A revolution for the wine industry?
Who would have thought that the noble wine industry would be so open to a revolutionary new concept in packaging, like wine in a can?
It’s true that wine in Europe has a long and proud tradition, and that compared to the USA and Australia, it has been slower to offer wine in single serve cans. But this is changing as the consumer begins to embrace the concept and move with the times.
© European canned wines
The perfect packaging for wine
Wine is usually consumed with friends and family, but what if you want to enjoy just a single glass of wine while eating your dinner, or if you want to take wine with you when out camping, at a festival or a sporting event? The single-serve can is the right choice as not only does it let consumers control how much alcohol they consume, it’s also recyclable and sustainable, and doesn’t break.
The fact is cans are so much lighter than a bottle and therefore so much easier to transport and take with you. This makes it ideal for those who are out and about. What's more, cans have a host of other advantages that make them perfect receptacles for wine: they are endlessly recyclable, faster to chill and offer an excellent way of conserving the wine, as no light or air can get in to influence the taste.
Quality inside, quality outside
We asked Cédric Segal of Winestar, who launched the first wine in a can in France, to tell us a bit more about his wine, and how he guarantees the quality of his ‘wine in a can’ range. “The first wines from Winestar were launched thanks to a partnership with Château de l'Ille, based in the Languedoc region of southern France. These wines have a long and distinguished pedigree, having been made for over 30 years by Pol Flandroy, an independent winemaker who has received more than 200 medals for his wines over the years. The fact is our wine is already fully aged before it goes into the can and so is ready to drink immediately. As the can is a completely sealed environment, the wine won’t evolve with age. It also won’t deteriorate either, as is sometimes the case with wine in a bottle. After all not all wines age well.”
“We chose to reflect the quality inside by giving our slim cans of 187 ml a look of luxury on the outside: a raised black coating for the red wine, a golden colour for white wines and rose coloured cans for rosés.”
© Vin blanc - Vin rouge - Vin rosé Winestar
Distribution says ‘yes we can’
Distribution is key for wines in a can, and it’s been an uphill struggle to get a foot in the door. As Mr. Segal confirms, “night shops and small supermarkets have been the first to stock the range, but they are also now available in many buffet restaurants, and establishments with take-out services.” One innovation that has gained traction is the grouping of the cans in 4s, just like beer and soda drinks. “This has been well received by the larger supermarket chains, and has led to new distribution opportunities.”
Young audiences love wine from a can
‘Wine in a can’ is primarily targeted at a younger, more mobile public, and one that has yet to be exposed to a traditional wine culture. The reality is “millennials, especially in the US, are keen on convenience and single-servings. They love new trends and want to create new traditions,” says The Independent. There is no doubt they want different things than older generations. Marketers and producers should keep an eye on that. Winestar, for instance has promoted and taste tested their range at events not yet associated with wine, like music festivals and art galleries. By doing that they were able to attract a younger audience of 20 to 30 years olds. The aim? Create a new buzz around the idea.
Other European examples
The Uncommon is ‘wine in a can’ from Henry and Alex; these two enthusiasts discovered canned wine abroad and felt that it also had its place in Great Britain. Their 100% English grapes are grown in Surrey. By using cans, they want to become the most sustainable wine brand in Great Britain.
© The Uncommon most sustainable wine in Great Britain
Pinot Pinot thinks that wine in a can is an excellent idea with lots of potential. It’s why they launched a light and sparkling Pinot Grigio on the UK market. Available since 2017, it’s ideal for wine lovers who want their favourite drink to hand immediately.
© Light and sparkling Pinot Grigio
Gigglewater – Sparkling wine
Life is all about finding the right balance, and that includes having the right wine, for example Vino Frizzante Bianco. This brand promises to do what it takes to make the world a better place and ensure your wellbeing.
© Vino Frizzante Bianco sprakling wine
Quello fizz in a can
A young girl and a unicorn? It’s the image you see on the Quello cans. A case of storytelling with a can. You can read the whole story on the Quello website. It’s a delightfully tasty wine that is perfectly suitable for non-connoisseurs. With sustainability at the heart of the venture, Quello is naturally fermented and canned without compromising taste or quality.
© Quello naturally fermented wine
Even though there are already dozens of brands in the United States and Australia, each with their own style and story, the European market for canned is just warming up. This is hardly surprising as the mainstream European consumer is as interested in convenience and single-serve drinks as the rest of the world, and certainly wants a sustainable solution for whatever they buy. It seems for the time being that the youth in Europe are the early adopters and buying into the idea of wine in a can. What about you?
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