2020 has been a year on pause for much of the wine industry, but now, 2021 is here, and there is light shining at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are taking positive action against COVID-19. Online sales, virtual tastings, and periods of open tasting rooms have helped many wineries focusing on DTC sales, however, when Nielsen Data tracked wineries that leaned into the wholesale channel, they saw sales increase as much as 24% during the pandemic, leaving many in a stronger position than they had expected. If history is any indication, there are great opportunities when the economy re-opens after challenging times and many expect that to be exactly the case in 2021 for the wine industry.
“Now is the time to invest, especially with the lowest interest rates available since the mid-2000s,” says Alberto Migliardi, CEO of Maspack Packaging USA.
“Wineries tell us that they are ready to start loosening up the strings from the CapEx projects they put on hold back in March and April,” adds Dan Bock, Maspack’s Business Development Director.
For wineries that leveraged the wholesale channel, the long-term cost savings of a new bottling line outweighs any short-term effect of the pandemic. Maspack systems allow wineries to step up to the more stringent packaging demands of wholesale channels. Frank Family Vineyards is one such far-sighted winery.
“At Frank Family,” says Assistant Winemaker Corey Gardner, “We had been considering purchasing a new, more automated bottling line, pre-pandemic, to help with the increasing labor shortage we had been seeing in the valley over the past couple years, as it would decrease our operator need from 5-6 people to 3 people. With the pandemic upon us, it really seemed like the best and only way to be able to maintain social distancing while keeping production running smoothly and keeping our employees safe.”
In addition to compensating for a shrinking labor pool, a Maspack system allows wineries to move experienced employees away from tedious, injury-prone jobs.
The new line at Frank Family will be installed this February and is a result of a collaboration with Maspack and MBF North America. Maspack & MBF are both Italian companies with local offices in California focusing on the wine and spirits market. The two companies are perfectly integrated to provide a complete top-notch technical solution and outstanding after-sales service.
MBF handles the bottling, capping, and labeling while Maspack automates the beginning of the line, packaging, and palletizer functions. These systems pass tasks and bottles to each other seamlessly with precision only automation can offer.
The saying, ‘Fortune Favors the Bold’, is always applicable and for many in the wine industry, now appears to be the perfect time to make that investment in the future.
For more information, visit maspackusa.com, or give them a call directly at 707-757-7725.