The ProWein Business Report 2022 has published the largest survey to date on the acceptance of alternative wine containers. Around 2,500 producers, wine merchants, importers, distributors, restaurateurs and hoteliers from 16 countries indicated which alternatives to glass bottles are most likely to be accepted by consumers in their view. Overall, every second retailer surveyed expects consumers to accept bag-in-box as a wine container. However, there were clear regional differences.
In the group of innovators, which includes the Scandinavian countries, Great Britain and Canada, 75 to 100 percent of the retailers are willing to sell wine containers other than glass bottles. There, alternative packaging is already an integral part of the assortment, as the populations are particularly positive towards sustainability goals. Monopoly markets such as in Scandinavia and Canada are already demanding alternatives to glass bottles from their suppliers in order to reduce environmental impact. Bag-in-box and cans dominate the popularity scale there. More than a third of the respondents believe that in the near future the majority of everyday wines will no longer be bottled in glass.
In the middle group, the willingness is between 55 and 75 percent. It includes France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the USA. Here, too, bag-in-box and cans are given the best chances of acceptance, followed by PET bottles, kegs for restaurants and paper-based bottles.
The group of "latecomers" in the study includes Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy. Here, the willingness of retailers is below 55 percent. Especially in the German-speaking countries, the majority of retailers clearly stick to glass bottles. Due to the restrained demand of the trade for bottle alternatives, it is more difficult for the often smaller producers here to economically achieve sufficiently large quantities for alternatives to glass. In addition, they are closely bound to bottle shapes by existing filling lines and are limited in their flexibility. For them, it would be easiest to find alternatives that are compatible with their filling lines.
According to the survey, the most important success factor is intensive communication with consumers. This can only be achieved if the retailers themselves are convinced of the prospects of success for alternatives to glass bottles. Producers will only invest in new bottling plants when there is a correspondingly high demand and purchase commitments from retailers.
Experts estimate that the energy used to produce and transport glass bottles accounts for up to 40 per cent of the CO2 footprint of wine.
(al / Source: ProWein Business Report)