Is boxed wine a French success story?

Thursday April 13 2017 by Vitisphere

The boxed wine market has shown strong growth in France over the past fifteen years. But the same cannot be said of other wine drinking nations, including traditional consumer countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain. “Generally speaking, the boxed wine segment is not the one showing the strongest growth in export markets”, claims France Delmond, communications manager for Castel. “Foreign markets still prefer bottled wines, even those with screwcaps”.

Both in Europe and long-distance export markets, companies admit that they struggle to open up significant markets for the format. “Relatively few clients ask us for boxed wines”, confirms Philippe Dry, director of Vignerons ardéchois which markets 3.5 million boxes. Only 150,000 of these end up in export markets, a number he describes himself as “embryonic”. In Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands there is a market for boxed wine, but volumes are small with slow growth and the wines are mostly entry-level. “They just don’t have the popularity they have in France”, says Dry. In Europe, the only exception to the rule is Scandinavia which is still by far the leading market for the format. It has been for a while and this “does not seem set to change”.

In long-distance markets, exporters have to contend with transport challenges. Boxes are fairly fragile and less resistant to adverse weather, reducing their shelf life compared with bottles. “Having to cross oceans and be landed in hot, humid countries damages the cardboard and the bladder inside, which is why bottles are favoured”, points out France Delmond.

 

Source: Vitisphere. Photo: CIVL

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