What does the future of rosé look like in the US?

Interest in rosé wine continues to gather pace, as new product launches help to premiumise the category and as spirits tap into rosé-like attributes


In the US, 2017 may have been ‘the summer of rosé’, but the wine varietal has certainly continued to gain traction since then.

In the past few years, numerous celebrity rosé brands have entered the wine market, helping to premiumise rosé. Outside of the wine category, other brands from cider to vodka producers have also invested in rosé products in an attempt to turn rosé into a flavour rather than just a wine category.

For a long time in the US, rosé wine had a reputation for being a sweet and fruity wine, which held the variety back from greater acceptance. “Producers successfully marketed and expanded tastings over a number of years to change the American consumer’s perception of what rosé wine is,” remarks Ryan Lee, research analyst on the IWSR’s US team. This has helped to grow interest in the category and greatly increase the number of rosés available. As the wine variety grew in popularity, more producers – especially domestic US producers – started their own dry rosés.

Domestic rosé wine producers in the US, however, will currently be contending with the devastating impact that wild fires continue to have on the western US wine regions. 2020 rosé ambitions may now be curtailed, as even vines that are not directly affected by the fires may be impacted due to smoke taint. As of early October 2020, more than 7.6 million acres – a size of land slightly smaller than the entire state of Maryland – have burned, and fires continue to expand.

However, the trend for rosé wines continues to remain popular with American consumers. The varietal is quickly super-premiumising in the US market, as celebrities and major fashion houses create opportunity from the trend. New product launches are also broadening rosé’s appeal to new consumer segments – US rap star Post Malone released Maison No 9 in July 2020, capturing a ‘bro-sé’ crowd that is helping to expand the pink-hued wine’s demographic from largely female in the US to more gender-neutral territory. The brand’s launch has been met with success, and sold 50,000 bottles during a two-day pre-sale on ecommerce marketplace Vivino, according to news sites.

There have been a host of additional high-profile premium and super-premium rosé product releases, from celebrities such as Bon Jovi, John Legend, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The recent surge in releases is in part attributed to the fast growth of rosé in the US market. IWSR data shows that growth of still rosé wine has outpaced that of the total still wine market in the US – total still wine had a 2015–19 volume CAGR of +0.8%; still rosé wine increased 18.49% over the same period. Brands are capturing momentum that is only likely to increase as new innovations catapult rosé further still. Prosecco and rosé have both posted double-digit growth over the 2015–19 CAGR period and, recently, the Prosecco DOC Consortium updated rules allowing for the introduction of a Prosecco DOC Rosé. The new rosé Prosecco will likely boost interest in the category even more.

In packaging innovation, hard seltzers may have captivated the RTD category, but rosé wine continues to remain relevant in the single-serve convenience paradigm – a number of canned wine options coming to market has helped to expand consumption occasions. Canned entries include AB InBev’s first wine brand, Babe, with Babe Rosé; Underwood Rosé Wine, and House Wine Rosé, among many others, showing the increase in focus on portability, convenience and single-serve options in the wine category.

Categories beyond wine have been paying attention to rosé’s quick rise and celebrity endorsements as well. Products ranging from rosé-flavoured vodka to gin and cider have tried to turn the trend toward flavour, or have further leveraged consumers’ ongoing love affair with the colour pink, with releases such as New Amsterdam Pink Whitney Vodka or Beefeater Pink Gin. The Instagrammability of these products has helped to capture online attention, especially during lockdowns, and has boosted consumer awareness. IWSR data shows a 2015–19 CAGR of 263.6% for pink spirits, albeit from a small base.


You may also be interested in reading:

Covid-19 presents opportunities for the US still wine market
How resilient will the beverage alcohol industry be post Covid-19?
Will current shifts in consumer behaviour permanently disrupt the beverage alcohol industry?


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