(CNN Business) –– Actress Cameron Diaz and fashion entrepreneur Katherine Power have a problem: Their new wine brand is so popular that even they have a hard time finding bottles to buy. But that is about to change.
Avaline, an organic wine brand co-founded by the duo last year, is now selling the product on their website. The company’s shift to a direct-to-consumer approach follows strong demand. Which, in part, was driven by people who are homebound by the pandemic.
“The consumer is now ready and comfortable ordering alcohol online and that is only going to increase,” Power told CNN Business in a joint interview with Diaz. Power, who also co-founded the fashion brand Who What Wear, noted that there have been “roadblocks” to buying alcohol online. For example, paying for shipping or staying home to receive it and sign for delivery. However, he added that people are overcoming these difficulties.
For Cameron Diaz, direct selling is part of making Avaline a more accessible and everyday brand. The bottles have twist caps and text-only labels that tell what’s in the wine (organic grapes) and what’s not (additives like artificial colors).
“Our customers are not concerned about the harvest or the region (the wine) comes from,” he said. “What is important for them is that it maintains its values in terms of what they consume and its taste,” he added.
Power said it is proud that Avaline is one of the first wine brands to offer direct-to-consumer service. Of course, shipping wine is not a new concept, as monthly wine clubs have been around for decades. But budding brands are increasingly focused on acquiring a share of booming online sales.
Nielsen data shows that direct-to-consumer wine shipments increased nearly 17% last year. So now it’s a $ 3.7 billion market, according to the information. Online sales of alcohol soared around 200%. And wine registered a 68% share of that total. This explosive growth has caught the attention of larger companies. Last month, Uber bought beverage delivery service Drizly in a $ 1.1 billion deal.
“What should have taken us years as an industry happened in 2020,” Power commented. Now, Avaline will not abandon retailers. The number of locations where the brand is available has more than doubled to 5,000 this year.
The company also plans to introduce exclusive wines for its website, as well as a subscription option for “die-hard” fans. He’s even thinking about making other drinks besides wine, Power revealed.
Avaline is marketed as a “clean” alternative to other wines. Precisely, the drink is made with organic grapes from wineries that meet their certifications. The brand belongs to the “best for you” trend in the food and beverage industry. The objective of this initiative is to attract millennials concerned about their health. Organic and natural wine sales increased approximately 14% in the last five years, according to IWSR’s beverage market analysis.
Avaline claims to be off to a good start so far. The brand sold more than 21,000 cases between July and December 2020, which is equivalent to approximately a quarter of a million bottles of wine. That far exceeds the pair’s expectations of about 8,000 boxes.
Its price is also affordable. A bottle costs less than $ 20 and is available in four blends including white, red, rosé, and sparkling.
“Our price is just at a sweet spot for the consumer who knows that the value of what they get is all in the bottle,” said Cameron Diaz. “You don’t have to wonder whether or not you should buy a $ 35 bottle of wine to enjoy it,” he added.
Diaz, who participates in the day-to-day operations of Avaline, hopes that people will eventually forget their connection to wine.
“Avaline is an independent company,” he said. “In a few years, people won’t even know that I was part of this. And you will be pleasantly surprised that I was one of the co-founders “, she completed.