Low-carb wine maker to target media

LOUISVILLE, KY: Brown-Forman plans to use a major media-relations effort as its main PR weapon to launch two new low-carb wines.

LOUISVILLE, KY: Brown-Forman plans to use a major media-relations effort as its main PR weapon to launch two new low-carb wines.

The key message point is that these are the "first wines created specifically to be lower in carbs and created for carb-conscious consumers," said Phil Lynch, VP of corporate communications and public relations with the wine and spirits maker.

Even the names of the products are meant to convey their low-carb nature. They're called One.6 Chardonnay and One.9 Merlot - revealing in their monikers how many carbs are in each serving. Other wines have from three to six grams of carbs per serving, Lynch noted.

The company is handling PR for the new products in-house.

USA Today already has written about the new offerings, Lynch said, and the company has pitched Reuters, the AP, CNBC, and Live with Regis & Kelly, among others.

Brown-Forman last week held a tasting event for the media, key distributors, and retailers in New York as part of its PR efforts. In addition to PR, the company is planning a $5 million ad campaign.

The carb count was lowered in the wines through grape selection and the fermentation process used. They will sell for $9.99 a bottle when they hit stores at the end of this month.

Although company sales have not been affected by the low-carb craze, Lynch said the market is too big to ignore. "We don't know" if low-carb is here to stay, he said. "But we think it's something consumers want today, and they're going to want it for at least a year or two."

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