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Francis Ford Coppola drives US wine sales

Published:  23 July, 2008

The glitz and glamour' of celebrity endorsed wine products are proving a retail hit stateside with such products gaining increasing popularity.

Figures from research group The Nielsen Company have demonstrated celebrity wine sales are up by almost 19% in US grocery stores sales since last year.

This equates to 0.9%, or $41.8 million (21m), of total US wine sales.

Film director Francis Ford Coppola, former NFL coach Mike Ditka and pro golfer Greg Norman all have their own label wine products - Martha Stewart and Paul Newman have recently launched their own products also.

Richard Hurst, beverage alcohol spokesman at Nielsen, said: "Celebrities are increasingly lending their names to wine and spirits, for a variety of reasons.

"While some celebrities have had a long-standing personal affinity for these product categories, others view these products as extensions of their established 'lifestyle brands' and have connected with willing supplier partners to produce and market them.

"Some suppliers, particularly wine suppliers, do not have the resources to launch big advertising and promotional campaigns and a celebrity can lend a brand instant recognition. Ideally, the celebrity's reputation also helps reinforce the company's image in the marketplace."

The research found consumers pay an average of $8.50 (4.26) per 750ml bottle of celebrity wine against $5.75 (2.89) for a bottle of table wine.