Barefoot Screaming Eagle sticker shock is what I call this one…

People who buy Barefoot Cellars wines are people who have progressed from Two Buck Chuck, because Barefoot takes the time to put a gold medal on their bottles. Yes, Two Buck Chuck has also received medals, but do they take the time to sticker every bottle? I’m betting that Fred Franzia’s budget for marketing is fairly small, since he doesn’t even have any websites.

If you want to learn anything about Fred, you have to rely on Wikipedia. I’m also betting that behind closed doors Fred’s laughing at every marketer in existence, including me.

Franzia took advantage of a wine glut, and dumped just about everything into a $2.00 a bottle of wine, disintermediating it at Trader Joe’s. And, it’s millions and millions of dollars later. Fred’s laughing all the way to the bank. But now Gallo’s Barefoot is laughing even harder, because it’s become the number one best selling wine in the U.S.

Barefoot is so successful, in fact, that another brand was created to go side-by-side with it on store shelves, because every Barefoot needs a Flip Flop for when people need to put on shoes, right? Riding the coattails of successful innovation, they want to be side-by-side on a store shelf for possible wine sales… Someone getting the humor and taking a chance on something they like as a concept.

While the sticker shock may be gold medals for these very expensive wines, there’s the other side of that shock.

The other side comes when you find a Screaming Eagle at Costco, for the great sale price of only $2399.99. Yeah, there’s a bargain for you. The only sticker shock for that bottle is the silent one of, “Who’s gonna to belly up to the bar for this one?” Buy it, guys. It will save you from having to fill our a form to get onto their waiting list… Okay, what’s that about? Could Costco have wiggled their way onto the waiting list? If you’re on the list, can you buy cases of their wine? Could the message of their exclusivity not have made it’s way to all of the Wall Street moguls who became the recent billionaires?

It’s just too much to ponder. I think I’ll go enjoy a glass of middle class wine…


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