Scary Trend for Chocolate Wines
Newish sweet wine category decreased 13%
San Rafael, Calif.—Shoppers looking for chocolate flavored wines to match the Halloween theme found at least 32 brands available at retail, but the previously fast-growing category began to shrink in the past year.
Chocolate wine sales in major food and drug stores dropped 13% from a year earlier, according to Symphony IRI Group (SIG), due largely to a decrease in sales by the leading product, Chocovine Dutch Chocolate. The Chocovine brand, however, accounted for three of the top five offerings in the category and its Espresso and Whipped Cream lines grew in sales.
Based in the Netherlands, Chocovine Dutch Chocolate accounted for two-thirds of all chocolate wine sales, with $9.7 million. “Chocovine was the only significant one two years ago,” said Curtis Mann at SIG. “And there were no large wine companies involved before Gallo introduced ChocolatRouge,” which is now No. 8 in sales.
Wine firm Precept Brands of Seattle markets another of the most popular brands, No. 2 Chocolate Shop, as well as Coco Rosso, along with many conventional wines including Sagelands and Ste. Chapelle.
Mann said chocolate wine sales now are growing fast in California, Arizona and other western states, while they have slowed in areas where they were introduced earlier, such as the Midwest and South.