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Paper bottles break supermarket barrier with Sainsbury’s listing

Published:  05 January, 2023

When in Rome (WiR), one of the UK’s leading alt-format wine brands is set to launch its range of recycled paper wine bottles into Sainsbury’s during the first quarter 2023.

The listing will be a first of its kind for the major retailer, as Sainsbury’s becomes the first UK supermarket to stock paper wine bottles.

WiR first broke onto the scene with its bag-in-box and can formats, before moving onto paper bottles with the help of British sustainable packaging company, Frugalpac. According to WiR, the Frugal Bottle is made from 94% recycled cardboard, is five times lighter than a glass bottle and has a carbon footprint up to six times (84%) lower than a glass bottle.

The Sainsbury’s launch marks the company’s largest UK listing to date, with two paper bottle SKUs set to land in 450 stores.

“It’s incredibly exciting to bring When in Rome's message of quality, value, and sustainability to the British public via the UK’s second largest supermarket chain,” Rob Malin, founder of WiR said.

“The launch of our paper bottle range in Sainsbury’s marks a step change in the physical availability of our brand. We believe our range of craft wines, plus our commitment to climate transparency will strongly resonate with their customers”.

Malcolm Waugh, CEO of British sustainable packaging company Frugalpac, added: “We’re thrilled that When in Rome will become the first wine brand to stock our paper bottle in a UK supermarket. Sainsbury’s have been a real trailblazer in promoting sustainable packaging and we’re delighted that they and When in Rome will be offering these delicious wines in the world’s first and only commercially available paper bottle.”

WiR is an Anglo-Italian brand made via partnerships with ‘small, independent vineyards across Italy’. The two Sainsbury’s bottles comprise a ‘bold’ Primitivo produced by Cantina Sociale Cantolio, a cooperative of 700 winemakers in Puglia; and a ‘fresh’ Pecorino produced by Abruzzo winemaker, Manuel Casimirri.

Aiming to show that ‘quality wines can come in alt-format packaging’, the latest eco-friendly packaging solution claims to produce up to 10 times less CO2 than single-use glass bottles.

It can also be recycled again, by separating the plastic food-grade pouch from the paper bottle and placing them in respective recycling bins.

Sainsbury’s became the UK’s first supermarket to sell drinks produced in paper bottles when the Greener Greenall’s Paper Bottle Gin appeared on shelves in October 2022. WiR’s listing will now make Sainsbury’s the first UK supermarket to stock paper wine bottles.