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Rosé Is Seeing Explosive Growth as Its Summer Rival, Beer, Goes Flat

The rosé category has reached a valuation of $389 million—and is increasing. Beer is one hundred times that big, but growth has plateaued.

Source: 90+ Cellars

Rosé has evolved into the most clichéd of beverages: it’s a drive-thru, a pool party, a hashtag. At the same time, it's become one of the most powerful forces in the beverage category. It’s now a third channel of revenue for wine makers, retailers, and distributors, elbowing its way alongside the traditional categories of red and white.

“There’s been a decoupling of rosé from the rest of wine; its own alcohol category,” says Rodolphe Boulanger, vice president of beer, wine, and spirits at FreshDirect, an online grocer based in the Northeast U.S. with sales somewhere just south of $1 billion. When Boulanger joined FreshDirect in 2014, four lonely rosés were for sale. That number leapt to 25 in 2015 and 45 in 2016. When Boulanger sent out a request for samples earlier this year, he was taken aback by what came in. “The level of innovation and new product launches surprised us,” he says.  Today the ecommerce grocer has more than 90 rosés in its assortment. One of its most popular is Maris, a canned organic wine from France.