With the Maharashtra Government giving a go-ahead for supermarkets to sell bottles of wine, wineries in the state in order to facilitate customer convenience are now planning to sell wine in boxes.
Two of the states leading wineries Sula and Vinsura Vineyards are soon planning to launch Bag-in-box wines also known as "box wines". These are wines packaged in a bag usually made of aluminised PET film and protected by a box, usually made of standard corrugated cardboard. The bag is sealed by a simple plastic tap, which is used to dispense the wine.
The most common sizes are 1.5, 3, 4 and 5 litre. "We have installed the machinery to pack wines in boxes. Box wines save 20-25 per cent of our packaging cost and are also easy to handle. We hope to sell these products in the market in the next couple of months," Vinsura Vineyards chairman Pralhad Khadangale told Hindustan Times.
Conventional wine bottles cost around Rs 30 while wineries would be procurring these bag-in-boxes for around Rs 20. Khadangale said that the box wine would basically targeted at restaurants which sell wine by glasses and individuals who do not plan to drink a bottle in one go. Conventionally bottled wines have an extremely low shelf life after they are opened and exposed to air which leads to oxidation.
"The chief advantage to box wine is that it prevents oxidation of the wine as it is dispensed. Whereas wine in a bottle is oxidised by the volume of air in the bottle which has displaced the wine already poured, wine in a bag is never touched by air and thus never subject to oxidation until it is put in a glass," Vitop's representative Patrick Shea said. Italy based Vitop would supply the bag-in-box machinery to both the wineries.
"It is a great solution for packaging less expensive wines. This packaging allows the customer to keep a wine for a longer time even after the pack has been opened. These are some of the initiatives which will help in increasing wine penetration in the country," Sula Vineyards CEO Rajeev Samant said.
Industry watchers say that even though these boxes may not have the classy look of conventional wine bottles, this concept would help in increasing wine penetration. Indian market for wine is presently pegged at nine million litres and is growing at a rate of 35 per cent.