Insights from Drizly’s Top 5 Canned Wine Brands
Rosé and sparkling wines drive sales in this growing category
The canned wine category is poised to take off as consumers gravitate toward the format’s convenience and shoppers discover the increasingly high quality of the products inside those sleek aluminum containers.
Though canned products account for only one percent of the wine category’s overall sales on Drizly, the number of offerings has grown significantly. In 2022 to date, there are currently 1,500 canned wine SKUs available on the platform, which is an increase of 40 percent over 2020.
Rosé and sparkling wines are the category’s biggest sellers, likely due to the format’s portability, making canned wine ideal for bringing along to the beach or other outdoor settings. During the last 12 months, the Champagne and sparkling wine subcategory accounted for the largest share of canned wine sales on Drizly, totaling 36 percent. Rosé was close behind at 28 percent share, followed by white wine, wine spritzer, and red wine.
Currently, the majority of Drizly’s top-selling canned wine brands are produced by large, well-established wine companies that also offer products in bottles. However, that profile may be shifting as consumer demand for new products continues to grow.
“While we have not seen the category gain share overall within the wine segment,” says Liz Paquette, the head of consumer insights at Drizly, “we are seeing lots of innovation in the space, reflected in the catalog item growth.”
Here are the top five canned wine brands that shoppers are seeking out on Drizly.
Union Wine Co. founder Ryan Harms launched the Underwood line of 375-milliliter canned wines in 2014. Eight years later, the Oregon-based brand remains the category leader due to its high-quality offerings and innovation. The brand kicked off with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and has since grown to include two canned sparkling wines, a spritz, white sangria, “nouveau” Pinot Noir, and still rosé. On Drizly, Underwood’s top-selling canned products include Rosé Bubbles, The Bubbles, Pinot Noir, Rosé, and Pinot Gris.
Instagram influencer Josh Ostrovsky — known on the platform as “The Fat Jewish” — leveraged his social media following to launch the BABE brand in 2016. The canned pink bubbly took off, inspiring Ostrovsky and partners David Oliver Cohen and Tanner Cohen to add BABE Grigio and BABE Red sparklers to the lineup in 2018. Sensing an opportunity to capitalize on the growing market for canned wines, Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased BABE the following year. In addition to the original offerings, the brand now includes BABE 100, a 100-calorie line of sparkling wines in slim, 250-milliliter cans. On Drizly, Rosé is BABE’s best-selling SKU, followed by Grigio. The lower-calorie versions are also hot sellers on the platform, with BABE 100 Rosé with Bubbles and the BABE 100 Variety Pack as popular items.
Maverick Washington state winemaker Charles Smith took inspiration from the affordable, everyday wines of Europe to create House Wine in 2004. Since then, the wildly successful line has expanded to include multiple wines in bottles, bag-in-box packaging, and — since 2017 — 375-milliliter cans. Now owned by Precept Brands, House Wine offers a dozen canned wine SKUs, along with canned wine cocktails such as the Casa-Rita. House Wine sparkling wine and rosé products are customer favorites on Drizly, with Rosé Bubbles, Brut Bubbles, Rosé, Chardonnay, Limited Edition Rosé, and Rainbow Rosé Bubbles ranked as the brand’s best-selling SKUs.
Dark Horse Wine
Launched in 2010 by wine giant E. & J. Gallo, the Dark Horse wine brand gained national distribution in 2015 and rose to become the U.S. wine industry’s No. 1 growth brand in the year to follow. The brand’s appeal lies in its ability to over-deliver on quality relative to the wines’ under-$10 price-point. In 2018, Gallo launched Dark Horse in 375-milliliter cans, rolling out with Rosé and Pinot Grigio varieties. Their popularity inspired the launch of new offerings, including two sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir. Among Dark Horse canned wines, the top-selling SKUs on Drizly are Rosé, Rosé with Bubbles, Brut Bubbles, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir.
14 Hands Winery
Washington-based Ste. Michelle Wine Estates originally launched 14 Hands in 2005 as an on-premise brand, sold mainly in restaurants. Sales increased over the years, and in 2011 the company opened 14 Hands to national, off-premise distribution, offering bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling. By the following year, the brand had sold one million cases. Canned wines joined the lineup in 2019 with four varieties: Red Blend, Pinot Grigio, Bubbles, and Rosé. On Drizly, the brand’s top-selling canned wines include Unicorn Canned Rosé Bubbles, Hot to Trot Red Blend, 14 Hands Rosé, Bubbles, and Pinot Grigio.