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Former Bacardi Execs See Early Success With New Brand, Eppa Sangria

After just over a year on the market, newcomer Eppa SuperFruit Sangria has quickly gained traction as a premium option within an expanding Sangria category, hitting 40,000 cases in 2012.

Launched in October 2011 by former Bacardi USA marketing execs Raul Marmol and John Gomez, along with partners Gonzalo de la Pezuela, Britt West and Jim Goodwin, Eppa had revenues of approximately $2.7 million for 2012. This year, de la Pezuela predicts that the brand will double its sales to 80,000 cases, though that number will depend on the success of gaining new listings with certain retail chains.

Retailing at around $10.99-$11.99 a 750-ml., Eppa offers a single red expression, made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from California’s Mendocino County and organic fruit juices. The brand is currently available in 35 states, primarily at Whole Foods and BJ’s locations, and it also has listings with Publix and Kroger in select markets. According to de la Pezuela, Eppa is expected to achieve national distribution sometime this year. This spring, the brand will add a white expression. Rolling out in April, Eppa’s white Sangria will be made with Chardonnay from Mendocino and priced in line with its red counterpart.

Eppa joins a bevy of thriving Sangria competitors, including larger, accessibly-positioned players like Shaw-Ross International’s Reál Sangria ($6.99-$8.99 a 750-ml.) and Biagio Cru and Estate Wines’ Lolailo Sangria ($6.99-$8.99 a 1.5-liter). In addition to Eppa, several slightly higher-priced players have entered the ring lately, such as Beam’s Skinnygirl Sangria ($14 a 750-ml.), which launched in 2011, and Aveníu Brands’ Pomagria ($11.99 a 750-ml.), which rolled out last year.