Stitched In: Announcing Our Investment into Nomadica

We are buzzing to announce our investment into Nomadica—a sommelier-curated collection of premier canned wines. Founded by Kristen Olszewski (CEO), a Harvard Med School dropout turned sommelier, Nomadica is truly redefining the experience of drinking wine from a can—good wine.

So please raise a glass (or can) with us and cheers our newest portfolio company, Nomadica!

The cork is popped on canned wine

Over the last decade we’ve seen more and more canned wine options landing on grocery store shelves and finding their way to beaches and summer picnics. Wine in a can is obviously convenient, so it’s no surprise that sales of canned wine have exploded from just $2 million in 2012 to $200 million in 2020.

Moreover, canned wine is the fastest-growing segment of the market. Looking at sales in 2019, Nielsen noted sales of canned wine grew 79.2% while wine sales as a whole only increased by 1.4%. The canned wine category is expected to be worth $155.1 billion by 2027, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10.4% over that time.

But, shifting centuries of tradition is no easy task, and canning wine additionally presents its own kind of challenges in retaining quality. This is where Kristen and Nomadica really shine, building an energetic and responsible ethos behind canned wine and leveling it up for even the most refined palates.

Nomadica wine paired with a summer brunch.

Why we love Nomadica

First of all, we’ve tasted it, and it's delicious. And while that was probably enough to convince us this brand will go far, Nomadica is sustainable, vegan, and dry-fermented (so no leftover sugar)—simply grapes, yeast, water, and a little bit of time. Nomadica is wine the old way with a modern spirit, and it has all the markings of an early-stage CPG company ready to take flight.

Founder-product fit

Kristen fell in love with good wine while working in the restaurant industry in San Francisco. As a certified sommelier, she spent time with notable restaurants like Osteria Mozza and Husk before starting Nomadica.

With a degree in Sustainable Agriculture, Kristin has stayed true to her passion for sustainability with the mission to eliminate the carbon-intensive production costs of glass bottles with cans. She carries that further into the sourcing process by working closely with vineyards and winemakers “who have responsible farming methods and don’t use pesticides.”

Differentiated sales strategy & growth

A powerful differentiated sales strategy has helped Nomadica grow 4x in 2021 with an anticipated growth of 4x in 2022.

They have built a strong DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) network with an exciting brand that’s bringing millennials and gen z back to wine. Their blind taste tests and user-generated content has helped build a lot of buzz and social proof around their premium wine that can be purchased right from their website. And they cover the shipping costs because they can.

They’ve additionally demonstrated considerable growth in both on- and off-premise sales through key partnerships and national distribution channels, including a partnership with LiveNation that expanded to 25+ venues and amphitheaters across the US in 2021. They are the national mini-bar wine of the W Hotel and the Proper Hotel Group, and also sold in Mollie Mollie Stones, Whole Foods, and Ace Hotel, among many other wine boutiques.

The future of wine is in a can

We’re looking forward to watching Kristen and Nomadica elevate the industry of canned wine. With packaging that’s 400x lighter than glass bottles and reduces shipping emissions by up to 80%, it’s a direction that just makes sense. Not to mention that contrary to the old stigma of a can, it’s actually the ideal format to preserve the freshness and vibrancy of wine.

If you want to give Nomadica a try for yourself, Kristen is giving a 20% discount to the Sweater community. Head to the Nomadica page in the Portfolio section of the Sweater app to get 20% off online orders of Nomadica cans shipped right to your door.

Investments & Portfolio Updates
Written by
The Sweater Team
Published on
January 25, 2023
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