April 4, 2011

Casella Wines

Yellow Tail is the fastest-growing foreign wine label in U.S. history. In less than three years, it became the No. 1 imported wine in the U.S., selling more than 11.2 million cases in 2004.

Casella Wines began its meteoric rise by taking a different perspective on the wine market. It looked across the alternatives to wine: Beer, spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails, which capture more than three times as much in consumer sales as wine. Casella also discovered that most Americans actually found wine a turnoff. Wine was intimidating and pretentious, a highly acquired taste. While the wine industry long competed on how to make a sophisticated wine for special occasions, Casella redefined the market and made wine an everyday enjoyable experience.

Gone were the intimidating labels, the discussions on tannins and oak. Endless choice was clipped to two varieties, one red and one white. The labels were simple and colourful, the taste sweet and fruity. With no promotional campaign, Yellow Tail rendered its competition irrelevant. It didn’t simply steal market share; it grew the market, bringing in 6 million new wine drinkers. Novice wine drinkers began to drink more wine, jug-wine drinkers moved up market and expensive-wine drinkers moved down to Yellow Tail.

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Source: Extracts from the book Blue Ocean Strategy. (c) Kim & Mauborgne, 2015. Boston. Harvard Business School Publishing


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