EDINA, Minn. - Lund Food Holdings and other retailers are promoting $10-and-under wine to capitalize on value wines' growing popularity.
Lund here is enjoying incremental wine sales from a new $10-and-under wine display at two of its liquor stores.
The "Great Wine Finds Under $10" section boasts seven cases each of 25 different wines from around the world. Bottles are sold individually and by the case.
The 20- to 30-foot displays are currently in Lund's Minnetonka and St. Louis Park, Minn., Byerly's-banner liquor stores. The concept is likely to roll out to Lund's four other Byerly's and one Lunds Foods liquor stores once spacing issues have been resolved, said Bill Belkin, Lund's wine and spirits category manager.
Initial results show that the low-cost selection is increasing wine sales, Belkin said. Of those who buy from the section, most purchase four bottles, largely a result of a 5% discount offered on four purchases.
Belkin personally tastes and selects all the featured wines, which are produced everywhere from the United States and Australia to Argentina and Spain. Top sellers include Cristalino Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain that retails for $8.99; and Rex Goliath, a pinot noir from California, $9.99. Selections rotate every four to six months.
Lund purposely did not include mass-market brands like Beringer or Kendall-Jackson. "We wanted the wines to be a bit esoteric," Belkin said.
More retailers are embracing the $10-and-under wine segment, said Tom Pirko, president of BevMark, a Santa Ynez, Calif.-based food and drink consulting firm.
One reason for the trend is the success of value wines like Two-Buck Chuck from Charles Shaw, so-called because it was sold for $1.99 a bottle.
"That phenomenon changed the frame of mind that you have to spend $12, $15 and even $25 to get a good bottle of wine," Pirko said.
To make a low-cost section work, store personnel should be knowledgeable about the wine and able to recommend food pairings, Pirko said. In-store signage and tastings are also needed.
Big Y Foods' Table & Vine division, which also operates a value wine section, has staffers taste the wine so that they can familiarize themselves with it and be prepared to answer shopper questions. Shelf talkers provide information on the grape's variety and region.
Table & Vine operates two liquor stores in Massachusetts. In both units, about one dozen wines, most of which cost under $10, are set up on a table in the front of the store. Full cases are stocked below.
"We want to show that you can get a quality wine without having to take out a second home mortgage," said Paul Provost, Table & Vine's general manager.