Amid the easing of the lockdown, the UK camping and picnic boom is now helping drive sales as consumers have recognized the portability, convenience and eco-friendly qualities of the new style products. The packaging means little oxygen penetrates even after it’s been opened, so wine stays fresher longer – up to six weeks – than in a bottle.The cooperative has strengthened its range of 12 boxed bags (which includes Fairtrade red and white) with six additional wines to meet demand, and is currently testing a higher quality dry rosé. Sarah Benson, wine buyer at Co-op, said people buy boxed wine because they can get more in one purchase and it allows customers to share the wine with a larger group than a smaller bottle.
Marks & Spencer adapted the original Australian-style three-liter size – better suited to cavernous refrigerators in hot countries – to thin 1.5-liter ‘pouches’ that fit snugly inside British machines or coolers – and sales have doubled. Sales of the pouches – dubbed “bagnums” by customers – rose 40% during the lockdown.
M&S Winemaker Belinda Kleinig said: “The bags have definitely gone upmarket: as packaging technology has improved, the quality of the wine has improved, and customers are now happy to get their bags out. during picnics and parties.
Sainsbury’s has reported a 41% increase in sales of its bag-in-box wine since the UK lockdown – compared to the same period last year – and is now expanding its range, with a host of premium products ” Taste the Difference ‘in boxes due in January.
“Lockdown has given bag-in-box wine a real opportunity to shine,” said Sainsbury’s wine buyer Hugh Browne. “Buyers could taste the same great taste in a larger container that kept their wine fresh for six weeks from opening, with fewer trips to stores.”
The tipple is attracting a more diverse customer base as more brands enter the market and quality has improved, Tesco said. The company also highlighted the appeal of its green credentials – it’s more environmentally friendly than transporting glass bottles. However, while cardboard “boxes” are largely recyclable, inner bags with attached spouts are generally not and must be removed and disposed of separately.