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Richard Siddle: at last some genuine packaging innovation

Published:  13 June, 2013

In seven years covering the London International Wine Fair I have not once been stopped in my tracks by a new product on an exhibitor's stand. When you have seen one wine bottle you have seen them all - but not any more.

 

In seven years covering the London International Wine Fair I have not once been stopped in my tracks by a new product on an exhibitor's stand. When you have seen one wine bottle you have seen them all - but not any more.

 

Lurking last week on the Kingsland Wines & Spirits stand was something very different. A wine bottle which appeared to be made out of cardboard. On closer examination not only was it made from cardboard, but recycled paper and when you picked it up it was as light as...well cardboard.

 

It was fascinating to hear how the concept for the cardboard bottle - called not surprisingly GreenBottle - was actually developed as an alternative container for milk. But its inventors quickly realised it would be equally effective as a lightweight, greener option to glass, and therefore ideal for the wine and spirits industry.

 

Kingsland has now created a wine brand, Thirsty Earth, with it, which it is launching in the UK in October. It will be interesting to see which retailers will be brave enough to give it a listing, and how consumers respond to it.

 

The wine trade has been calling out for genuine innovation for years. But when Harpers ran a competition, Innovation for the Nation, a couple of years to win a listing in Tesco, we struggled to find one entry good enough to excite the judges, and buyers at Tesco to even give one of them a go.

 

Noticeably when GreenBottle was first shown at ProWein it was well received by Scandinavian distributors excited about how it would be received by its green-minded consumers.

The UK trade, as we know, is a little more risk averse. But it was exciting to see a product in a packaging format you genuinely have not seen before. It might not win a beauty competition, but it certainly caught my eye.

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