Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Bag inside the Box Is Improving

Bag-in-box packaging has long been recognized to have limitations in the oxygen-barrier department. Oxygen is wine's enemy, and the imperfect oxygen barrier offered by the BiB package places serious limitations on the shelf life of a box of wine. I have seen estimates of 12 to 18 months, and I've heard that boxed wine should probably be consumed within 6 months of purchase.

Wine consumers, and the wine industry have been looking forward to promised improvements in the technology. Perhaps now some improvement is on the horizon. This press release from Rapak promises better oxygen barriers in bags and taps, and an innovative fill head which minimizes oxygenation on filling.

Another interesting point in this press release: boxed wine sales in France increased fivefold (by volume) in five years, reaching 854,000 hl by 2004.

January 23, 2007 01:00 PM Eastern Time
Thanks to Rapak – Fine Wines From France Are in the Bag
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium 2007

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bag-in-box packaging has come a long way since it first emerged as a “party pack.” Now connoisseurs can enjoy high quality French and Californian bag-in-box wines by the glass at home, thanks to companies like Rapak, one of the world’s leading suppliers of complete bag-in-box systems.

Rapak has won over leading producers in Europe such as Prodis (Carrefour Group), Chais Beaucairois (Marie-Brizard Group) and Vignerons Ardechois. These makers of fine wines are now turning to the bag-in-box format to drive market share, overcoming a traditional market reluctance to use this type of packaging. The strategy has been successful with sales of bag-in-box wines in France increasing fivefold over a five year period (from 170,000 hl in 98/99 to 854,000 hl in 03/04).

The switch of quality wines from bottle to bags in Europe comes as the result of major advances in filling and packaging technology with Rapak leading the research-based advances. Rapak is now offering this proven technology for packing quality wines in Bag in Box in the USA.

The key factor is the ability to reduce the amount of oxygen in the finished pack to minimal levels. Traditionally it has been necessary to add sulphur dioxide to ‘soak up’ oxygen, and since this can adversely affect the flavour of more sensitive quality wines it limits the range of wines able to be packed into bags. Now Rapak has introduced new technologies including:

* Enhanced oxygen barriers on the films which line the bags
* A high oxygen barrier dispense tap with simple button operation and a lift and peel security seal
* A patented Nitrogen shrouded fill head which minimizes Dissolved oxygen pickup during the filling process

The combination of these technological developments is shelf-life extension. Oxygen ingress is the major factor dictating the long-term quality of the wine, therefore reduced oxygen during filling and storage can significantly extend shelf life.

The combination of the technological advances in packaging and filling and the ready acceptance by consumers and retailers of this packaging format means bag-in-box wine is set to become an even more familiar sight on the supermarket shelf.

Thanks to Rapak -- Fine Wines From France Are in the Bag

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