Constellation Europe, a division of the largest wine producer in the world, has launched a new packaging format specifically for more premium quality wines.
FreshCase is a square-sided cylinder which contains 2.25m litres of wine (three bottles) and can be laid on its side for decanting white wine direct from a fridge or stood up. The wine is said to stay fresh for six weeks after opening.
Initially, Hardys Nottage Hill and Banrock Station Reserve, two of its major mainstream Australian wine brands, will be available in FreshCase with plans for Ravenswood, its Califorinian Zinfandel brand, and Robert Mondavi wines to follow.
It is already available in Denmark’s Netto supermarket chain and is being rolled out in November in Denmark’s Fotex and Bilka chains and Sainsbury’s in the UK. The Norwegian monopoly is also taking it from next month.
David Cunningham, CE’s vice-president of business development, told Drinks International, said that the recommended retail price (RRP) for Nottage Hill wines is £19.99 which works out at approximately 11% cheaper than buying the same wines in bottle.
He said the packaging concept was 18 months in the making. The bag-in-box sector in the Nordic countries is twice as large as the UK with Sweden alone, home of the Tetra-Pak organisation, accounting for about half or, £8.5 million, of those volume sales.
Constellation Europe’s own Wine Nation research has segmented UK wine drinkers into seven categories: economisers, newbies, occasionals, routiners, high potentials, engaged explorers and experts.
Cunnigham sees the FreshCase wines aimed squarely at high potentials who are knowledgeable about wine and prepared to spend a bit more. They are perceived as strongly ABC1, with 62% being between 18 and 34. They represent about 24% of UK wine drinkers.
With a static bag-in-box sector, Cunningham sees FreshCase, with a footprint only slightly larger than an average bottle of wine and the packaging being 70% lighter than 3 glass bottles of wine, as a significant innovation to move the category on.