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Rosé's global success ‘partly based on luck’, says UK buyer

Published:  25 November, 2021

The triumphant march of the rosé category cannot solely be attributed to the marketing genius of its key stakeholders, according to Jeroboams wine director Peter Mitchell MW.

Mitchell told Harpers that: “Sacha Lichine [and others] were undoubtedly instrumental in rosé's success, but there is also an element of luck and timing. Ten years earlier and I do not believe it would not have worked - the generation of drinkers of premium wines at that time would not take rosé seriously and were less likely to be influenced by a trend.”

According to Mitchell, although Sacha Lichine helped rosé to shed its downmarket image, the category's dramatic rise in market share over the past 15 years was a case of “right place, right time”.

He said: “Gen X was a receptive consumer base looking for new trends and didn’t carry the same snobbery about rosé. At a time when an increasing number of people with increasing disposable incomes but little knowledge were coming to wine as a drink of choice, it also helps that rosé is not an intimidating drink and is generally easy to enjoy.”

However, Jeroboams reported that sales of certain brands had fallen during the summer of 2021.

“All rosé has had a small fall off this year compared to last, but bearing in mind the dismal summer we had that is not surprising,” said Mitchell.

“Premium rosé has held up better than the cheaper end and we have sold through most of what we expected to without having to resort to end of season discounting.”