Despite heightened worries over their health following the pandemic, consumers consider the health of the planet even more critical, according to a recent survey by Innova Market Insights. Sustainability is especially essential to Millennials and Gen Z, as is their expectation that food and beverage producers will also put it first. Producers highlight their progress in environmental stewardship and are steadily moving toward a fully circular economy.
For wineries in drought-prone regions, lack of availability accelerated the transition to water-saving farming techniques and, when combined with wildfire losses, increased the reliance on bulk wine imports to backfill harvest losses, particularly for large producers.
“Sustainability is the key word,” says Cristina V Miranda, marketing director of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE), the leading international trade fair for the wine business. “We cannot continue to transport all the wine bottled; the planet will not sustain it any longer.”
There is no question that shipping bulk wine in containers like Flexitanks has a much lighter carbon footprint than shipping bottles to the bottling site and then reshipping them to the wholesaler, retailer or consumer. It can also save on the added out-of-pocket and environmental costs of storage. While using bulk wine doesn’t make sense for all wineries, Buying and selling bulk juice globally can be an economic boon for custom crush facilities and large winery and vineyard operations.
There are many advantages to tapping into world wine varietals through bulk juice purchases. Wineries can take advantage of a global market to innovate for the younger consumer base that is boosting sales of single-serve canned wines. Wineries can go beyond cans and double down on sustainability with packaging innovations like paper bottles, bag-in-box, wine pouches, or wine on tap for on-premise locations.
Bulk wines are almost essential for wineries producing private label or custom wines for private clients, not only filling local production gaps but also gaining a worldwide range of cost-effective varietal options and premium juices with high-quality provenance.
Private label is a growth market in US food and beverage, with IRI reporting +8% dollar sales expansion in the first five months of 2022 over the previous year, outstripping national brand growth. The premiumization driving the wine industry overall is also building the prestige of private label brands, contributing to its growth. A retailer might make a 30% margin on a branded bottle of wine. On a private label bottle of wine, that margin might be closer to 50%, and margins can be even higher for premium private labels.
“The private label category has begun to stand out in the WBWE International Bulk Wine Competition,” says Miranda, “Supermarket chains now proudly display the award badges won by their store brands, which helps build consumer acceptance of price increases for these still affordable wines.”
Interest in private label brands has expanded beyond retailers, with restaurant chains moving past house wines to branded labels that deliver a better customer experience and build loyalty. Celebrities have also embraced creating their own wine labels, and more and more actors, singers and influencers are turning to custom crush and large vintners to help them. Some private labels partner with renowned wineries to develop premium brands with correspondingly high prices.
“The evolution in bulk wine quality has been intense,” Miranda adds. “And that is because wines are increasingly better made, but also because bulk wine buyers increasingly demand higher quality.”
The best place to join what is becoming a revolution is WBWE, which was held earlier this year in Santa Rosa, CA, to focus on the all-important US marketplace. This year, WBWE invites wineries and buyers from the US to WBWE Amsterdam on November 21st and 22nd to share the 14th anniversary of being the most important fair in the world for the bulk wine business.
“We look forward to this edition of WBWE with optimism,” says Miranda, “since this year is one of normality in the aftermath of the pandemic. Global uncertainty is evident, making business platforms as solid as the WBWE more essential than ever. The world has changed, and wineries must be flexible and adapt to market demands. Bulk wine is very popular because it is the core of current market trends like sustainability, alternative packaging methods and bottling at the destination. We will tackle all these topics throughout our conference this year.”
The Amsterdam fair will gather everything relevant to the bulk wine industry in one place for wine professionals to meet and create synergies to help them increase sales and profit margins. In just two days, producers will have the opportunity to demonstrate the quality of their wine and help match them with the objectives of wineries making bulk and bottled wine.
With inflation and cost of living increases accelerating the adoption of private labels, it is an excellent time to enter the private label sector. Producers like Bronco Wine Company, Premium Wine Group and O’Neill Vintners & Distillers have already signed up to exhibit at WBWE Amsterdam in November. Buyerslook forward to finding solutions to their needs in Amsterdam, whether searching for large bulk wine volumes or specific qualities for developing a canned wine brand or a new type of wine for a supermarket chain. WBWE Amsterdam is the place to conduct bulk wine business.
To learn more about this event, visit https://wbweusa.com/en/.
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