Constellation Brands debuts Woodbridge wine and soda mashup

Dive Brief:

  • Constellation Brands’ Woodbridge is debuting a wine soda it describes as “a first-of-its-kind wine experience” in the U.S.
  • Woodbridge Wine Soda, which has a 7% ABV, combines white wine with classic soda flavors like lemon lime, orange and grapefruit. The 250-milliliter, ready-to-drink cans will be available this month on Drizly, InstaCart and at retailers nationwide that sell Woodbridge.
  • The new wine soda continues an ongoing push by beverage makers to enter new categories and a further blurring between alcohol and nonalcohol companies.

Dive Insight:

As consumers look for more options when it comes time to imbibe, beverage companies are moving quickly to give it to them. 

Constellation Brands has gained notoriety in recent years for bucking the downward trend in beer with its popular Mexican brews like Corona and Modelo. But its reach in alcohol extends beyond beer into Svedka Vodka, High West Whiskey, and wines such as Kim Crawford, Woodbridge and Robert Mondavi.

Nonalcohol companies and their boozy counterparts have long stayed away from producing drinks made by the other side until recently.

Coca-Cola and Molson Coors have launched Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and Simply Spiked Lemonade, while Boston Beer and PepsiCo have debuted Hard Mtn Dew. Brown-Forman and Coca‑Cola announced plans to introduce a RTD cocktail combining Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and the iconic soda brand, while Diageo is working with coconut water maker Vita Coco on a canned cocktail beverage. AB InBev’s Anheuser-Busch also has Bud Light-branded hard soda.

In rolling out a wine soda, Constellation is further expanding the reach of RTD beverages. Unlike struggling hard seltzers that are confined largely by flavor, other RTD items have a wider range of options to choose from based on the type of wine or spirit used.

Constellation is touting the Woodbridge Wine Soda as an alternative for drinkers who may want wine that is more accessible through the convenience of a can, while simultaneously being less intimidating.

“Many drinkers want something other than traditional varietal wines, which inspired us to create Woodbridge Wine Sodas to provide consumers with a new way to experience and enjoy wine that is less formal and more fun,” said Serena Shrivastava, brand vice president of Woodbridge.

The new offerings being introduced in alcohol have one thing in common: finding another opportunity during the day to grab the consumer. In certain instances, a bottle of wine might be the answer. In others, someone looking for wine might be more inclined to drink the Woodbridge brand if they can pick up a convenient six-pack of its Wine Soda from the store and crack open the can — bypassing the process of purchasing a bottle, uncorking it and pouring it in a glass.

A mashup like Woodbridge Wine Soda also could be a boost for the wine category. 

U.S. wine consumption decreased in 2019 for the first time in 25 years, and data shows the category could remain flat for the next few years. Data from IWSR shows global still wine volumes were down 2% last year as consumers drank less of the alcohol overall but imbibed more premium offerings. From 2021 to 2026, the global wine category is forecast to be nearly steady, with a volume decline of 1%, the market analysis firm said.