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Glass still wine buyers' first choice

The majority of consumers still think wine should come in a glass bottle rather than any other type of packaging, according to a recent report. The findings by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association and Wine Intelligence showed that 63 per cent of drinkers believe wine should only be packaged in glass, which is perceived to be a sign of quality as well as environmentally friendly and easy to recycle.

However, for the 37 per cent of consumers prepared to consider alternative wine packaging, PET plastic bottles and Bag-in-Box had the most consumer support. But over 60 per cent said they wouldn’t buy wine in a ring pull can for any occasion.

With the industry’s current move to become more environmentally friendly through the lightweighting of bottles, it must be reassuring for them to hear that glass weight and colour aren’t important factors when consumers are deciding which wine to buy. Much more important are grape variety, promotional offer and country of origin. And, fortunately, only 13 per cent of consumers think that lighter bottles signify cheaper wine, although only a third believe they are better for the environment.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said, ‘One of the key messages from this research is that consumers are open to change, especially if they understand the benefits, but that they are conscious of how others will judge the quality of their wine purchase. Older consumers appear to be more receptive to innovation away from the traditional wine package with screwcap, lighter glass and alternatives to glass.’