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, in their élite eyes, 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 we saw Tetra Paks and PET-bottles with a coating from Constar, and the now 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 consequently we saw various beautiful and distinguished designed bag-in-boxes entering the market. Let’s have a look how high-quality wines in alternative packages can still keep their ‘distinguished chateau image’.
We start with one from Romania.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Romanian design bureau Grapefruit designed in 2008 a bag-in-box for Vinexport’s wine range, the fifth biggest wine producer in Romania. Vinexport wanted to create a new brand that would combine the wine-specific tradition with packaging innovation.
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 modernised the perception of 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 paperboard and printed with polychrome and UV lacquer. Inside is a corrugated paperboard box for strength and of course the wine-bag with spigot. The spigot can be reached through a perforated area and pulled outside.
The second special designed bag-in-box came from California.
A tube as bag-in-box
It is nothing out of the ordinary to see exclusive whisky’s presented in a paperboard tube as sales promotion, whereas the whisky still is bottled in a glass bottle. That might be also the first impression with this new packaging for the premium quality Cabernet wine of Four Wines. However that impression 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 in a stylish cylindrical tube, as upscale alternative to the common rectangular bag-in-box packaging.
Skipping the relatively expensive traditional glass-and-cork packaging, enabled Four Wines to create a much higher quality wine for its eco-friendly packaging and still being price-competitive.
The company claims, that the 3 litre wine tube, in which the wine stays fresh to 4 weeks after opening, has a 50% lower CO2-emission compared to traditional glass bottles.
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.
To make wine more popular to women and attract them to indulge in drinking a glass of wine, several companies came up with an elegant feminine bag-in-box solution.
Cantina di Soave Viama introduced a female purse of wine for the fashion-forward consumer. The wine, from NorthEast Italy, is contained in a creative bag-in-box application that is shatter-proof, lightweight and recyclable. The convenient and portable box comes equipped with a hands-free shoulder strap for easy pouring and a vacuum-seal to remain fresh after opening for up to four weeks. The wine purse holds 1.5 litres.
In Sweden we saw the “Vernissage”, a wine bag-in-box as the ‘box’ is a female purse. The target group was consumers of white wine, which in Sweden are mostly women aged over 25. Graphic designer Sofia Blomberg, together with Italian paperboard packaging supplier BoxMarche examined the technical possibilities for an innovative solution and designed a completely new bag-in-box in the shape of a handbag.
The result is an elegant design that would appeal to women far more than conventional boxes. A perfect packaging for a characteristically typical mixture of French Chardonnay and Viognier produced in one of Europe’s most northern wineries, Nordic Sea Winery in Sweden.
The same paperboard packaging supplier Boxmarche in Italy, in cooperation with the same graphic designer Sofia Blomberg, created for Oenoforos AB in Sweden the Mauro bag-in-box
It shows a new perspective for a classic product. Boxmarche was looking for a box totally different from other bag-in-box solutions. The shape of the box was to provide a special visual effect on the wine shelves in supermarkets and the retail trade, attracting the consumer’s eye by its completely new appearance.
The boxes are made from paperboard supplied by Stora Enso.
Without doubt the bag-in-box format has changed the wine market, but we see, at this moment, more and more applications in other beverage areas.
Alcoholic beverages in bag-in-box are a growing market, thanks to the wide range of practical benefits offered by this technology and its capability to respond to the increasingly environmentally-conscious consumer. The bag-in-box is easy to store at home and transport to parties or outdoor settings such as barbeques for social drinking. It offers quick and simple dispensing of preservative-free, premium beverages to meet increasingly changing lifestyles.
Just a few examples.
Cocktails in a bag-in-box
In Sweden alcoholic beverage brand No.1 launched, some years ago, a six-pack cocktail range, using Rapak’s bag-in-box technology.
The packs contain six 0.5 litre alcoholic beverages in two different combinations. One six pack contains gin, vodka and four types of vermouth (Bianco, Extra Dry, Rosso Sweet and Rosso Bitter) while the other offers gin, rum, vodka and three flavoured vodkas; banana, kiwi, and chocolate/orange.
The Rapak bag and tap offer enhanced product protection both before and after opening, with the bag collapsing as the liquid is dispensed to prevent air getting into the product.
In Brazil we can’t drink water from the tap. We have to use mineral water mainly offered in 20 litres plastic bottles or the smaller 0,5 and 1,5 litre PET bottles. Mineração Mantovani came with a bag-in-box.
Water in an Octagonal bag-in-box
Two major natural elements, water and wood, play a central role in the “Lindoya Vida” (Life in the Box) 22 litres octagonal bag-in-box with mineral water from the Mineração Mantovani fountains. The BIB-pack consists of a corrugated paperboard case with two-die-cut handles and a laminated bag with dispensing tap.
The corrugated case is manufactured by Klabin, Brazil’s largest producer and recycler of paperboard. The octagonal shape of the box was not only chosen from an aesthetic point of view, but also because it gives a perfect palletising pattern.
The two-layer bag, provided by DuPont Liquid Packaging Systems/Liqui-Box, has a 3.8-mil (96.5 mu) outside layer of a bi-axially oriented nylon composition and an inner layer of 2.5-mil (63.5 mu) polyolefin.
The bag-in-box is a 100% recyclable, biodegradable corrugated paperboard box made from renewable raw material resources harvested from the re-planted forests, and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The plastic bag and the dispensing valve are also recyclable.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the corrugated paperboard box prevents light from entering, as well as it insulates the water from heat.
The box is printed in three colours on a white kraft liner, is sealed with hot-melt and the tamper-evident valve allows the bag to be filled without any manual contact with the water.
In the USA we see Whitney’s premium iced coffees and teas available through Steuben Foods, distributed in a 2 1/2-gal bag-in-box Multiserve SafePak aseptic packaging. Provided by International Dispensing Corp., the technology allows the product to be dispensed safely and efficiently without refrigeration or preservatives.
This Whitney’s bag-in-box and some other designs in the slide-show below.
The bag-in-box format certainly is very popular in the Nordic countries. From Sweden comes this novelty.
The Aube bag-in-the-box, designed by Veronica Kjellberg and Mila Rodriguez of the Nackademin in Stockholm, is an accordion-style wine packaging, which lets the consumer squeeze out every last drop without having to cut open the box itself.
The students claim that the additional benefits are that the packaging stands out on retail shelves, while squeezing the box as it empties gives some idea about how much wine is left. On top of that they argue that the shrinking size makes it more efficient for recycling.
In general, consumers are increasingly aware of the bag-in-box advantages, namely long shelf life, convenience, and environmental-friendliness. For the bottler it is important that the bag-in-box is perfectly suitable for aseptic, hot, and clean filling technologies.
Wine continues to be the largest market for bag-in-box, but there is growing demand for bag-in-box in the fruit juice sector, mineral water, olive and other edible oils, besides the significant increase in demand from dairy manufacturers supplying the food service industry.
So, this was a compact overview of the evolution of the bag-in-box with its origin, described in the first part of this article, and some modern designs and variety in application in the second part.