IN IT’S bid to bring the UK wine industry up to date, sparkling Pinot Grigio in cans is the latest innovation from Off-Piste Wines.
Rachel Archer, who has created Most Wanted among other brands, came up with the concept and former Sainsbury’s winemaker Clem Yates MW blended the juice.
Archer said: “We feel now is the time for more innovation in terms of packaging and serve occasion and we are really excited about it.”
She added: “Some people ask whether consumers will be comfortable buying wine in a can. The same question was asked about screw caps on bottles 15 years ago. Today they are not only accepted but positively welcomed by most drinkers.
“It is very important the wine industry recognises that as consumer lifestyles, openness and interests change so must we. Drinks in cans have been a part of consumers’ lives for decades. For many craft beer producers and consumers, cans are now the format of choice. We are simply moving with the times.”
Archer was at Copestick Murray, where she worked on the I Heart brand, before moving to Off-Piste. “I have always worked for small, dynamic companies and you can forget that a lot of people’s idea of innovation is a million miles away from where we need to be,” she said.
However she has been impressed by the drive and ambition starting to be shown by sections of the wine trade when it comes to modernising the category to keep up with spirits, beer and cider. “It’s great that we are seeing a lot of innovation,” she said. “Who knows what will work and what won’t but it’s a positive thing that people are innovating.”
She believes canned wine “has been really overlooked” and said Off-Piste has had a lot of interest from retailers in Pinot Pinot. “In craft beer cans have become cool again,” said Archer. “It’s a format growing in the US.”
Hungary is where most of the wine used is sourced from, but could come from anywhere, as is the case with Most Wanted.
The Pinot Pinot range also includes 75cl bottles of still Pinot Grigio from Hungary and Pinot Noir from South Eastern Australia, both of which launched in 2015 in the convenience sector.
The new 20cl cans will be on sale around £2.50 each.
Archer said: “We are incredibly excited about the potential for the Pinot Pinot sparkling Pinot Grigio cans across the UK market in many sectors of the on- and off-trades. While there are some fruit and spritzer products in cans on the market, this is the first canned wine to launch in the UK.
“The consumer market for this product is huge. It meets the needs of millennials looking to buy wine in a less traditional, more accessible way. Consumers can enjoy wine when, where and how they want to, and the convenience of the can is ideal for a single serve sparkling, for outdoor events and especially festivals which are now a huge part of these consumers’ lives, and for the rapidly growing on-the-go life style.
On top of which Pinot Grigio is the second best-selling white grape variety in the UK off-trade and the top-selling in the on-trade, so its popularity speaks for itself.”