When Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia brand came out with sparkling wine in a pink can (with red straw attached) more than a decade ago, the concept was appreciated for its novelty and lauded by Sofia fans everywhere.
What wasn’t fully appreciated at the time was how fashionable wine in cans would become. In the current market, wine drinkers everywhere are enthusiastically embracing the portability, sustainability and sensory superiority of their favorite beverage delivered in this particular format.
Nielsen has announced that sales of canned wine increased from $6.4 million to $14.5 million in the last year alone, a whopping 125 percent surge. The same report notes that canned wine dollar sales soared 170 percent, versus a 6-percent increase in the more established box wine business for the same period.
“Providing this level of portability with just the right amount of wine makes it easy for today’s active consumer to enjoy their favorite beverage anywhere,” confirms Sherrie Rosenblatt, vice president of marketing and communications for CMI, the Can Manufacturers Institute. “Like winemaker’s stainless steel fermentation tanks, cans are in effect small, portable, aluminum tanks that protect and deliver the subtle flavors and sensory qualities that winemakers want their consumers to taste.”
In addition to preserving freshness and flavor, the sustainable nature of wine in cans is a big selling point for conscientious consumers. The recycling rate for aluminum cans is over 55 percent and, since less energy is required to produce and transport canned wine, the entire process reduces the brand’s overall carbon footprint.
“We understand that history and tradition drive the use of glass packaging in the wine industry” acknowledges Grant Prentice, director of strategic insights for FoodMinds, Inc., a national food and nutrition research company. “But it’s clear that forward-thinking leaders in the wine industry are altering their packaging mix and recognizing the incremental business opportunities and need-states where a can is much more relevant than a bottle or a box.”
Prentice refers to on-the-go and non-traditional consumption occasions – like movie theaters – where cans fit perfectly. “Wineries also have the ability to brand more effectively with cans, using the 360-degree container surface for custom graphics and messaging,” states Prentice. He also points out the shape and stack-ability of cans offers wineries’ retail partners new merchandising opportunities that make efficient use of linear square foot display space.
Denver, Colorado’s Infinite Monkey Theorem, a partner in CMI’s video storytelling series, joins a growing list of wineries at the forefront of the canned wine trend. Other wine brands that are early-adopters of cans include Alloy Wine Works, Backpack Wine, Barefoot Wine, The Drop, Fiction, Flip Flop, Lila Wines, Origin, Ruza, Seven Daughters, Underwood and Westside Wine, to name a few. “We think a lot of winemakers are really looking at opportunities to fit into today’s consumer lifestyle,” affirms Rosenblatt. “Aluminum can packaging is helping more and more consumer-focused winemakers create an incremental beverage choice that appeals to the on-the-go, environmentally friendly millennial.”
The Can Manufacturers Institute will be featuring wine tasting exclusively from cans at the second annual U.S. Wine and Beverage Expo in Washington, D.C., February 22-24, 2017, at the Opening Reception and in Booth #1315.
For more information go to: smartcansolutions.com