Cecelia Mercer, Origin Green Ambassador, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
Move aside canned beer. Although bottles, glasses, and occasionally bags are the typical wine container canned wine is the latest vehicle and has hit the shelves. According to alcohol market research firm BW 166 LLC, U.S. wine sales were flat at €2.89 billion. However, the growth in sales for canned wines at the same time was 43% and is currently a €39 million business.
Wine in a can is not a new invention dating back to 1936. But, with the advancements in wine canning technology the benefits of cans now graces wine. Lighter than bottles and easily transportable, canned wine align with Bord Bia’s Consumer Lifestyle Trend --Fuller Lives sub-trend of flexi-food. Cans redefine how wine can be enjoyed – the grab and go functionality allow consumers to pack for beach trips, sip on hikes, or toast at parties. Cans can seem much more casual and less pretentious to a novice wine taster and are more affordable for a new drinker to try different types of wine. Additionally, canned wine helps consumers who are conscious about sustainability. Cans are more readily recycled and smaller serving sizes lend to less potential waste.
Although canned wine accounts for only 0.2 percent of all wine sold in the U.S.A., the convenience, affordability and sustainability associated with the package typically associated with fizzy drinks and beer resonates with wine drinkers. The wine industry has found a way to grow its market by facilitating consumers to experience in to expanded occasions and making their product more accessible to different demographics.
Producers in Ireland should look to this as an example of how packaging innovations in other categories can also be relevant to their own products, keeping in mind that sustainable values are becoming increasingly important to consumers.