The wine and fruit drink, positioned as a beer alternative for women, was introduced two years ago and has grown into a $350 million business at retail, said Bill Encherman, group president, specialty wines, at Canandaigua.
"We still have a lot of trial opportunity, and [the market] could double over the next few years," he said.
That's likely to be true as E&J Gallo Winery also picks up the advertising assault for Wild Vines, its offering in the category. Arbor Mist, however, dominates the category with more than a 50% share, said Mr. Encherman, with Gallo's Wild Vines at 25% and others making up the rest.
Arbor Mist's new spot started May 8 from Wolf Group, New York, show a group of women watching young men on a trampoline performing a series of antics to prove they are worthy to drink it. Finally, one winds up hanging from a lamppost. Spots continue the tagline "Can't resist the mist."
CELL PHONE HELL
New Gallo spots, from Propulsion, New Haven, Conn., show a group of young people throwing cell phones into the water at a party so they won't be interrupted.
At launch, Arbor Mist had five flavors. This year, the company is adding Cranberry Twist White Merlot and Blackberry Merlot.
Gallo also has increased its offerings to five flavors since its line was introduced.
Mr. Encherman said the challenge for all marketers in the category is to avoid the product pitfalls that doused the last wine and fruit fad, wine coolers. He said marketers' switched from wine-based coolers to a malt-based product to lower consumer prices. Without the wine, he said "the product slid in quality."