‘Festival’ wine pouches for Most Wanted range

Off-Piste Wines is launching its varietal Most Wanted range as single serve pouches to target the on-the-go market and festival-goers.

The single-serve 187cl pouches, which has been in planning for more than a year and have already been trialled, will comprise two wines, a Mendoza Malbec and a Sicilian Pinot Grigio, and are due to hit shelves in June, following their launch at the London Wine Fair.

The specially-commissioned foil-lined pouches were developed in response to the changes in consumer lifestyles and growth of small format wines in the UK, Off-Piste said and developed by producer Oneglass in Northern Italy.  The bottle-shaped premium pouches will be able to stand up on the base and made from 75% paper, 20% polyethylene and 5% aluminium, making them more environmentally-friendly and 100% recyclable. They can simply be flattened after used.

Speaking to db during the trial of the pouches, NPD and brand manager Rachel Archer said the format was widely available across Europe and was likely to work particularly well for the brand’s key demographic, given its suitability for outdoor occasions, festivals and on-the-go drinking.

“It works well for the brand and as a new idea. Single serve is growing hugely, but for us to take a different approach shows that we think differently,” she told db. 

However she added that it had been important to get the marketing and positioning of the product right before launching the product as it was not something the UK consumer was used to.

“You couldn’t just put it on shelf and expect it to fly,” she noted.

The “exciting” NPD would bring together lots of benefits consumers are looking for, Archer said today. “As well as looking great, the pouch is lightweight, unbreakable, easily transportable, and simple to open, making it the perfect ‘on-the-go’ format, as well as non-glass for festivals and camping. Once empty, it flattens down to thinner than cardboard. It contributes to drinking wine in an environmentally responsible way.

However she also noted the flexibility it offered retailers in terms of merchandising highlighting that it would also sit well with meal for one and meal for tonight offers, with specific food matches, or occasion-based features, which had gone down well during the trials. It has already been signed up by one retailer and is due to go on shelf in June.

The Most Wanted range was developed by Archer, who was also behind Copestick Murray’s ‘I heart wine’ brand, and Off-Piste winemaker Clem Yates MW and launched in May 2015 with four skus. It has since expanded to six lines, comprising an Albariño from Rías Baixas, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir from Nelson, a Malbec, South Australian Shiraz and a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Western Cape. Since it’s launch it has become available in more than 3,500 UK stores, as well as being exported to Canada, Finland, Republic of Ireland and Germany.

The range is set to expand its full-size range again this summer, Archer confirmed. Last year, the distributor, was looking at expanding the Most Wanted range with a Prosecco and more ‘niche’ wines such as Primitivo, a Riesling from Clare Valley, Coonawara Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chenin, Pinotage and Gruner Veltliner.

The company, which supplies the multiple grocers, wholesale and cash & carry market and the on-trade, saw revenue up 10% to around £23 million in the year to 31 January 2016, which it said came on the back of its strategy to build a wide portfolio of brands, despite the challenges of operating in a competitive market.

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