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The Role of Beverage Cans in the Winery Industry

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While glass bottles remain the primary packaging medium in wineries, beverage cans have been rising in popularity at a fast pace among consumers. A number of leading wine producers have unveiled canned versions of a variety of wines including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Rose, and Pinot Noir.

Cans are commonly manufactured from tinplate steel, aluminum, or electrolytic chromium coated steel. These packaging formats are gaining ground as the number of nuclear families and single person homes continue to rise around the world. Some of the prominent brands already distributing canned wine products include Winestar, The Uncommon, PinotPinot, Quello, and Frizzante Bianco among others.

Cans are rapidly gaining ground in the wine industry owing to a number of benefits, including consumer convenience, costs, emphasis on sustainability, and changes in consumer drinking behavior among others. Some of the key points to consider in terms of beverage can applications in the wine industry include:

Convenience and Reduced Wastage Drive Sales

Cans are light-weight, easy to transport, and are highly resistant to oxidation. Also, wine can be directly consumed from the package by consumers. There is no requirement for glassware or equipment such as corkscrews to access the beverage. The packaging format also makes chilling easier. Consequently, the use of beverage cans for travel and outdoor consumption.

Canned wines are available in a range of sizes including 500 ml, 375 ml, 250 ml, and 187 ml variants. Smaller can sizes are preferred by most consumers. 250 ml and 375 ml options are commonly purchased as they hold around two glasses of wine, suitable for a single person.

The use of wine bottles with their larger volume often results in wastage. Lack of awareness regarding wine storage after the bottle is opened is a widespread issue. Canned wine with their smaller volumes minimizes this problem, and will contribute to sales in the long term.

Focus on Sustainability Supports Adoption

According to the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, only around 10% of the overall wine sales can be accounted for in canned wine.

With the growing concerns over environment pollution, cans have been rapidly gaining traction as they are completely recyclable. Cans account for lower volumes of carbon emissions as compared to plastic packaging or even glass bottles. Also, a large number of glass bottles end up in landfills, further strengthening the case for canned wine.

E-commerce and COVID-19

The covid-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on the wine industry. Disruptions in supply chains, shortage of adequate manual labor resources, restrictions on international trade, and fluctuation in pricing during the crisis have hurt the short-term prospects of the industry.

On the other hand, sales and distribution of wine through online, e-commerce channels have partially mitigated potential losses. Canned wine is easy to store and is easily stackable, making these products popular among ecommerce distributors in terms of logistics. As a result, the covid-19 pandemic has opened up opportunities for canned wine manufacturers, which are likely to continue for years to come.

Concerns Over Flavor

Cans from a few decades ago would have been unsuitable for storing beverages. With developments in packaging technology however, cans for wine no longer produce a metallic flavor to the beverage contents. The use of food-friendly linings and coatings inside cans prevent contamination.

In fact, cans are increasingly being considered to be better for wines than traditional glass bottles. Cans can prevent oxidation and degradation of wines through sunlight exposure, allowing flavor profiles to remain unchanged for around 18months after canning.

Easier Access Bolsters Sales Prospects

As consumers in urban areas lead largely hectic lives, beverage cans for wines have gained traction, driven by their portability and compact ergonomics. The popularity of ready to drink, grab-and-go beverages has made canned wine popular among younger demographics. Millennials in particular are more open to changes in terms of packaging formats.

Canned wines also are popular for packaging drinks with lower alcohol content, which are carving niche among women and younger consumers.

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Nandini Roy ChoudhuryNandini is Senior Research Manager Food & Beverage and Consumer Goods domain at ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting firm Fact.MR, headquartered in Dublin, and has offices in UAE and India. The insights presented in this article are sourced from Fact.MR’s research findings on Beverage Cans market report.

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