Garçon Wines revolutionizes wine aisle in Accolade Wines slimline rPET bottle collaboration
24 Nov 2020 --- Garçon Wines is introducing its famed 100 percent recycled and recyclable slimline e-commerce wine bottles to Co-op supermarket shelves with Accolade Wines’ Banrock Station brand Merlot and Chardonnay.
The Co-op launch follows Garçon Wines’ first bricks and mortar rollout in the Nordics over the summer, reportedly driving sales up by 60 percent on initial estimates.
“[The Banrock Station partnership] allows us to showcase in the UK market how the same sustainability credentials and consumer-pleasing bottle design unlock different, far-reaching benefits in physical retail, just as much as they do for e-commerce,” Eleanor Brooker, marketing manager at Garçon Wines, tells PackagingInsights.
Flat bottle, circular solution
The 75 cl bottles are made from 100 percent recycled PET (rPET). According to WRAP, 75 percent less energy is required to produce a plastic bottle from recycled material than virgin material.
Garçon Wines also points to a 2018 Alpla study confirming rPET CO2 emissions at 79 percent lower than virgin PET. The award-winning startup’s bottles are also recyclable, including the label and cap, and certified carbon neutral.
Weighing just 63 g when empty, the Banrock Station bottles are 87 percent lighter than the average UK glass wine bottle, resulting in significant CO2 savings across the supply chain.
The flat design is approximately 40 percent spatially smaller than the average glass wine bottle while still containing 75 cl of wine.
Banrock Station’s Merlot is available in the Co-op at a £7.50 (US$10) recommended retail price, with a Chardonnay to follow later this year. Both will be widely available from January 2021. The launch will be supported with in-store point-of-sale promotion and social media activity.
Garçon Wines’ bottle boasts similar triple bottom line sustainability benefits in physical retail as e-commerce. In some instances, 91 percent more wine fits on a pallet, cutting logistics costs and carbon emissions in transportation to stores.
On-shelf, the space-saving bottle shape enables far more products to be stocked in the same amount of space, increasing availability and shelf value while decreasing the required stock replenishments.
Many brands are competing for attention in the wine aisle. Brooker says the wide, tall shape of Garçon Wines’ bottles give them a key point of differentiation on shelf.
She points to research from the University of Thailand indicating tall and thin bottles produce significantly greater consumer purchase attention.
Moreover, Asda supermarket research shows just over 15 percent of Brits spend less than 10 seconds on picking a bottle as “wine fright” sets in.
“The surface area of the flat panels, which is much larger compared to round bottles, creates a ‘billboard effect’ with ample space to communicate brands quickly and clearly,” notes Brooker.
“For Banrock Station, Accolade’s choice to use a beautiful pearl colored cap will no doubt further help catch shoppers’ attention in the wine aisle.”
Accolade Wines chose to include messaging on the front label promoting the use of 100 percent recycled material. The price tag label in-store also calls the packaging a “Sustainable Bottle.”
“We believe that highlighting the recycled content and sustainability will give eco-conscious consumers the confidence they are making a planet-friendly choice in the wine aisle,” continues Brooker.
“Shortly, we plan to collaborate with our business customers to put a recycling message on the caps to make it as clear as possible that consumers should recycle the packaging.”
“In addition to the circularity messaging, we encourage the brands that use our bottles to highlight their carbon emission saving benefits, achieved through lightweighting and using a material requiring much less energy to produce and transport.”
Plastics Tax opportunities
The UK government recently released draft legislation and a draft policy paper on its Plastic Packaging Tax – effective from April 2022 – for public consultation. The draft legislation is proposing a £200 (US$264) per ton tax rate for plastic packaging with less than 30 percent recycled plastic produced or imported into the UK.
As such, the tax will not directly apply to Garçon Wines since its packaging contains 100 percent recycled plastic. However, Brooker does anticipate some indirect, mostly positive effects on the company.
“As more FMCG companies begin to use rPET, we anticipate consumer awareness of the eco-benefits of this packaging material over alternatives will increase.”
“This must be balanced with the future-looking view of ensuring we can access recycled material. As the supply of recycled PET is currently lower than virgin, it can be more expensive.”
“With the UK Plastics Tax in play, there will be even greater demand for food-grade rPET. When demand increases, it will be crucial for us to continue to source rPET that is cost-effective and at volumes enabling us to scale.”
Brooker is confident a reliable rPET supply can continue thanks to the purchasing power of Garçon Wines’ bottle manufacturer, Berry M&H.
“That said, we also expect circumstances like this will give rise to ambitious innovation to respond to the demand for recycled material, develop more sustainable polymers, improve existing recycling systems and explore reuse models.”
“For Garçon Wines, this has and will open the doors for us to collaborate with companies developing the latest cutting-edge material innovations and investigate new business models to achieve true circularity, which is the ultimate goal for our packaging.”
On the horizon
Garçon Wines has two more launches lined up before the end of the year. An eco-friendly brand in Alko stores will feature the first organic Old World wines in the flat bottles in Finland.
In the UK, a well-loved brand is hitting the market in the flat bottles before Christmas, available first online.
Garçon Wines also plans to build on its collaboration with its co-pack facility, The Park (formerly Accolade Park), a multi-award-winning drinks manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facility in Bristol, UK.
“We have seen great interest from the Australian market and expect to have a local office and production set up there in 2021,” adds Brooker.
“We are also continuing with our US plans, which unfortunately had to be paused due to the pandemic.”
“Again, we see much positivity from importers and wineries [in the US], especially following the sharp rise and focus in direct-to-consumer models, which we anticipate will be a lasting legacy of the pandemic,” she tells PackagingInsights.
By Joshua Poole
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.