Sunday, March 16, 2008

Boxed Wines Market Growing

From Adams Market Research in October:

Boxed Wines Growing at Grocery and Liquor Stores Nationwide

NAPA, CA -- Boxed wines have been around for quite awhile. Indeed, millions of cases of wine packaged in 5-liter boxes are being sold each year under the Franzia (The Wine Group), Peter Vella (E&J Gallo) and Almaden (Canandaigua) labels. Some studies suggest that about 20% of all wine consumed in the U.S. is poured from wine-in-a-box. Recently, these popular 5-liter packages have been joined on the shelves by 3-liter boxes; however, these 3-liter boxes contain premium wine from wineries such as Sonoma Hill, Trinchero, Corbett Canyon, BRL Hardys and the latest, Delicato.

The quality of these wines refute the belief -- apocraphyl or not -- that bag-in-the-box wine is run-of-the-mill at best. Indeed, several reports have pointed out that good-quality wine has been available in boxed packages in Europe and Australia for several years now.

Though its look is hardly upscale, the proponents of boxed wine say it has several advantages over conventionally bottled wine, the most significant of which is boxed wine's ability to stay fresh for a much longer period of time after opening. The interior collapsible bag protects the wine from the harmful effects of air, which can oxidize the wine in an opened bottle after three or four days. In addition, the box itself keeps the harmful effects of light away from the wine. Thus, boxed wine producers say, their wines stay fresh for four to six weeks.

Convenience is another advantage, proponents of boxed wine say. For example, someone who might want to drink just one glass of wine might hesitate to open a bottle. Boxed wine allows that wine drinker to consume a single glass and then put away the wine for several days without fear of it going bad.

From a winery's point of view, shipping costs are greatly reduced because the boxes weigh less than the equivalent volume of glass bottles. And for consumers, the cost is very competitive compared to the price of an equivalent amount of premium wine in a bottle. For example, late last year Delicato Family Vineyards released three award-winning premium varietal wines in its 3-liter Bota Box, which boasts its own specially designed spigot and collapsible bag to prevent oxygen from reaching the wine. The 3-liter boxes of Delicato Shiraz, Merlot and Chardonnay all retail for about $18, which is equivalent to about $4.50 per 750 ml bottle.

Adams Market Research Alcohol Beverage Industry

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