As promised in my previous article, today I like to show the recent developments in the on-the-go market for wine. For a long time the on-the-go market in general has been seen by the consumer goods companies as a market, which could be covered by simplifying and down-sizing their family packs, as if it wasn’t supposed to become a serious market and has even be seen as a bit irritating, as the on-the-go market required more work for the same volume in sales.
Times changed. It’s obvious that the consumer made it clear that his on-the-go activities increase and require special features in terms of food quality and packaging convenience. One of these market segments is drinking wine on-the-go. Is it during a festival or other public event, during a hike, a barbeque or on the beach, the consumer likes to enjoy his glass of wine with tranquillity.
Let’s have a look at recently introduced on-the-go packaging for wine. The first one, the glass tube, is not intended to become an on-the-go packaging for wine, but its size and design really is an invitation to be used at the high-end side of this market segment.
Fine wine in a 187-mL glass tube
The Vini is a sleek glass tube with a 187ml serving equivalent to 1/4 of a regular-size bottle of wine. At 10 inches tall and 2 inches wide, this container offers a very gracious pour in a unique package.
The Vini is not just a packaging format, but it also claims to be a wine brand. The Vini is available with a California Napa and a California Sonoma wine. It is definitely aiming at the high-end market, as it is not trying to compete with the ready-to-drink market, which is more about convenience over quality. It is supposed to fulfil the requirements of a lifestyle product about providing accessible luxury.
The packaging is an imitation of the smaller, sample-size vials (typically 50, 60, and 100 mL) used in Europe. The cylindrical vial is made of lightweight, seamless glass and features a flat bottom with a slight indentation, or punt, similar to a full-size 750-mL bottle and features screen-printed labels. Topping the vials is an industry-standard Stelvin screw-cap closure from Amcor.
Unlike some other single-serve wine formats, the Vini is meant to be poured into a glass, so it can aerate and be presented like any other fine wine. In a restaurant the format allows for a welcome addition to the by-the-glass wine list.
The Vini is sold in single units, in a custom four-pack box, and in a case of 48 units. For hotels, a single-unit hotel-kit package made of a clear PET outer shell, is available that showcases the wine.
The next two innovations don’t need to be poured into a glass, as the packaging already has been designed in that format. Although nothing will withhold the use of this format for high-end wines, it is to be expected that these wine packages will mainly be seen in the easy-going world, in other words on the beach, festivals, sports events, on-the-go in general.
Single serve goblets
Here I had written a few words about the Zipz glass trophy-shaped tumbler. However following the request of the design agency, which claimed to be the owner of the images, I took the images down and consequently the text about the single serve goblets.
A similar design is the Easy Wine Glass from Swedish wine merchant Cefour.
Easy Wine Glass
The new ready-to-drink Easy Wine Glass from Cefour Wine & Beverage of Åhus, Sweden, contains a choice of wines, including Merlot, Rosé Syrah and Chardonnay in pre-filled and sealed plastic wine glasses.
The 18.75cl size is particularly appropriate for all types of outdoor events where the use of glass is not suitable for safety considerations. In addition, it offers the convenience of accurate portion control each time and no waste.
For caterers, the Easy Wine Glass means there are no personnel costs for preparing and pouring the wine, and queuing and serving times are reduced. Consumers are able to enjoy a ready glass of wine without having to open a full bottle.
Two designs are offered – the traditional wine glass and a stemless version, which offers greater stability for aeroplane and train service.
The glasses are formed, filled and sealed using transparent PP/EVOH/PP sheet from RPC Cobelplast in Belgium. The EVOH barrier layer prevents oxygen ingress to help preserve the freshness and quality of the wine for up to 10 months. The glasses are fully recyclable after use.
From the high-end to the low-end
In contrast to the USA where the TetraPak apparently is getting an inroad into the wine market, in Europe, TetraPak cartons hold the lowest appeal among all packaging formats for wine consumers, and face a tough fight to win significant market share from the likes of glass and PET. I must add to this, that you don’t see (I haven’t seen any) single-serve TetraPaks for wine. But there is hope. According to a report from research firm Wine Intelligence, consumers saw the Tetra Pak as easy to carry and environmentally friendly, with a typical following among consumers aged 45-54 and a slight female consumer skew. Wine drinkers who bought a Tetra Pak on a regular basis (2% overall) tended to be more experimental and enjoyed trying new wine styles on a regular basis, the report states.
Second on the low appeal list comes the beverage can as wine packaging. If it could have been in an aluminium bottle the chances increase, in my opinion. But who is (except the barbaric wine consumer without a taste) drinking wine, even of ordinary table quality, straight from a beverage can? Then at least: Either use an alu bottle or the more friendly paperboard beverage can.
Last year I wrote about the CartoCan, developed by Michael Hörauf Maschinenfabrik GmbH, which was at that moment in the preliminary stage of market introduction. Apparently the development is completed and assigned to Austrian dairy company Ennstal Milch, which introduced the paperboard beverage can, among other countries, in the UK through Itsu iced tea and recently appointed Alexir Packaging as its UK representative.
I know it hasn’t yet been introduced as an on-the-go single-serve wine packaging, but the CartoCan can be filled with a wide range of beverages with a pH greater than 3.0 and less than 7.0. And as the can uses 60%+ renewable material (FSC-certified fibres sourced from an Italian card producer/printer) and claims a favourable greenhouse gas emissions profile, energy use and weight, it is a worthy packaging for a picnic.
The seven layer beverage can (PE/adhesive resin/alu/PE/carton board/metallized film/PE) is delivered as a flat roll that is then formed into the body of a can, fitted with a lid and base, filled and then sealed with a standard pull-tape closure, carton-cap or reclosable lid. The Cartocans can be filled aseptically and have a 12-month shelf life without refrigeration.
And herewith ends the overview of single-serve packaging for wine.