The packaging was first developed by a Japanese firm and is already used for fruit juices, yoghurts and sports drinks but Palandri's use of the pouch-type package for bottling wine is a first. It says it could see export earnings increase by up to A$32 million (€19.1m) in the next two years as a result of the innovation. "There is a need worldwide for greater environmental responsibility and this packaging meets that need," said chief executive Darrel Jarvis. The firm claims there is no difference in quality and taste when compared to the traditional bottled wine. "We have been very careful to ensure the quality and taste … is exactly what you get in the Baldivis Estate bottles," said Palandri chief operations officer Gordon Grant. "Over the 18 month development of this project, we have been evaluating the wine packaged in the Cheer Pack and have seen no deterioration in quality," he added. While the shelf life of 12 to 24 months is shorter than some bottled wine, the product is designed for early drinking, he said. The company has already seen strong demand for the bottle from Canada, the market that triggered the two-year product development when the Ontario government asked the liquor control board to find eco-friendly packaging to reduce landfill space. The bottles only take up two thirds of the space of the traditional glass bottle and weigh significantly less - a 12-pack carton of wine in the new packaging weighs just 9.8kg compared with 19kg for a carton of glass wine bottles. "You can also flatten the product when empty which is another advantage in places trying to cut down on landfill," said Melissa O'Neill, Palandri's PR manager. She told AP-Foodtechnology.com that the firm now has confirmed orders for 15,000 cases from Canada and is seeing interest from established markets in the UK and US also. "Ireland is one country we are exploring as a result of consumer preference for single serve drinks, to lessen risks associated with drink spiking. The relatively small size of the nozzle and the screw top closure are great innovations in terms of safety and practicality," said Jarvis. There is also potential from other distribution channels such as airlines. The winemaker is currently in discussions with a major international airline interested in space-saving alternatives to wine bottles for long haul flights. The company is not yet launching the product on the home market, where environmental concerns appear to be less prominent. However the product will be tested on the Gold Coast next year, promoted as a lifestyle product for drinking at outdoor locations or on boats.