By Ellie Van Savage
Consumers today are responding positively to innovative packaging for wines, as a national survey’s latest results show screwcaps and wines in boxes/casks are gaining ground on traditional 750 ml. bottles.
The results of an ACNielsen survey show that sales in U.S. liquor stores and other consumer outlets of premium wines with screwcap closures surged by more than 51 percent during the 52 weeks ending on April 11, compared with the prior year-long period. The findings were unveiled at the Alliance for Innovative Wine Packaging’s New Innovators Conference held at the Stony Brook University Center for Wine, Food, & Culture in New York on April 24.
Screwcaps grew 3.5 times faster than the 750 ml bottled wine category, the
The study also confirmed the 3-Liter premium wine in a box or cask as the fastest growing premium wine packaging category, with 70 percent growth. Danny Brager, vice president of client services, beverage alcohol team at ACNielsen, who presented the results, revealed that the 750 ml. bottle category clocked just 12.3 percent growth, while the 187-ml. single-serve category grew by 17.3 percent.
“Packaging that is innovative today will be mainstream in less than a decade,” said Paige Poulos, president of Paige Poulos Communications and founder of the AIWP. “The wineries that are the leaders in innovation today are poised to reap tremendous rewards as the market shifts,” she said.
Steve Morgan, vice president of marketing for Delicato Family Vineyards, said Delicato “is leading the way by becoming the largest U.S. winery to completely eliminate cork closures on its wine products.” He also said that dollar-volume wise, three-liter boxed wines priced from $12 to $15.99 have increased by 105.3 percent and those over $16 showed gains by 75.8 percent.
Varietals in both red and white categories showed growth during the ACNielsen survey period, although pinot noir stood out -- with 68 percent growth. Other gaining varietals included pinot grigio (up 22.1%), and cabernet sauvignon (up almost 10%). Losing ground were merlot (-1.5%) and white zinfandel (-1.6%).
(Ellie Van Savage is the associate editor of Beverage Dynamics, Cheers and State Ways magazines.)