Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Mass Niche Market

One of the Gallo brothers died yesterday. The Gallo's were important in that they helped shape the tastes of the world market for California wines, particularly in the United States. In the late seventies and early eighties, in particular, they got their cheap jug wines into the glasses of working class people, some who had ethnic ties to the grape, who were used to having a beer with dinner or lunch. They played a role in the transition from a WASP dominated mass market culture dominated by supermarkets and white bread products-easily transported/bland-to formerly products of niche markets. Now all classes of folk have access to products that were once only consumed by the boobwasee. You can now get Lindt chocolates, Tiffany lamps, Bonsai trees, and other "elite" products at Walmart. The Gallo's represent this trend in niche marketing and globalization because they were able to take an ethnic product, use the local conditions and mass market it at time when distribution systems began to be able to present ethnic or exclusive product that once was the realm of a few.

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