As I have said already in my previous article, the 2015 Gallo Consumer Wine Trends Survey, which intended to capture wine drinking attitudes and behaviours of Americans, found that 35% would consider themselves to be “wine adventurers”, meaning they’ll try a new variety of wine.
And apparently these younger adventurous wine drinkers (Millennials and Z-Gen), who consider themselves to be “wine novices”, are willing to accept their wine experiment in any packaging available as long as it’s portable and convenient.
With all the music festivals and sports events organised in these days and visited by these wine novices, particularly the female branch of it, it’s to be expected that inventors and wine merchants entered the market with single-serve wine in cups. I selected a few.
One of the first to come up with a cup filled with wine was Stacked Wines LLC, when it launched in 2012 a portable, single-serve wine package, presented in stacks of four interlocking, stackable stemless PET wine glasses bundled in a shrink-sleeve label. Each glass contains 187ml of wine and a four-pack has the same volume, 750ml, as a traditional bottle of wine.
Central to the stacked wine concept is a technology developed by Stacked Wines called Vinoware. Vinoware combines packaging constructed of oxygen-barrier PET, with a filling and sealing process that eliminates oxygen from the package head-space and ensures a vacuum seal, enabling a 12 to 14 months shelf life.
The structure of the single-serve PET container resembles a stemless wine glass, and offers consumers a more sophisticated drinking experience than offered by some other single-serve options. Each container is also engineered on top and bottom to snap “like a Lego” into another stacked container
Apparently the concept of 4 stacked wine cups has been rather popular in the market. In 2014 Stormhoek Wine in South Africa introduced it in the South African market.
Made with StackTek technology, the Stormhoek Stack comprises four individual 187ml PET stemless glasses that look and feel like glass, but are 50% lighter and have a shelf life of 96 weeks.
Each stemless glass is heat sealed with peal-back foil lids and the entire stack is held together with a shrink sleeve label that has a tear-strip ‘zip’ for easy opening.
Origin Wines, which owns Stormhoek Wine, states that the unique StackTek technology offers consumers the convenience of a non-breakable, single-serve glass of wine while retaining the elevated image of wine in a stylish glass.
The packaging is 100% recyclable, lightweight and shatterproof, making it ideal for outdoor consumption occasions and perfect for sharing.
The stacked wine cups even attracted the attention of Italian-American television personality and journalist Giuliana Rancic, who launched a new wine brand XO, G using the StackTek concept.
Rancic reached out to the team at Stacked Wines in Anaheim, CA to explore opportunities to bring this convenient wine packaging to women worldwide. What followed was a multi-country wine brand, XO, G that intends to reflect Rancic’s persona, with a stylish design that looks like a personal gift from Rancic to her fans, and imported wines from her favourite global appellations. The stemless glasses are made from a high grade PET plastic called Vinoware.
And the creativity of inventors doesn’t know limits and as such we see some fancy designs for wine on-the-go. I’m not sure whether this is the way the wine sector should take, but I’m not a marketer and rather conservative in relation to consuming wine and enjoying its packaging.
But to be complete let’s have a look at the design of “Ready-to-drink”, a newly-found company in Phoenix/AZ
Ready-to-drink not only offers individual wine servings, but includes a snack to, as the company states a bit wishfully, enhance the wine’s natural flavours and satisfy the consumer’s appetite. Crafted for travel, the standard size shatterproof stemless wine glass is easily packed, unbreakable, and spill-proof.
As with all other single-serve wine glasses the innovative lid is mechanically sealed to maintain freshness and prevent spills. Once the lid is opened, the wine is at just the right level to swirl, taste, and allow the wine to breathe without spilling a drop.
Most individual-servings of wine are in small wineglasses to minimize head-space, to maintain the wine’s flavour and improve shelf-life, but in consequence of the included extra chamber or cup which holds the snacks, the ready-to-drink glass is much larger and the wine content dips to roughly half the height of the glass the moment the second cup (the 187 ml inner container) is removed. It might seem a bit disappointing to the consumer to see such a little volume of wine in their glass, although it’s still 187 ml like any other glass design.
The inventor claims that the larger glass underlines the feeling of a standard wineglass as by removing the inner container by which the wine drops to a standard fill level, it is perfect for swirling and tasting the wine.
We all are well aware of the dangers and the negative effects of drinking (too much) alcohol. At the other hand we are frequently enlightened by “scientific” studies about the health benefits of wine, particularly red wine. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a good glass of wine?
For all of us however, who want just the health benefits of red wine without the calories or alcohol, the new Vinia red grape powder, deemed a “bio-food”, is for them.
Wine as bio-food
Don’t think you can empty a stick-pack with Vinia red grape powder in a glass of water and enjoy a nice glass of wine. Something like an instant glass of wine. It’s nothing like that.
BioHarvest, an Israeli consumer health and wellness company, launched last year Vinia Red Grape Powder. Vinia is claimed to be the first-ever bio-food, a new sub-category of superfoods, made from red grapes and each serving of Vinia offers many of the benefits of red wine, but without the sugars, calories or alcohol.
Vinia is a food not a dietary supplement. It can be blended into or sprinkled atop everyday foods and beverages. One serving of Vinia harnesses a complex bouquet of polyphenols (40 mg). Within this bouquet, Vinia has 5mg of resveratrol similar to what is found in 1,000 red grapes or one bottle of fine red wine. Unfortunately without enjoying that bottle of fine red wine!
Vinia is packaged in one serving stick-packs.
So that’s the end of this overview of single-serve wine packaging.