During spring and summer, wine preferences tend to shift a bit rosier — towards rosé, that is. As new vintage releases hit the market and consumers look for light and refreshing wine options, rosé becomes a strong sales driver — and its rise in popularity is poised to continue. In 2021, expect new trends like alternative formats and premiumization to shape the rosé consumption landscape.

Evolution in the Rosé Category

“Rosé remains an important wine sales driver, particularly during warm-weather months,” says Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights. Rosé’s share within the wine category on Drizly has grown over the past five years and remains relatively steady, at 8 percent of share, over the past year.

According to the IWSR, still rosé wine volume in the U.S. has increased by 118 percent from 2015 to 2020—a huge margin over still wine overall, which has only grown 1.5 percent over the same time period. The velocity of rosé growth, therefore, offers retailers a significant opportunity for expansion. 

However, rosé sales tend to be quite seasonal: in 2020, rosé grew to 10 percent of share in Q2 and 11 percent of share in Q3. “Though rosé wine consumption definitely picks up in the spring and summer, thanks to increased consumer interest in the category, it remains a year-round favorite,” explains Brandy Rand, COO for the Americas for the IWSR.  

Recently, premiumization has taken hold in the rosé category; the average unit price for rosé sold on Drizly has grown six percent year-over-year, suggesting that consumers are reaching for higher-priced products.

“As consumers trade up in the category, retailers can drive higher margin sales by stocking more premium offerings,” says Paquette.

French Rosés Reign Supreme

Though rosé wines are produced around the world, pink bottles from France — especially Provence and elsewhere in southern France — continue to dominate sales, holding 58 percent of rosé share on Drizly. 

This is a share increase of three percentage points year-over-year, despite more offerings from emerging markets and growing consumer awareness of other rosé wines. Nearly half of the top-selling rosé brands on Drizly are French, a trend that has held steady since 2019.

Drizly’s Best-Selling Rosé Brands, Last 12 Months

  1. Château d’Esclans 
  2. Gérard Bertrand 
  3. Wolffer Estate 
  4. Bota Box 
  5. La Vieille Ferme 
  6. Miraval
  7. Dark Horse Wine
  8. Josh Cellars
  9. Prophecy 
  10. Mumm Napa 

Outside of France, large brands with significant recognition among consumers drive the seasonal rosé spike across Drizly. American rosés make up 60 percent of Drizly’s top 10 brands, led by wineries in California and New York. In total, American rosés hold 34 percent of share. 

Other rosé-producing countries, such as Argentina, Spain, Portugal, and New Zealand hold one percent of share each. Italian rosé as a category has dropped to three percent of share, down from four percent last year.

Over the past year, alternative formats have also driven rosé sales; bottle share has lost three percentage points, while boxed and canned rosé share has grown to one percentage point and two percentage points, respectively.

“Can format share of rosé is currently two percentage points greater than can share of the overall wine category,” says Paquette. “With the growth of cans in other categories like RTDs and hard alternatives, we expect this to be one to watch in the coming years.”

Who Is Drinking Rosé?

While significant rosé marketing is targeted at younger consumers and millennials, rosé is popular across generations on Drizly. Rosé sales over-index in East Coast markets that see more dramatic seasonal changes, including New York City, Boston, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut. 

The Future of Rosé 

The growth of the rosé category shows no signs of slowing down, and continued product innovation means consumers will likely be seeking new styles of this wine as time goes on. According to the IWSR, the category is forecasted to grow by almost 70 percent from 2020 to 2024. Retailers with a well-stocked variety of rosé options stand to capture this growth — especially ahead of the summertime bump in the wine category.