Home Wine Business Editorial 2020 Will Bring an Explosion in Non-Traditional Packaging

2020 Will Bring an Explosion in Non-Traditional Packaging

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By Laura Ness

This article is part of the Bold Predictions series.

Liz Paquette
Liz Paquette

Liz Paquette, Director of Brand and Head of Consumer Insights at Drizly predicts that 2020 is going to bring an explosion of non-traditional packaging variants, with a particular focus on the Ready to Drink (RTD) segment, where packaging plays a key role. Paquette says we’ll see more cans and alternatives, and a variety of sizes. In the last four years, they’ve experienced a 47-fold increase in sales of canned wine on Drizly. If that pace continues, they’re set to outsell the highly sought-after boxed wines. They’re already seeing a 31% increase in RTD Sangria.

The Drizly app connects consumers with a host of retailers in the local area who can deliver your choice of spirits and wines in under an hour, in most cases. Think of it as on-demand streaming for booze. This growing on-demand phenomenon is changing the way the world accesses alcohol. It also gives Drizly insights into what categories are on the rise.

Currently, wine comprises 38% of their sales, with 27% going to liquor and 25% to beer. Wine makes up 40% of the approximately 200k products currently listed in the online store.

“Our consumers are typically buying the more well-known wines within the wine category,” says Paquette. “They’re hungry for more education; they want to learn more, to discover new recommendations.” Cans are ideal for that experimenting.

Drizly aims to learn even more about what their consumers want. They recently received over 13,000 responses to a survey regarding in store vs. online purchases. “They are really into the joy of the hunt,” says Paquette. “They want to discover new products. We’re planning ways to enhance discovery through stories and online experiences. We’re asking, how we can use data to guide customers to new products.”

Many of these consumers are millennials and Gen Xers with higher incomes, who are early adopters. They’re influenced by brand marketing, but are eager to learn more.

Paquette believes more and more producers will begin to enter the canned space to get a share of this growing and lucrative market. Consumers spend well over $50 per order, paying a flat fee of around $5 for delivery. Retailers themselves do the deliveries, while Drizly partners with Doordash in certain states.

With the proliferation of hard seltzer, even small producers will come up with new and innovative ways to reach these on-the-go consumers. Canned options that are lower in ABV, and in smaller portion sizes can be expected. It might feel a bit like “what was once old, is now new,” hearkening back to the wine coolers of the 80s.

Drizly predicts they are on the verge of making shopping online for alcohol delivery in an hour as natural as shopping for groceries. The biggest barrier Drizly faces right now is “It’s the origin story,” says Paquette. “People don’t even know this is legal. We’re still getting the word out.”

In addition to social media, Drizly is turning to connected TV outlets like Hulu and Dish, anywhere that customers are streaming content they can’t tear themselves away from. Predicts Paquette, “Right now, we’re where online food sales for delivery were a few years ago. We are at an inflection point. By 2025, we’ll be there for alcohol.”

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