Boxed wines, or the success story of French supermarkets

Mardi 01 mars 2016 par Vitisphere

Boxed wines, or the success story of French supermarkets

Catering for the needs of the modern-day consumer, boxed wines have witnessed soaring sales since the start of the 2000s and are increasingly popular in French supermarkets where they account for a staggering 38% of volume sales. “A few years ago, we wondered whether boxed wines had reached saturation point. The truth is that they continue to grow and we are now wondering whether they might one day reach 50% of volume sales in supermarkets”, said Florence Decock, head of marketing at Smurfit Kappa, during a conference at Vinisud.

Boxed wines are the only format growing in supermarkets and hypermarkets. “It has three positive attributes: it is convenient, economical and good for sharing”, points out Bruno Peyre, head of sales development with the group Jeanjean, which markets 7.5 million boxes a year. Although he confirms the popularity of boxed wines, he puts their economic success into perspective. The rise in bulk prices of appellation wines has had a strong impact on the price of boxed wines which have been hit full-on. Hence, 5-litre formats are declining in favour of 3-litre boxes and 2.5-litre formats are growing due to their attractive price tags. Wine merchant Bibovino, which only sells wine in boxes, is able to sell wines for nearly 50 euros due to the small formats. “We are considering marketing a Côte-Rôtie for 80 euros”, added Franz Roesch, chairman of Bibovino. The company currently has 25 stores and is planning to open another outlet in Seattle at the end of the year.

Florence Decock believes that continued growth for boxed wines can be fuelled by innovation. Smurfit Kappa has therefore designed the Pouch Up, a flexible bag which “complements the existing range of boxes”, she adds. The packaging is designed to reach out to a younger, more feminine audience as boxed wines are mostly bought by 55+ men. Innovation also includes making better use of the marketing possibilities offered by the cardboard box area on boxed wines. This opens up an infinite range of solutions as visitors at the free-pour Open Wine Box tasting area at Vinisud could witness for themselves.

 

[ Source: Vitisphere; Photo: Smurfit Kappa ]

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