Another sign of an increasing race among retailers to grab a piece of the nascent alcohol delivery market, The Kroger Co. is offering shoppers an opportunity to “build-their-own” wine packs at a special price.
The Cincinnati-based retailer and Drinks, the Los Angeles based “wine-as-a-service” provider that powers the retailer’s growing online wine stores, said the new feature allows shoppers to customize their packs by selecting among 45 award-winning wines chosen by winemakers and sommeliers for their outstanding quality and value and classic flavor profiles.
The retailer also announced a new promotion to align with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that open the holiday selling season: From Nov. 25 through Dec. 9, customers can use the code CYBER50 to receive $50 off all 12-pack wine collections, excluding the Discovery and Winter White packs. The discount equates to wine for as little as $8.50 a bottle, with shipping included.
Alcohol is a big and profitable category for retailers but relatively underpenetrated category in online sales even among online giants such as Amazon, sources say. In recent months, there has been a flurry of activity among food retailers to secure a piece of the business with online delivery services such as Instacart expanding beer and wine sales to retailers such as Aldi and Sam’s Club in recent weeks.
In an interview with WGB earlier this year, Drinks founder Zac Brandenberg said Americans spend an estimated $50 billion to $70 billion on wines for home consumption annually but very little of that spend takes place over the internet as complex regulations—and an established culture with little interest in seeing change—has resisted a move online.
“Kroger is continuously broadening how customers can engage with us no matter what their needs are. Our mission is to serve our customers anything, anytime, anywhere, and Kroger Wine represents an additional way our customers can shop with us,” Jody Kalmbach, group VP of product experience for Kroger, said in a statement. “With the new ‘build-your-own pack’ feature, Kroger has brought its industry-leading convenience and personalization to the online wine-buying experience and expanded our leadership in the wine category.”
The new announcements come on the heels of Kroger Wine’s introduction in late 2018.
“We are proud of our partnership with Kroger, which achieves the vision of making great wine accessible to more American households in the way consumers are increasingly shopping—online,” Brandenberg said in a statement. “By leveraging our scalable platform, Kroger became the first grocery retailer of its kind to offer a ship-to-home wine program that brings the flexibility, convenience and personalization of e-commerce to the wine shopping experience. We are excited to work with Kroger to uniquely meet the tastes and needs of consumers around the United States.”
Photograph courtesy of Kroger
Kroger Wine first launched in 14 states. Earlier this year, the program expanded to customers in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey; it expands this week to Arizona. The service is now available in 19 states and Washington, D.C., representing 58 million households, both inside and outside Kroger’s brick-and-mortar footprint of nearly 2,800 retail stores.
To purchase, shoppers visit wine.kroger.com. After confirming their delivery state and legal drinking age, they can search a curated wine assortment and create a custom pack, or consider joining the quarterly membership club. Wines range in price from $10-$16 per bottle, with no additional shipping fees for home delivery.