Apothic coffee might reach a younger audience, but how will coffee-flavored wine save the wine business from itself?
The marketers at E&J Gallo are geniuses, turning brands like Barefoot and the sweet red Apothic into massive national best sellers without one lick of support from the traditional wine media. So why would Gallo come up with an Apothic coffee product, called Apothic Brew, “a taste that captures the smooth mouthfeel and velvety chocolate notes of cold brew with the juicy blackberry characteristics of a dark red wine“?
Because if the Gallo marketers think the wine business needs Apothic coffee, and it knows the wine business better than anyone, we’re doomed.
Regular visitors here know that wine is facing conditions it hasn’t seen since the 1980s – flat consumption, rising prices, reduced quality, and the tail end of the Baby Boom that powered those 30 years of growth. Plus, the two generations younger than the Boomers have shown no indication of picking up the slack.
Hence all sorts of attempts to bring wine to Generation X and the Millennials, including virtual reality labels. That’s probably where Apothic Brew fits in, a product for younger consumers who think wine is snobby and too geeky. But if even Gallo, the world’s biggest wine company with almost $5 billion in revenue, has to resort to a wine and coffee blend to reach younger consumers, we’re doomed.
Because isn’t Apothic coffee just Red Bull in a bottle with a cork? This is not a value judgment on the product; I don’t do that. Drink it if you want, and enjoy it. But how is a boozy energy drink going to help the wine business out of its doldrums? Wouldn’t fairly priced quality wine, closed with a screwcap, deliver better results?
Because if Apothic coffee is the future of wine, we’re doomed.