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Why canned wine sales are crushing it this year

Jen Rogers
·Anchor

 While some wine drinkers are still stuck on the screw top versus cork debate, others have moved on and are unapologetically drinking Cabernet and Riesling out of cans. Turns out, convenience and size are both selling points for oenophiles, and as crazy as it sounds, canned wine actually tastes pretty good these days too.

“The aluminum has come a long way,” Shawn Balzano, national sales director of 1821 Fine Wine & Spirits, told Yahoo Finance’s The Final Round. “It doesn't interact with the acidity in the wine anymore, so you get a lot more of the cleaner and crisper taste when you're drinking it out of the can.” 

Drinkers used to hold their noses while drinking canned wine at a concert or sporting event because they had no other choice. Now, they seek cans out and have high-end choices like Sans Wine, which uses organically grown grapes from old vine vineyards and is produced in California’s esteemed Napa Valley.

More wineries turning to cans

Among the publicly-traded companies in the canned wine business are Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, owned by Altria (MO) which produces 14 Hands, and Constellation Brands (STZ), which behind the brands Crafter’s Union, Kim Crawford and Woodbridge. 

Jen Bell, vice president of Strategy, Analytics & Insights for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates says, “The canned wine segment is up 57% year-to-date versus the same period last year, outperforming the wine category as a whole and thus gaining market share.”

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ 14 hands, launched in the first half of 2019, has seen even more explosive growth and is up 167% year-to-date versus the same period last year, dramatically outpacing the growth of the canned segment overall, according to the manufacturer.   

Competition from canned seltzer

By every metric, and no matter who is calculating the data, the growth of hard seltzer has been astounding. Sales are up 210% in the past six months. (Abel Uribe/Shannon Kinsella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
By every metric, and no matter who is calculating the data, the growth of hard seltzer has been astounding. Sales are up 210% in the past six months. (Abel Uribe/Shannon Kinsella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Canned hard seltzer has seen even more explosive growth than wine. In a recent note, Cowen upped its price target on the Truly owner, Boston Beer (SAM), to a Street high of $1,000 because it remains “impressed by the strong consumer adoption of hard seltzer.” In its proprietary monthly survey of ~2,500 18+ U.S. consumers, over 20% reported drinking hard seltzer in July.

Many think millennials have also played a role in adoption. Erin Foster, writer, actor and influencer invested in female-founded Bev, a canned rosé company with her sister. “Millennials love canned alcohol,” she said.

Corkscrews were always a pain anyhow.

Jen Rogers is an anchor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @JenSaidIt.

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