Canned wine makes gains in UK with new supermarket listings

Canned wine is making gains in the UK off-trade as Sainsbury’s adds two new French wines in cans to its line-up.

The retailer has stocked start-up brand, Nice, which comprises a pale rosé from the Montpellier area and a Sauvignon Blanc from Cotes de Gascogne packaged in slimline cans, in 600 stores nationally, retailing for £3.

The company is a collaboration between food entrepreneur Lucy Wright and former Properccorn and Vita Coco exec Jeremy May and wine importer ABS Wine Agencies.

Its backers include Propercorn founder Cassandra Stavrou and Ryan Kohn.

Tom Elliot, Sainsbury’s  origination & development manager said the listing was a “no brainer”, given the quality of the wine, its mass-market appeal, its convenience for events, and its environmental credentials.

“We have seen fantastic growth in single formats and convenience, and this category has performed phenomenally in the US,” he said.

“We love the brand; the cans will really pop on-shelf. We were also impressed by the two very experienced and ambitious co-founders driving the business forward.”

“We think the convenience element will be especially promising for the picnicking and festival season.”

The retailer already stocks the I heart rosé frizzante in a can as well as PinotPinot sparkling Pinot Grigio, by Off-Piste Wines.

The drink’s #WineForWhenever” brand’s tagline squarely targets younger consumers, playing on its ‘swiggablility’ on the go, its ability to chill quickly and the environmentally-friendly packaging, “We’re here for the wins, the woes, and the why the hell nots,” it said.

Sainsbury’s already stocks Freixenet Copestic’s I heart rosé frizzante in a can as well as PinotPinot sparkling Pinot Grigio, by Off-Piste Wines.

The trend has been tipped for success in the UK, after sales of the format have boomed across the Atlantic. Canned wine sales in the US rose 43% during 2017, driven by millennials seeking out smaller measures and on-the-go options, and Nielsen has valued the category at around $45 million.

Last June, Waitrose launched an organic rosé and Shiraz in cans into its aisles after seeing sales of single bottles rise 10%,  this year added popular Provence rosé Mirabeau to its line-up. The Co-op has also looked at alternative, environmentally friendly packaging with its listing of the Most Wanted pouch in 2017. The brand is also available in cans.

English wine is also joining the trend with new drinks brand The Uncommon releasing the first English wine in a can – a lightly sparkling Bacchus using grapes grown in Surrey.

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