The Renowned Wine Retailer of the Year

Albertsons Cos. The nation’s second-largest supermarket was recognized for its excellence in bringing the world of wine, beer, and spirits to people in a grocery store setting.”

The Wine Enthusiast article about the honor, part of the publication’s 2020 Wine Star Awards, cited the wine and spirits knowledge level of Albertsons’ associates, the retailer’s wine selection and presentation, and the autonomy that the company gives to local teams to cater to the communities and regions served.

Albertsons entail offering a bigger selection of Washington and Oregon wines in the Pacific Northwest or showcasing more wines imported from Europe in New England stores. Albertsons gives local stores considerable autonomy in what they offer. The knowledge and expertise of the local beverage scene are then leveraged nationally to ride and drive trends, the retailer takes the same approach for its local beer offerings as well.

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Albertsons Best Varieties of Wines

Albertsons’ selected stores operate temperature-controlled wine cellars to deliver a more engaging experience for discerning wine customers. Albertsons has also invested in formal training for their associates so they can answer customers’ wine and spirits needs better. For example, Mann, a 20-year wine industry veteran of the wine industry, passed the Masters of Wine exam earlier this year to become only the 53rd person in the United States to hold that title, which is certified by the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine. 

As of now, Albertsons offers more than 50 brands and 140 SKUs in wine, spirits, and beer, managed by the team of Maryrose Rinella, director of own brands product management for beverage, snacks, and alcohol, and Jose Rodriguez, product manager for alcohol private brands. One key consumer trend centers on wellness, meaning beverages with lower alcohol content, fewer calories, and low or no sugar. 

Albertsons Cos. stores currently sell Viola Rosa, a semi-sweet, low-alcohol wine brand, as well as USDA-certified organic wines under the retailer’s O Organics brand. The O Organics California Chardonnay 2019 was recognized for “Best Quality in the Organic Wines” by the Private Label Manufacturers Association in the PLMA 2020 International Salute to Excellence Awards.

Convenience also weighs heavily with consumers in the category. Since cans are becoming more popular across all beverages from alcohol segments, and hard seltzers in slim cans, canned wine to ready-to-drink cocktails. Rodriguez cited Albertsons’ barrel-fermented Creamery Chardonnay as one of its biggest-growth innovation items for the last year. 

They also recently launched the wine in a 375-ml canned wine format to extend use occasions and received a gold medal at the International Canned Wine Competition. Albertson’s was one of only 10 Chardonnays/Sauvignon Blancs combined to be recognized.

Albertsons’ 24 Days of Wine Advent Calendar

Albertsons offers a canned wine format — Outspoken, a top 10 premium canned wine in the U.S. and a top-five seller in Albertsons Cos. stores among its brands; and a box wine format called Box Wize. 

Customers, too, are increasingly seeking premium options. They are trading up and they seek quality rather than quantity. Albertsons own Signature Reserve line, which was launched about a year ago, is a top-shelf premium brand. They received outstanding scores on the wine and spirit items that highlighted the quality behind each item that has been introduced under the brand.

Albertsons this year launched a Wine Advent Calendar. The 24 Days of Wine Advent Calendar delivers wine cases consisting of 24 mini-bottle wines from premier U.S. wine regions. Consumers pop out the cardboard tops to pull out the 187-ml bottles, with the case quantity comparable to six 750-ml bottles of wine.

Albertsons has sourced the premium wines from very specific regions such as California’s Paso Robles, Washington’s Columbia Valley, and Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The company operates 2,252 food and drug stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under banners such as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs.