Canned wine has made huge strides in the past couple of years, but that trend may shift towards low-alcohol wine-based spritzers and cocktails as the New Year approaches. Eloise Feilden reports.
Drinks researcher Wine intelligence has released its forecast for the 2022 industry, and low-alcohol canned wine RTDs are among the top upcoming markets to bloom over the next 12 months.
Canned wine has grown in recent years, but innovation is expected to come from new sub-categories that have touched two growing trends from the 2020s: portable, single-serve, and low-alcohol formulation. . This will turn traditional wine in cans into mixers and sparkling wine-based cocktails.
A brand that is already entering this category is the British brand Sherry Xeco. Its new line of Sherry Sparkling Spritzers debuted this year, but has been in the works since the brand’s launch in bottle form in 2016.
“A few months after launch, we decided that at some point we wanted to put it in a box. But of course, it took us almost four years to actually launch it, ”said Beanie Geraedts-Espey, co-founder and CEO of Xeco. db.
In early 2016, they decided to create a new brand with a contemporary twist on a worn product, encouraging a new generation of drinkers to give Sherry a second look.
“No one was really giving Sherry a facelift. The only way we could bring new interest to new consumers was to talk about it in a different way,” Geraedts-Espey added.
“We wanted to be a serious wine brand with serious wine credentials, but frankly think more like a gin, where it was more about serving and second-hand. Not to be too obsessed with food and wine pairings, but much more with the versatility of sherry, both as a gourmet wine, but also as a cocktail ingredient, ”she said.
This is where canned spritzers came in. Inspired by the type of mixed drinks commonly seen at festivals in southern Spain, the brand’s latest step is pairing a ‘Monti’ Sherry with orange. from Sicily, rosemary and aromatic bitters, and Fino Sherry with flavors of prickly pear, sun-ripened fig and cardamom.
The continued growth of RTDs, especially in the United States, remains on track to increase significantly in 2022, according to the IWSR forecast.
Smarter RTD makers are looking for ways to improve their offering, which is currently largely focused on spirits-based drinks, using premium branded whiskeys, rums and gins to boost consumer demand in the price scale.
At the same time, the wine category is struggling to interest young consumers. Combining the two categories into a low-alcohol canned offering could be the solution to both problems.
UK independent wine and spirits company Kingsland drinks launched the Vin Crowd brand two years ago. Now, as RTD drinks continue to gain popularity, the canned wine and gin cocktail is making waves.
“Young drink consumers are directory drinkers and are less loyal to a category or product, so they like to try new things,” said Charles Overin, head of marketing, branding and ideas at Kingsland Drinks. . “The wine category is currently struggling to recruit this young consumer, losing sales to spirits and RTDs, two categories that understand the needs of this young consumer and create innovative products, which tap into these groups. “
“Wine Crowd was created to bring these consumers back into the wine category, giving them interesting, refreshing and superb flavors. The canned format is perfect for on-the-go occasions, whether it’s heading to a friend’s house to start the night, having a picnic in the park or hopping on a train, ”added Overin.
The growth of canned wines is a global trend, particularly strong in America. In a recent report by Grand View Research, the global canned wine market size was valued at USD 211.4 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% from 2021 to 2028. to reach USD 571.8 million.
Vin Crowd used the popularity of gin to tap into the tastes of young drinkers and draw them into wine.
Overin explained, “In order to get younger consumers into the category, you have to look at what they’re drinking elsewhere. Wine has lost a lot of consumers in the spirits category, especially gin, so creating a product that combines wine and gin in an RTD cocktail gives them easy access to wine.
These young consumers tend to be hesitant about the wine category because they often don’t understand it, and because flavor and taste are so important to them, they don’t identify with many products in the region. category of wines that provide flavors they appreciate.
While wine spritzers experienced a boom in 2019, the lack of events and social activities in recent years due to the pandemic has resulted in wine RTDs being blocked. But as 2022 approaches, there is hope for the category as festivals and outdoor events open up and more retailers are looking at the growing interest of consumers in low-alcohol canned wine spritzers.
With advancements in technology and the trend to drink less but better, canned wine is making a comeback, and it could be here to stay. Learn more about boxed wine here.