Walmart Classes Up The Joint With $11 Private Label Wines
By: Rudy Sanchez
Earlier this month Walmart announced a private label line of wines called “Winemaker’s Selection,” featuring 11 bottles with varieties hailing from California, France, and Italy. WalMart promises these wines, which will sell for $11-16, will taste like a $30 bottle, according to Senior Vice President of merchandising Al Dominguez.
Other retailers such as Aldi, Target and of course Trader Joe’s, have successfully delivered affordable wines that please their budget-conscious buyers. But can WalMart sell a great wine that’s also affordable to Joe and Jane Six-Pack? How much of the $62 Billion that Americans spend on wine annually can WalMart capture?
Part of WalMart’s strategy is to create labels that appeal to novice wine drinkers that are not only evocative of their origin but are also fun conversation starters.
WalMart’s wine labels would not look out of place at, say, BevMo!, unlike Target’s California Roots line, which uses a consistent, minimal design across all of their bottles. Meanwhile, Trader Joe’s uses a mix of traditional and whimsical designs for their labels.
WalMart’s sparkling rosé, for example, features a decagon with a floral filigree design, a touch of classical and ornate but not over-the-top. The clear bottle allows the pinkish hue of the wine to stand out, a smart move, considering the current popularity of rosé wines.
The Chianti Classico, on the other hand, leaves no mistake its an Italian wine. The textured label belies its price and calls to Chianti’s origin by featuring an image of Florentine-born explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano straddled a compass and ship.
The most playful and most casual label is WalMart’s Grenache rosé. The blue label features a crescent moon and clouds hanging over a field, highlighting the nighttime picking of the grapes, when the temperature is cooler. The label suits the sweet and fruity characteristics of wine and is subtly reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
WalMart is putting a lot of emphasis on making their wines approachable, and creating an upscale look, making it the one-stop shop not only for its value-focused and budget-conscious customers, but also for the Trader Joe’s patron who is looking for value and quality and spends a bit more.
Or maybe by offering good wines at bargain prices, they can retain customers and reinforce loyalty.
Regardless, WalMart lags behind the competition and must shake off their perceived “cheapness” that they're perhaps hoping to do so with attractively labeled wines at an “everyday low price.”
Rudy Sanchez is a product marketing consultant based in Southern California. Once described by a friend as her “technology life coach,” he is a techie and avid lifelong gamer. When he’s not writing or helping clients improve their products, he’s either watching comedies on Netflix, playing the latest shooter or battle royale game or out exploring the world via Ingress and Pokémon Go.