Evolution of Wine in Bag-in-Box

Wine always had the areola of belonging to people with a sophisticated life style, a little snobbish maybe. Certainly snobbish, when you read the lyrical descriptions of the so-called wine connoisseurs, putting you (the simpleton) off because you have little interest in the either critical or lyrical, fancy-full, high-flying words for the wine which flavour you just happen to enjoy.

The last years the wine market changed and wine received a wide popularity as alternative to beer, but was still only marketed in bottles. No renowned ‘chateau’ would spend a minute of thought to change the bottle for a more popular, vulgar way of packaging. However, the market dictates. Australia and California, two of the outsiders of the European snobbish wine countries, started to market their wines in alternatives. First Tetra Paks and PET-bottles with a coating from Constar, and the not generally accepted bag-in-box. Astra in South Africa launched an alternative bag-with-spigot to the bag-in-box, the Versus, and PPI launched a one-portion wine bag.
It made wine more popular and appealed to the growing concern of people regarding the environment, but still was only used for popular table wines for barbecues and picnics.

The upscale wine brands needed an answer. And see three beautiful and distinguished designs entered recently the market. One from Romania, one from California and one from Washington (no not DC). Let’s have a look how high-quality wines in alternative packages can still keep their ‘distinguished chateau image’.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Romanian design bureau Grapefruit was awarded the Bronze Pentaward at the competition’s 2008 edition for the packaging design of Vinexport’s bag-in-box wine range. Vinexport, the fifth biggest wine producer in Romania, wanted to create a new brand that would combine the wine-specific tradition with packaging innovation.
At the creative level, the new products were allusively named “A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Royal Feteasca” and “The Merlot Code”, whereas the packaging was designed to support the brand’s quality level by rendering the image of an old book.
The concept modernizes the perceptions on bag-in-box wines, in competition with foreign brands from the more traditional wine-producing countries (France, Italy, and Spain).

The outside of the box is made from 250 gr/m2 duplex cardboard and typographically printed with polychrome and UV lacquer. Inside is a corrugated cardboard box for strength and of course the wine-bag with spigot. The spigot can be reached through a perforated area and pulled outside.

Saving the earth with a tube at a time
It is nothing out of the ordinary to see exclusive whisky’s presented in a cardboard tube as sales promotion, whereas the whisky still is and will be bottled in a glass bottle. Although also the first impression with this new packaging for the premium quality Cabernet wine of Four Wines, that impression, however, is wrong. The tube indeed is the second packaging, whereas the wine is stored in a plastic bag with spigot. In other words a luxurious bag-in-box or bag-in-tube packaging.

Four Wines offers his premium Cabernet, made from 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petite Sirah by the renowned winemaker Barry Gnekow, in a stylish cylindrical box or tube, as upscale alternative to the common rectangular bag-in-box packaging or the traditional glass-with-cork bottles.

Skipping the relatively expensive traditional glass-and-cork packaging, enabled Four to create a much higher quality wine for its eco-friendly packaging and still being price-competitive. As a consequence, Four Wines is the first up-scale Cabernet Sauvignon produced in a non-traditional packaging. According to the company this wine is comparable with Cabernets double the price and is far superior to the quality of the wines usually packed in bag-in-boxes or similar packages.

The unique 3 ltr wine tube, in which the wine stays fresh to 4 weeks after opening, is not just an outstanding wine in a beautiful packaging. The attractive, innovative packaging has a 50% lower CO2-emission compared to traditional glass bottles.
According to the company, a standard glass wine bottle of 750 ml generates approximately 5,2 kg CO2-emission when transported from California to a shop in New York. The Four 3 ltr tube generates approximately half the emission per 750 ml.
Moreover the wine tube gives 85% less waste and is made from 100% recyclable material, while the labels are printed with a printer powered by wind energy.

Badger Mountain Organic Wines
Badger Mountain Winery wanted to produce Washington State’s first certified organic wines, which led to the more eco-friendly bag-in-box (BIB) format to supplement the winery’s traditional 750 ml glass bottles.

With this packaging Badger Mountains proves to the world that the once elitist moss-grown wine chateaux are transformed into a wine industry bubbling over with packaging innovations.
The box has the aura of high quality up-scale spirits, such as an exclusive French cognac and has nothing in common with the typical bag-in-box packages for table wines. A perfect and beautiful example of the evolution in bag-in-box packages.

The cartons for the Pure Red/ White 3 ltr bag-in-box, made by Pacific Southwest Container, are constructed from an E Flute – 012SBS top sheet (solid bleached sulphate, a virgin paperboard made from kraft pulp with a clay coating) – 33lb medium – 35lb kraft inside liner. A so called SFL Carton (Single Faced Laminate carton).

Pacific Southwest Container prints the flat sheets of SBS substrate using 3 UV inks and a UV gloss coating on a UV 40 KBA Rapida off-set lithography printing press, after which the printed top sheets are laminated to the medium (the wavy section) and the inside liner board on an Asitrade Laminator. A Bobst SP130-E die cuts the sheets and scores them into the flat shape of the wine carton.

Badger Mountain chose a collapsible inner bag with tap from Scholle Packaging. The film is a Scholle DuraShield High Barrier Film, a three-layer film that provides a high oxygen barrier with a transmission rate as low as .387cc/m2/day. The film is manufactured as a single-ply, which creates exceptional strength in the seams.
The fitment is the Scholle FlexTap, the first push-button automatic shut off tap, with which consumers can regulate the flow rate by the amount of pressure they use on the tap.

To fill the bag-in-boxes Badger Mountain uses a semi-automatic Scholle TruFill 900 Series filler.

Evolution or Revolution?
In 1990, two school districts in the state of California banned the book Little Red Riding Hood because one of its illustrations showed her carrying a bottle of wine in a basket.

Well, the modern day Little Red Riding Hood can now, with a clear conscience, visit her grandmother by carrying an old book, a carton tube or exclusive box in her basket and still has the satisfaction to serve her grandmother a premium glass of wine without the risk to be banned again.

Note: The trivia about Little Red Riding Hood I picked from a publication in Packaging Digest of 9 Aug. 2008.

90411 – 90429 – 90445

2 responses to “Evolution of Wine in Bag-in-Box

  1. Pingback: Excellence in Packaging » Blog Archive » A Touch of Class Enters the Boxed Wine Category·

  2. Pingback: A Touch of Class Enters the Boxed Wine Category « Best In Packaging·

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