The first shipments of Franklin Estates Australian wine in cans are set to hit the UK market next month, a launch which the company hopes will prove popular for summer picnics.
The wines were launched at the London International Wine and Spirits Fair in May, and the first two wines - a 2002 Chardonnay and 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend - will be available from mid-August throughout the UK.
The 250ml cans are packed in cases of 24 but can be sold as single units or as litre four-packs.
Franklin Estates claims that its wines differ from other products on the market because each aluminium can is formed with a spray coating that creates an impervious membrane inside. The fill is then topped with nitrogen before sealing, isolating the wine from metal taint or oxidation and ensuring good condition when the can is opened. The shelf life of the cans is estimated to be at least three years.
The wine inside the cans is also said to be of a far higher quality than that usually associated with this form of packaging, claims Ashley Mote, CEO of Franklin Estates in the UK. The wine is equivalent to that in a 750ml bottle retailing for £8 in the UK market, he said - the average consumer spends less than £5 on a bottle of wine.
Not surprisingly, the company is expecting some resistance from the traditional wine trade, particularly in the short term, but claims to have identified numerous important sectors where wine in 250ml cans offers genuine commercial opportunities and benefits.
These include catering companies, especially those handling outdoor, sports and leisure events, airlines, railways, cash and carry and fast-food outlets, golf clubs, yachting marinas, sandwich bars and coffee shops.
Mote said that restaurants wishing to avoid discarding partly consumed bottles of house wine were also being attracted to the idea of good quality individual servings in cans. "These cans offer a real benefit to the on-trade, both in terms of reducing wastage and protecting reputations," he said.
The Aussie-Wine-in-Cans are expected to retail for between £1.99 and £2.35 per can or £7.95 to £9.39 per four-pack, depending on outlets and volumes.
For further information, contact Franklin Estates on 00 44 1730 894355 or by e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org.