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Is the Current Prosecco Market Ripe for New Competition?

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British Brand Thomson & Scott Poised to Disrupt the U.S. Prosecco Category with a National Rollout of Their Vegan, Organic, Low Sugar “Skinny Prosecco”

CALIFORNIAShanken News Daily published an article in late April about the current state of the Prosecco market, noting that the category’s growth – while still on the rise – appeared to be decelerating.

The report indicated that export shipments of Prosecco increased only 4.6% in volume last year, compared to 19% growth in 2016, and that 2017 marked the first time in five years that Prosecco failed to grow by double-digits in the American market.

The article goes on to talk about the top five Prosecco players on the market – La Marca, Mionetto, Cupcake, Zonin and Lunetta. All five brands fall in the under $15 category, and all five brands have seen extraordinary growth, which is now showing signs of slowing, albeit small signs.

Given the concurrent articles we are seeing about the premiumization of the wine industry, it may seem as though the timing is right for a new player in the Prosecco market – one that challenges the current landscape.

Enter: Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco.

Thomson & Scott founder Amanda Thomson launched the company with a single focus: to change the way people drink sparkling wine. Growing up sugar free, she was surprised to learn the sugar content of many of her favorite bubblies, as well as what else was added to them during the production process. So, she set out on a mission to cut sugar and ultimately promote greater transparency in wine labeling.

To this end, she has worked with winemakers in Italy to create a Prosecco that is low sugar, organic and vegan, and which serves as a platform for her to challenge the wine industry to disclose what’s in our bottles, the same way the food industry does. The brand has become a massive hit across the UK, selling out three times at launch, and remaining Selfridges’ most searched-for brand online to this day.

“Everyone’s obsessed with what goes into their food and packaged goods, but no one seems to be asking what’s in their wine,” Thomson says. “I want consumers to know what they’re drinking, and for the wine industry to encourage wine producers to disclose this information.”

In a recent interview with North Bay Business Journal, C. Mondavi & Family CEO Judd Wallenbrock talks about premiumization in wine meaning more than just higher prices. He astutely recognizes different ways brands demonstrate premiumization beyond price point, from the marketing mix, including packaging, to consumer choices, to the education and development of the consumer. 

In this way, Thomson is on-trend on all levels. In creating a vegan, organic product that has also aimed to do away with unnecessary packaging and plastic, all while raising the broader awareness of the consumer, Thomson has found a way to disrupt the typical Prosecco category, while riding the premiumization wave.

And, given the huge success of the brand in the UK, her bet that consumers will be willing to spend a little bit more for these small luxuries is already paying off. Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco retails for about $19.

Already available in Boston, Thomson & Scott is slated to launch this summer in additional markets throughout the U.S., starting with Texas, followed by a national roll-out and online marketplace going live in the coming months.

Consumers can visit www.thomsonandscott.com for notifications on availability by city and state, and for online purchase.

About Thomson & Scott

Thomson & Scott took the U.K. by storm in 2016 when it demanded that consumers should know exactly what was in their wine bottle.  They launched Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco, which boasted less than half the sugar of traditional prosecco, was made from 100 percent organic grapes and was vegan certified.  The company’s first product was a no added sugar Grand Cru Champagne that it launched in 2013. Thomson & Scott Skinny Champagne was a huge hit with consumers looking to drink delicious bubbles but cut all the unnecessary sugar from the production process.  Skinny Prosecco instantly became the best-selling wine in Selfridges.

Amanda Thomson is the passionate CEO and Founder of Thomson & Scott, winner of the EY Winning Women 2017 and the Le Cordon Bleu Entrepreneur of the Year 2017.

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