Canned wine is on the rise and maybe the industry’s saving grace for attracting younger consumers. As we saw in our wine industry overview, one of the wine industry’s biggest challenges has been attracting appeal from millennials. Millennials value convenience, quality, environmental credentials, and fresh marketing perspectives when influencing their buying decisions. Canned wine has the potential to check all of these boxes and more, as this may be the gateway to pulling themselves out of the age gap and technology gutters.
Ignoring cans as a segment would be a huge mistake for the wine industry. With the pandemic bringing canned and portioned drinks into ultra-popularity, they would be completely ignoring an on-ramp to reach younger consumers. The smaller serving sizes make it possible for all consumers to try better wines for a lower price. The problem with bottled wine is the lack of serving convenience and higher prices for quality wine. When the average person opens a bottle of wine, they usually are not drinking with the intention to finish the bottle in one sitting. The large serving size and glass container also pose transportation challenges and require consumers to bring extra containers for consumption.
According to WIC Research, the number of winemakers canning wine grew 180 percent (from 125 to 350) between June 2018 and June 2019. With the pandemic driving the rise of canned alcohol, it would be crazy to ignore the market possibility. But does canned wine forfeit the quality of the wine? While canned alcohol has a reputation for being overly sweet, high calorie, and poor quality, that’s not always the case. The key is to look for products made by trusted brands and winemakers that produce high-quality wines. Just like any bottled wine, canned wine can be made as high or as low quality as they come, so make sure to read the label to determine its specific variety and any other details.
However, there are many reasons why the glass has been the vessel of choice for the beverage in terms of quality purposes. Although cans offer convenience, sustainability, and health benefits, the glass bottle will always reign supreme in terms of the winemaking process and tasting quality. Glass bottles come in a variety of colors to provide UV protection against sunlight and fluorescent light, which can negatively alter the flavor of the wine. Glass bottles also allow the wine to age, while most canned wine is intended to be consumed sooner than later. In general, wine in a can has a shelf life of 18 months max.
Tapping into sustainability
As consumers increase their awareness of sustainability and wellness, canned wine may bolster the positioning of premium canned wine in the marketplace. A single-serve can eliminate a bottle left unfinished at the end of the night. The wasting of food or any ingestible product has been a growing concern with younger consumers and is a growing influential factor when it comes to making their purchasing decisions.
The global recycling rate for glass is only around 26.5 percent, while the global recycling rate for cans is 69 percent. If you use recycled aluminum to package your cans, the material can be recycled and reused indefinitely. Using recycled aluminum can maximize your mark on sustainability and will also create a great selling point when marketing to millennials. With health also becoming of large importance for millennials, using cans can also tap into the untouched smaller format as well. The wine industry needs to find ways to market its products into smaller formats like cans. In using cans, wineries and retailers can tap into a healthier alternative that it’s been needing and appeal to a much larger consumer base.
Is it worth it?
There is no right or wrong answer when determining the benefits of tapping into the canned wine industry. The answer ultimately lies in your consumer base and target audience goals. It all comes down to quality over convenience. When it comes to millennial appeal, canned wine does pose many market benefits which we learned above. Marketing a canned wine can bring a fresh marketing perspective into your overall marketing strategy, which can show great appeal to the younger and upcoming consumer generation. It also brings great highlights of convenience and portability, but even the best-canned wine will not size up to the quality of bottled wine. Overall, the benefits of bringing a canned wine to market can bring many benefits to a winery’s market share but would benefit best as a side project from your glass bottle production. Your glass bottle wines are what’s going to credit your canned wine recipe. It’s not worth giving up the overall quality of your wine to tap into this rapidly growing market. Therefore, use the opportunity to compliment your business and bring awareness to your brand.