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Menopausal women are the target for new US wine brand - Hot Flash Wines

Published:  28 April, 2014

A new wine business targeting menopausal women has been set up in the United States called Hot Flash Wines.

It is the latest in a number of US businesses that have looked to tap in to the potentially lucrative female wine sector, but believes it is unique in targeting an often overlooked but possibly massive consumer group.

Up to now most female-orientated wine businesses have focused in on the calorie content of wines, such as the US drinks brand, Skinnygirl Cocktails.

Hot Flash Wines is a start-up wine business based in California. The company's founder, Mollie Macarthy-Openshaw, rejects the idea of using diet alcoholic drinks to appeal to women as it alienates a large percentage of women drinkers.

"We are incessantly bombarded with diet-conscious alcohol like Skinny girl margaritas," said Openshaw. "There is nothing really out there for women our age, nothing specific for us."

Seeing the opportunity in addressing this niche market, Openshaw launched Hot Flash Wines in January, targeting women who experience or understand the trials and tribulations of menopause. "Every women relates to it and these products target an audience that is emotional about it," explained Openshaw.

The Hot Flash Wines range currently offers three varietal wines featuring names such as "Mood Swing Merlot" and "Covers Off Chardonnay".  Openshaw looks forward to expanding the product range, adding additional varieties such as "Crabbie Cabby" as well as sparkling wines. "A lot of women have left still wines and are drinking more bubbly," she said. "I would like to build on that."

Hot Flash Wines has currently built its brand primarily through its website, its Facebook page, and Twitter (@HotFlashWines). Content creation has been largely consumer driven through the stories shared by women, and sometimes men, about their personal experiences. "Menopause is never going to go away so new stories are created constantly," added Openshaw. "The stories that I've collected have really created a following."

Though wine is the primary focus, the company hopes to expand through sales of other merchandise such as branded T-shirts and skin care products, building the brand as a lifestyle rather than just another wine product.

But Openshaw understands the necessity of offering quality juice as well. "I want good tasting wine and the movement and the fun that goes with it," she said. "Finding the perfect balance and consistency is the real challenge."

Openshaw currently sources wines for her range from a wine broker in Lodi and plans to "move forward with large-scale production".

Hot Flash Wines are currently only available in the US by phone order, however, wider distribution could follow in the near future. "I would love to have it available everywhere," says Openshaw. "Every woman on this planet will be able to relate to it, and should have access to it."

The wines and the community built behind the brand has gained a significant following in the short months of its existence in the US, but whether this type of business model would have similar success in the UK and other markets is still up for debate.