It’s not that we’re out of our mind, that too, but that cans are the future!
Nowadays it is difficult to speak of wine without the classic glass bottle, which has been the preferred container in the wine world for centuries, coming to mind.
There are investigations that support the idea that, when it comes to wine, consumers associate the size, shape and color of the bottle directly with the quality of the product that it contains (Jennings & Wood, 1994; Reidich, 2003). Consumers and oenologists perceived screw caps (vs. corks), oddly shaped bottles, containers that were not glass and boxed wine as products of inferior quality (Reidich, 2003). However, more recent studies are showing that these perceptions are changing, and wine producers are experimenting with alternative packaging options.
Today the can is our focus.
In the last 70 years cans have played an important role in our day to day lives, we coexist with them every day. Soft drinks, beer, juice… cans are not considered a radically new way of packaging drinks. Yet, due to the fact that wine is a complex product, its quality is difficult to evaluate before drinking it, and to a certain degree, its prestige depends on its image and the brand or company’s (winery’s) name. This is why we are not used to wine in a can, at least in Spain.
Canned wine has existed since the first world war (1917), French soldiers were given rations of wine in big metal cans.
In the mid 1930s, technology improved and allowed metal canning to expand. However, wine producers and the wine consumer market did not accept this first can, among other reasons, due to the interaction of the wine with the metal.
The leader in this field is Baroke Winery in Australia. In 1996 they introduced their patented can-coating system under the name Vinsafe. The use of the Vinsafe coating technology and the synergy between trained and authorized supply chain partners have since allowed us to guarantee the supply of canned wine.
The can lining is the key to maintaining the integrity of the wine, in some cases for up to five years. Of course, not all wines produced by wineries are immediately suitable for canning. Samples of the wine must first be analyzed to determine if the wine is within acceptable corrosion parameters.
But, what are the benefits of the can?
It is less cumbersome to open a can than a bottle, since it does not involve an aluminum foil cutter nor a corkscrew. Additionally, the can comes in individual serving sizes, which means that consumers don’t have to open a whole bottle of wine to enjoy one or two cups of wine, whether at home or on the go.
Another main reason why canned wine is quickly becoming so popular is that its convenience and portability allow it to be served in places where serving traditional bottled wine is uncomfortable.
On the other hand we have to talk about sustainability and cost savings. Aluminum is 100% recyclable and packaging wine in cans results in a very small environmental footprint. A can can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing its properties, while glass has a finite life.
Packaging in aluminum cans versus glass bottles also generates savings of approximately 15-20%, with some producers claiming up to 40%, due to lower weight during shipping and handling, reduction of breakage and efficient storage (Advisor, 2018).
A study conducted in the United Kingdom found that transporting the same total volume of wine cans (250ml) has half the CO2 emissions as wine transported in glass bottles (Scientist Live, 2018).
Regarding the quality of the product, the can prevents ultraviolet light and oxygen from coming into contact with the wine, as they do in the case of glass bottles and corks (Drinks News, 2018, p.5).
In a world increasingly aware of environmental health and with more opportunities for enjoying wine, wine in a can is gaining more and more followers. And you? Will you switch to the can?