Wine Talk

Snooth User: Coleney

The future of wine packaging.

Posted by Coleney, Jun 19, 2017.

I don't like the idea of canned wine, because can destroys the spirit and potentially quality of the wine.

What do you think about the wine in cans?

Here is an interesting article about this topic:

"

Can the idea that canned wine is the next big thing in wine packaging

People who are supposed to know these things insist that wine packaging is about to undergo a revolution – specifically, that canned wine is the next big thing and will sooner rather than later compete with bottles as the package of choice.

In this, they are wrong. Wine packaging has remained the same for centuries – a bottle with a cork – and there is absolutely no reason to believe that canned wine’s future is any different than screwcaps or boxes. It will occupy a niche, and lots of people will like it. But most of us won’t even notice it. The wine business in the U.S. has spent almost 100 years teaching us that we have to buy wine in a 750 ml bottle with a cork, and you don’t undo that overnight.

Or, as one of the more clear-sighted analysts wrote: “In most countries, that packaging (whether it’s a $5 or $5,000 wine) is going to be a glass bottle, even though any number of containers can be used.”

So why the enthusiasm for canned wine? First, because it has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, up 125 percent in the year through the middle of 2016. Second, it’s something that should appeal to the two generations of wine drinkers younger than the Baby Boomers, who grew up on canned soft drinks and juice boxes and who aren’t supposed to be as fussy about bottles as the rest of us. Third, because the people who do trend analysis wouldn’t have anything to write about if they didn’t find a trend, and it isn’t easy to find trends in an industry as old-fashioned as wine.

In fact, here’s what the prognosticators don’t tell you about canned wine:

• “After years of packaging innovations, the traditional 750 ml wine bottle is more important to the domestic wine industry than ever.” The number of 750ml bottles sold increased 41 percent from 2010 to 2014, which is the same period that overall wine sales in the U.S., as measured by bottles sold, was up just 11 percent. This is premiumization’s work; who is going to pay $25 for a bottle of wine in can or box? Meanwhile, sales have fallen dramatically for the very cheapest wines, which lend themselves best to cans.

• That 125 percent growth was from a very tiny base. All told, canned wine accounted for $6.4 million in a $55 billion business, or about one-tenth of one percent.

• Retailers don’t like canned wine. Store shelves are designed to sell 750 ml bottles, and canned wine doesn’t fit on the shelves. That’s what happened to boxed wine, which was supposed to be the next big thing a decade ago. Retailers could never figure out how to display it, and so they shoved it to the back of the store.

• Canned wine hasn’t solved the value/price problem. Much of it is more expensive than bottled wine, since we’re paying for convenience. But the quality of the wine usually isn’t worth the added cost. Much of the canned wine I’ve tasted was junk that would cost $4 or $5 for a 25-ounce bottle, not $5 for a 12-ounce can. Compare this to boxed wine, which has improved in quality and does offer value – and still remains a small part of the market, about three percent.

In the end, know that screw caps, which offer as much convenience as a can without any added cost to the consumer, have been around for decades. And they still account for just 20 percent of the market. How are cans going to do better than that?"

Replies

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Reply by outthere, Jun 19, 2017.

I think wine in cans is a great idea for people who don't care what they pour down their gullet. That class of individual is likely to toss their beverge container on the ground/beach/roadside. Better/easier to clean up aluminum cans that to step on broken glass. I'm sorry, is my cynicism showing?

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Reply by Coleney, Jun 19, 2017.

I guess you are right, but maybe the new generation sees the canned wine differently or maybe we are too stereotypical :-/

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Reply by rckr1951, Jun 19, 2017.

There are all kinds of new wine packaging designs out there.  From the mini-bottles to 5L boxed wines.  I'll take a bottle any day.

Others can do what they like in the name of progress.  

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 19, 2017.

I have 30/27/21 year old children and I also gave 30+ under 30's in my team at work.  They all expect wine to either be Bag in Box for very cheap stuff or in bottle for better wine - no real driver for canned wine here.

There is plenty of debate in Australia with Beer packaging and virtually all Craft beet is in 330-375ml bottles.

Most of the large brewery commercial ranges are the same - however some markets particularly Victoria seem to prefer commercial beer in cans eg Victoria Bitter [VB as the local know it] VB is the Aussie equivalent to Bud

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 20, 2017.

VB really is nasty stuff--I can say that after too many half-day debauches utilizing it with Aussie friends. Canadian and English debauches tend to at least have better mainstream beer.

Obviously some marketeers are looking for some differentiative (if that's a word) gimmickry, with segments they figure don't necessarily care how good the wine is and could be happy with things in the wine cooler direction. I'm sure that if wine tasted good out of cans over time we'd have had it already, since beer has been in cans for well more than half a century. Would be useful to hear some science on why cans don't work as well as darkened glass for both beer and wine.

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 20, 2017.

VB is nasty but popular - all its advertising targets working class particularly the image of the male construction worker

My understanding is that cans have a relatively short shelf life as the "ring pull seals are not perfect and the chemicals in all drinks will eventually react with the metal, whereas glass is fairly inert and screw caps have lesser sealing issues.

Out of curiosity what is Bud usually sold in?

D - what is the rough beer ratio for cans/glass in Japan?

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Reply by GregT, Jun 21, 2017.

"The wine business in the U.S. has spent almost 100 years teaching us that we have to buy wine in a 750 ml bottle with a cork, and you don’t undo that overnight."

That's wrong of course - the standard was set at 750ml in the US only in 1979. The Europeans standardized on that to get into the US market, which as you know wasn't all that big at the time but was on an upward trajectory. In doing so, many European regions gave up their more traditional bottle sizes, which were often 800 ml or 500 ml, the latter being a decent size for an individual.

"Retailers don’t like canned wine. Store shelves are designed to sell 750 ml bottles, and canned wine doesn’t fit on the shelves."

Not really true either - they seem to do really well with Coke and Pepsi. In fact, cans are much better for shelves than bottles, which can't be stacked and waste space.

"Retailers could never figure out how to display it, and so they shoved it to the back of the store."

Except that there wasn't all that much of it put out. It's still a growing segment and when it's good, it is not pushed to the back of the store at all. The big boxes of the cheapest stuff are, but then so are the bottles of that stuff.

"In the end, know that screw caps, which offer as much convenience as a can without any added cost to the consumer, have been around for decades. And they still account for just 20 percent of the market. "

There has been a very concerted push against them from the entrenched cork interests. But they are increasingly accepted world wide. Eventually people will give up on corks.

I think the author of that article wrote from his or her experience, which doesn't seem that extensive.

 

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 22, 2017.

"D - what is the rough beer ratio for cans/glass in Japan?"

Really hard to find any figures on the Web (and yes I'm researching in Japanese). Only data I've been able to find are from 10 to 20 years ago, and not exactly relevant. Cans overtook bottles in the beer market in the mid '90s. By the end of last decade the decline in bottle use had flattened out. I did find that much. Would have to go to private data sources (corporate or analyst) to get more up-to-date, it would seem.

My personal impression encountering beer offerings in Tokyo is that there is more can than bottle in mainstream beer than in the past, and this trend has steadily increased over the past couple of decades. Beer (and Sake) bottle recycling has been a bust for well more than a decade. However the 2nd craft beer boom of this decade (first was at the millennium but it burst later last decade) has helped increase the use of bottles. However I also see more craft beer in cans in this market than I have in other markets like the US. Sake (and shochu and other spirits) is still hanging tough, with a lot more in glass than can.

 

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Reply by jackwerickson, Jun 22, 2017.

If I ever drink wine out of a can or a box, i am going to ask my children to buy me some long black socks to wear with my shorts, take me out to the Desert tell me I am in Aruba and they will come pick me up later. I enjoy all of the trappings that goes with drinking a good bottle of wine that has a cork and pouring it in a nice reidel glass. Since I don't drink beer or cokes a can has no appeal to me.

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Reply by jackwerickson, Jun 22, 2017.

Did have one addendum! If I were just 23 again just out of college filled with all the power and knowledge I thought possessed, had a beautiful young woman,we would have a picnic every weekend,and if canned was was the easiest way to drink I buy it by the case, I would even splurge and buy her white wine instead of red.but alas those days are gone forever.

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Reply by rckr1951, Jun 22, 2017.

JW - LOL, your last brought back memories of Matuse, lava lamps, black lights, Seals and Croft - C,S,N+Y and pretty girl.

 

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Reply by jackwerickson, Jun 22, 2017.

RCKR my memories go further back  Little Richard et al, Boones farm wine Ripple, damn if I drank this stuff, how bad could canned wine be?

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Reply by rckr1951, Jun 22, 2017.

Muddy Rodgers, Chuck Berry, The Del Tones, Everly Bros, I do remember and drank Ripple.  As do you question - you don't drink beer or soda from a can - so...?

For me, beer - no - some soda - yes - wine - no.  I suppose drinking wine from a can is no worse than drinking wine from bladder in a box or bad wine in bottle..

Still - unless someone brings me wine in a can that blows me away - not gonna happen. 

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 23, 2017.

Out of curiosity did yo just have the 50 year anniverary of the Monteray Music Gig?


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