michel Polderman of The Netherlands, who was formerly in charge of wine purchasing at Albert Heijn.
Wines were judged on the basis of traditional criteria such as nose, taste, and color. Wines selected for the judging were either submitted by retailers or purchased off the shelves at stores. Awards were given for best quality and best value in 22 wine categories covering red, white, sparkling and rosé. Awards were also given in a category called Special Selection for wines that were not in the main categories.
Many of the world's leading supermarkets and hypermarkets came away with Awards for their private label wines: Albert Heijn, ASDA, Auchan, Billa, Carrefour, Casino, Colruyt, Conad, Coop Swiss, Despar, Edeka, Eroski, Intermarché, Morrisons, Sonae and Tesco. Outside Europe, wines from Whole Foods Market in the U.S., Metro Brands in Canada and Central Food Retail in Thailand won Salute to Excellence Awards.
The big winner was Aldi. With over 10,000 stores in 19 countries, it has emphasized its wines for several years. Lidl, with more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries, won four Awards for wines sold in Germany. Lidl is expected to open stores in the U.S. starting this summer. Among traditional supermarkets, ASDA won five Awards and Auchan won four Awards.
To download the complete listing of wine categories and winning retailers, click the link here.
Commenting on the event, Brian Sharoff, President of PLMA, said: "The penetration of private label wine has climbed rapidly in recent years and has reached more than 50% in some European markets. This year's International Salute to Excellence Wine Awards are meant to give recognition to retailers who are often overlooked even though they are the main seller of wines."
The wine panels were part of PLMA's annual Salute to Excellence Awards, in which retailers submit new and innovative private label products for industry recognition. Food, home and health products, as well as wines from 83 retailers in 27 countries were considered for awards.
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SOURCE Private Label Manufacturers Association