New Zealand wine continues to advance rapidly in the U.S. market, delivering impressive growth in both volume and value. In 2014, New Zealand table wine imports jumped by 19.3% to 5.67 million cases, concluding a three-year period which showed an increase of 55%, according to Impact Databank.
While rival imports are sharpening their focus on premiumization, New Zealand is already very much a premium proposition. Five New Zealand wines earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors after achieving double-digit growth in 2014, and each of them—Kim Crawford, Oyster Bay, Nobilo, Starborough and Matua Valley—retails for well over $10 a bottle. The category’s retail average of around $11.25 a 750-ml. in Nielsen channels is more than 50% above the overall import median of roughly $7.25.
The largest New Zealand wine brand in the U.S., Constellation Brands’ Kim Crawford, has added more than a half-million cases to its volume since 2008, rising 19% to 815,000 cases last year. The brand, which retails at between $17-$33, has traditionally been led by its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, but has also seen increased demand for its Unoaked Chardonnay and Pinot Gris of late.