Sunday, October 01, 2006

Packaging Misconception - Tetrapak Is Not Bag-in-Box

Recently an article on KTVU.com propagated a new misconception about Tetrapak ("juice box) wine. The article was brought to my attention in a great post about boxed wine by Mike in the Days That End In Y blog. In Wine: To Box Or Not To Box? Lisa Morrison writes about a "new twist on the wine bottle":

Now, the box has grown soft. More wineries are putting their products in soft-sided boxes that can easily be tucked into a crowded refrigerators or pantry shelves. And, the containers are growing smaller. Several vintners are choosing to "bottle" their wines in "bullets," 250-ml., soft-sided boxes that look a lot like long, narrow juice boxes -- without the attached straw, of course.

KTVU.com - Food - Wine: To Box Or Not To Box?


Well, that much is true, but then the understanding of the packaging becomes fuzzy.

Wine in a box, soft-sided or not, is really wine inside a plastic bladder (thank goodness they don't call them "bladder wines"). An attached tap lets the wine out but doesn't let in air -- wine's nemesis, because oxygen causes wine to go south. The technology means boxed wines last more than a month after opening compared to mere days for wine in a bottle -- a plus for people who enjoy just the occasional glass. Wine retailers say boxes stack up well to bottles since they're recyclable, easier to carry and store and cheaper to produce.

KTVU.com - Food - Wine: To Box Or Not To Box?


The error here is that the "soft-sided" box mentioned here refers to Tetrapak packaging. Tetrapak does NOT contain wine inside a plastic bladder. Tetrapak does not have an attached tap that "lets the wine out but doesn't let in air". Unfortunately, the article gives the completely false impression that this "soft-sided" box offers the same after-opening shelf life advantages as true bag-in-box packaging.

The suggestion that the "recyclable" claim extends to Tetrapak is questionable as well. While it is recyclable in a strict sense, how practical is Tetrapak recycling in the real world? This is an issue that has gotten much discussion in Ontario lately. But I will address that in another post.


1 comment:

Mike said...

That's a good point you made. It didn't really occur to me how the article was unclear on that point. For the uninitiated, this is an important distinction.