A Touch of Class Enters the Boxed Wine Category

In the beverage alcohol market it is wine which is the primary growth driver, while at the same time the wine industry’s low margins and commodity market dynamics have made it the toughest sector of drinks for packaging innovation.

Although the majority of wines is still bottled in glass, the larger format sector for wine, targeting the mainstream wine consumer, is dominated by the Bag-in-Box (BiB), worth some USD 500m in retail sales in the UK and over USD 1,5bn across the Scandinavian markets.

In the Scandinavian markets penetration has risen to between 30 and 50% as wine consumers have become increasingly attracted to the convenience and price benefits of the larger BiB format. Wine in Bag-in-Box might not have the classy reputation of glass bottles, but it can be a great choice for a large number of reasons, which has led to the situation that in the past few years more wine consumers have started to look for more premium wine in the larger format.

Constellation Europe, a division of the largest wine producer in the world, launched the BiB packaging format specifically for premium quality wines, believing it can extend the market for larger formats by providing premium wine to consumers, who currently do not regularly purchase wine in BiB, i.e. the typically young professionals with high disposable income and an expressed interest in wine.

Constellation’s Hardys Nottage Hill Cabernet Shiraz 2007 and Chardonnay 2008 are now sold in stylish blue, grey and silver 2.25 litre FreshCase packs. The 2.25 litre bag-in-box container holds the equivalent of three bottles of wine while taking the shelf space of approximately one bottle. The square-sided packaging consists of four parts. The middle section is made of decorated composite paperboard, enclosed by top and bottom plastic ends. Inside the container is a one-piece bag-and-tap system that contains and dispenses the wine.

To enjoy the wine in the FreshCase , the  consumer turns the canister on its side and depresses the unlocking mechanism on the underneath side of the bottom plastic end. Next, he pulls the tap forward until it clicks into place. The taps are easy to get out providing the consumer follows the instructions. Finally, he turns the canister to its side and pulls out the carry handle on the top plastic end. It adjusts into place on a countertop or the refrigerator as a stand that angles the entire package to help the last drops of (white) wine flow out through the dispenser. The red wine packaging can stand upright on the table top.
FreshCase is stylish enough to grace any kitchen or house bar.

No air gets into the FreshCase after a glass have been poured, so the wine stays fresh for up to 6 weeks after opening.

Compared to 3 glass bottles, a FreshCase has a lower carbon footprint as the pack is 70% lighter and takes up 30% less space, making a huge reduction in the energy needed to transport the wine. The components of the packaging are recyclable. To recycle FreshCase, the consumer separates the cardboard from the plastic by pulling the end caps off and removing the bag as shown in the picture.

The external component parts of Freshcase are supplied by 1st Packaging in Leighton Buzzard, a division of Postal Packaging Ltd., to Constellation Europe’s new manufacturing and distribution site Constellation Park, based in Avonmouth Bristol, where they are assembled.
Constellation’s in-house design team worked with London-based design agency Drink Works to develop the FreshCase pack.

Constellation sees the FreshCase as a significant innovation to move the category on, aiming squarely at high-end consumers who are knowledgeable about wine and prepared to spend a bit more. They are perceived as strongly ABC1, with 62% being between 18 and 34, representing about 24% of the wine drinkers.

The recycle photo I took from Richard Mackney.

Want to read more about wine in bag-in-box, go to: Evolution of Wine in Bag-in-Box – Wine always had the areola of belonging to people with a sophisticated life style, a little snobbish maybe. Certainly snobbish, when you read the lyrical descriptions of the so-called wine connoisseurs, putting you (the simpleton) off because you have little interest in the either critical or lyrical, fancy-full, high-flying words for the wine which flavour …. continue reading

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