Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Kingsland Drinks looks to bag-in-box, differing formats, fizz and inter-category fusion to drive wine engagement

Published:  03 June, 2016

Kingsland Drinks, which recently launched the first UK wine carbonation line, reveals far reaching ambitions to introduce further innovations to the trade

Kingsland Drinks, which recently launched the first UK wine carbonation line, has revealed far reaching ambitions to introduce further innovations to the trade. 

Just days after its first UK produced and bottled sparkling wines hit the shelves of M&S, marketing director Neil Anderson told Harpers that the company had many plans to shake up the wine sector. 

Areas under consideration include a greater focus on quality bag in box, differing formats for wine, a breaking down of rigid category lines between wine and other drinks, plus fusion wine drinks, blending in other elements, such as Kingland's own Mr Gladstone's Curious Emporium pear and rhubarb and custard-infused beverages, launched at the London Wine Fair.

"We have done a lot of consumer insights over past couple of years, with our WinePro research, which looks at why and when consumers drinks wine, and this has been really useful in helping retailers understand what consumers want what their demands are," said Anderson. "The beer and spirits companies do this really well, but I'm not sure that wine has been quite so up to speed here, I'm afraid to say, and it can be a little stuck in the past when it comes to innovation, and engaging the consumer."

"It's time for a massive shake up of the bag-in-box category, it has a lot of potential, and a lot of retailers would like to see this happen, so there's a massive education piece to be done as most consumers don't understand the benefits," said Anderson. "The wine stays fresh for longer, up to 6 weeks, you can keep it in the fridge, but people seem slightly embarrassed about bag-in-box unless hey are at a festival or a BBQ - but in Scandinavia over 50% of wine is bag-in-box, with proper quality tiering on the shelves."

Anderson makes the point that by standing still, wine is in fact going backwards in a fast evolving market where consumer habits - and especially those of a younger generation - now more typically involve consuming a range of categories of drinks, rather than loyalty to wine, for example.

"We purposefully changed the name from Kingsland Wine to Kingsland drinks, recognising that we are getting a blending of categories, and fusion of drinks," said Anderson. "Talk to anyone in their 20s, and they might have a Prosecco, then a G&T, then go out and have a cider, or a cocktail - people are drinking from such a wide portfolio."

Anderson highlights the growth in wine-based or infused cocktails in London and Manchester, where spirits and juices are also blended in, saying that while "the market is pretty saturated for most [grape] varieties", there is big potential for growth if innovation is brought into the equation.

"So many wines do same job, look the same, taste roughly the same, and go after the same consumer," said Anderson. "But with the key retailers massively reducing ranges, more than ever it's only the fittest, strongest products that will survive.

"These will be the ones that offer a real point of difference, and this is about how well such drinks engage consumers, with the name and packaging as well as what is inside the bottle being important - it's about the whole mix," he concluded.