- Target is launching a private label wine collection called California Roots, according to a company statement. The new $5 bottles of wine will be available in 1,100 stores nationwide starting on September 3.
- The retailer has “curated an impressive selection, from some of the top-trending varietals in the world (like rose and sparkling) to our much-loved Wine Cube,” according to a company statement. The California Roots line will feature five wine blends — Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Red Blend — crafted with premium, California-grown grapes. Target Wine Cubes feature a pour spout and contain the equivalent of four bottles of wine.
- “We’re out to give our guests even more reasons to love Target — including exclusive products they can’t find anywhere else,” Jeff Burt, senior vice president of food and beverage said in the statement. “And we think they’re going to love California Roots — these wines are just the right blend of incredible quality and amazing value that guests can only get at Target.”
It looks like Target is taking a page out of Trader Joe’s playbook. It will be interesting to see if the retailer's new $5 private label wine will draw the same level of consumer attention that Trader Joe's store-branded wine, affectionately known as Two-Buck Chuck, has obtained. Target could find it difficult to make inroads into this space.
Hard discounter Aldi was recently awarded for its exceptional private label wine selection, proving the beverage doesn't need to be expensive in order to be appreciated — by shopper or critics. Several of the retailer's wines won medals in the International Wine Challenge earlier this year, and its $8 bottle of Exquisite Collection Cotes de Provence Rosé 2016 has been cited as one of the world's best wines for the value.
Target already boasts well-liked private label food products such as Archer Farms, Market Pantry and Simply Balanced. Its exclusive Wine Cube, a differentiated wine dispenser designed for large groups and parties, also is a private label highlight for Target shoppers. The value-priced private label wine seems a natural extension, and it stands to reason that consumer trust in Target’s private label brands will extend to the new offer. The value wines are likely to be popular with Target’s core consumer base too — one that heavily skews toward millennials.
Wine experts say the U.S. market is increasing due to an upswing in interest in finer varieties of the beverage and a rise in product launches. Millennials also are contributing to increased sales of wines and wine blends. According to Wine Spectator, millennials drank 42% of all the wine consumed in the U.S. in 2015, a rate higher than any other generation's consumption. As millennials come of age and their disposable incomes rise, their penchant for premium drinks and wine should only increase.
Adding the private label wine to its lineup could be the much-needed start of food and beverage differentiation by Target. Many industry pundits have criticized Target through the years for failing to translate its cheap chic image in apparel and home to the grocery department. The company has long struggled to grow its grocery business.
But now Target finally is making some moves under CEO Brian Cornell’s leadership. The big box retailer has created dedicated grocery teams trained to specifically oversee packaged and fresh food and better interact with shoppers who enter the grocery section of the store. And Jeff Burt, the former president of Kroger’s Fred Meyer, who joined Target in March, has pledged to create differentiated shopper experiences through a curated assortment of products and prices. The California Roots wine collection could represent a fine start.