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Traditional bottles most popular choice for consumers

Published:  27 July, 2012

The traditional glass wine bottle may lose its stranglehold on the market but it won't ever be entirely replaced by alternative packaging.

That's the prediction from Wine Intelligence's new packaging report which found even though millions of regular drinkers have bought wine in formats like bag-in-box, Tetra Pak, plastic bottles and smaller sizes of glass bottle, the familiar 75cl bottle is still by far the most popular choice for consumers.

According to Wine Intelligence, UK wine consumers are surprisingly adventurous in their choices of wine packaging, with more than half of all wine drinkers occasionally buy bag-in-box wines.

Tetra Pak wines have also been purchased at some point by 13% of consumers, the report found, but only a small minority of these consumers opt for these formats more than once a month.

Almost four in 10 wine drinkers have bought plastic PET bottles of wine, Wine Intelligence said, with more than half of these consumers buying the format on a regular basis.

Consumers base their decisions on a wide range of factors, including value for money, portability and environmental credentials. However, occasion and product image are the most important.

Wine Intelligence's associate director for publishing, Graham Holter, said: "The UK bottle culture is not going to be smashed overnight, but a two-way dialogue between producer and end user could yet lead to a small, but significant shift in the way wine is packaged."

Consumers' open-mindedness has parallels with how screw caps were embraced a decade or so ago, Holter added, although the industry needs to give consumers reasons to switch from familiar glass bottles. "Producers can quote any amount of scientific or organoleptic data to back up their arguments. But this is not a debate that will be played out in any laboratory. It's one that's happening around the UK, in the grocery aisles and across dining tables."