Putting premium wines in cartons will help consumers accept the packaging, says Tetra Pak, as it predicts continued growth in the sector.
Last year the company packed 1.7bn litres of wine – a growth of 3% on the previous year. Globally, this equates to a 7% of the world’s share of still wines.
GianLuca Furini, marketing director Italy, Tetra Pak, told BeverageDaily.com it is possible to convert traditional glass bottle enthusiasts.
“I would say the best way to convince consumers is to have good quality wine in a carton, and the share of quality wine [in cartons] has been increasing,” he said.
Converting producers and consumers
“It will take time, it won’t happen overnight, but I’m convinced the carton will establish itself.
“How long will it take? I honestly don’t have an answer, but I do believe it’s going to grow. The more quality wine in carton packs, the faster it will be accepted.
“There is plenty of good quality wine we can pack, protect and bring to consumers in containers that are user friendly, environmental, cheap, and not fragile.”
Furini believes the practical and environmental advantages of cartons will, over time, convert consumers. He says cartons are acceptable at dinner parties or in restaurants, pointing out that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s chain of restaurants uses Tetra Pak cartons to serve wine.
“Having a market share of 7%, I do see the possibility of packing many more litres of wine in cartons. Will we ever surpass 50%? That is a challenge for sure, but even below 50% there are attractive growth opportunities.”
“I think the first big challenge is to convince producers. We have research, both commissioned by us and independently, that proves the carton is a good container for wine. It screens it from oxygen and light.”
The use of wine cartons is growing globally, but the most important markets are Spain, Argentina, Russia and Italy, Furini said.
“This relates to markets where there is a historical tradition of drinking wine daily, so the market is relatively high per capita,” he added.
Furini says Tetra Pak continues to develop cartons, and as an example challenges the perception that a little bit of liquid is always left behind in a carton.
“Even in a glass bottle, if you pour it, then put it down, after a couple of minutes you get a few drops out again. There are residues in any container.
“We are working on this, with our latest generation of packs and closures that amount has been significantly reduced.
“From a graphical point of view we can dress out packaging attractively. Then from convenience, our latest generation of both packs and closures has drastically improved convenience, making it better than a glass bottle.
Tetra Pak champions cartons for wine as an environmentally friendly alternative, which protects wine and is convenient for consumers to use.
“In Nordic countries, cartons for wine are not shocking, it’s well accepted and even encouraged. In these markets there is a big focus to increase the share of cartons for environmental reasons.”
“In our package, the share of the total weight is 4%. In a glass bottle it’s 40%. With a carton, you buy something and know 96% of what you’re buying is the wine inside. In bottles it’s roughly 50-50.
“Then there is the portability of cartons opposed to glass. It’s not fragile, it’s good for the environment.”
Lightweight packaging means transport caterers is an area of expansion for Tetra Pak, Furini said.
“This is, for sure, an opportunity for consumption we are focusing on. We have recently equipped 200ml and 250ml portion packs, a perfect fit for airlines or trains for example – wherever a portion is served.”
Tetra Pak is demonstrating carton use for premium wines at Vinitaly in Verona this week (April 6 – 9).