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My View: A reason to buy smaller bottles

Published:  18 January, 2007

Harpers reported on the launch of Vin Deux half- bottle sizes in Waitrose last week.

The seeds of this project were planted by a discussion on promotion in the wine market at the LIWSF in 2005. This was dominated by one dimension - price.

Curiously, most of the speakers were applauded for offering ever more creative ways to give away money. But using a size which presented a different price point could outflank such debates.

Nearly 40% of drinking occasions for wine at home are between two people - and some 57% of Top Table's bookings are for two. Also, anecdotally, it appears that when two drink a bottle of wine there is often some left over.

So the 50cl size appeared to meet the needs of consumers drinking deux', transcending the price angle which was its initial raison d'etre.

From this came the name Vin Deux , an accessible term given the use of "diner deux", further explained by the sub-head of "the comfortable size for two". It is no more than a point of navigation along the shelf and among bottles. Vin Deux is a simple description of a category size in consumer terms, it is not a brand property.

As Claire Summersby, marketing head of importers PLB, says: "Retailers have introduced 50cl but they haven't given the consumer a reason to buy it." Now there is one.

Jonathan Cahill is director of Spring, a strategic partner behind the Vin Deux launch