|Kanye West has helped Moscato sales soar in the US|
Moscato madness continues to grip this US. This week, Wine and the City learnt that Skinnygirl, the low-calorie wine and pre-mix cocktail brand founded by Twiglet-thin reality TV star Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York City, has added a Moscato to its line-up.
The brand, bought by spirits giant Beam for $8m in March 2011, has added the low alcohol, lightly sparkling sweet wine to its range in a bid to capitalise on the growing thirst for the variety in the US. Skinnygirl Moscato is said to boast notes of “pear, peach and mango,” along with aromas of “tropical fruit and honey.”
|Skinnygirl Moscato 2012|
The wines in the Skinnygirl range have only 100 calories per 5oz glass compared to an average of 123 calories found in non-diet wines. Skinnygirl wastes no time in making mention of its low-calorie status, with the Moscato 2012 flagging it up the front label. Along with the Moscato, three new cocktails have been added to Skinnygirl premix range: a mojito, grapefruit margarita and a white cherry vodka, priced at $14.99/bottle for the mojito and margarita and $21.99 for the vodka.
Skinnygirl is one of the fastest-growing drinks brands on the market. Sales at the company were up 19% last year as the trend for low-calorie wines gathered momentum in the US. Last March, the brand expanded from pre-mix cocktails into wine, adding three low-calorie California wines – a Syrah blend, a Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio blend and a Grenache/Syrah rosé blend to its portfolio.
Last year, Moscato sales in the US hit a record high, up 33% in volume on 2011 with the variety now accounting for 6% of wines bought in US retailers, where it is now more popular than Sauvignon Blanc and only slightly behind Pinot Grigio. Moscato’s profile has been boosted by name checks from RnB and hip-hop stars such as Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Lil’ Kim, Ab-Soul and Drake.