Australian consumers embrace flat wine bottles

Flat wine bottles arrived in Australia in June and have proven to be an instant hit with consumers. The collaboration between sustainable packaging pioneers Packamama and winemakers Accolade Wines and Taylors Wines has seen their initial releases sell out on shelves.

On sale at select Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market stores nationally, the wine bottles are made entirely from Australian-sourced 100% recycled PET plastic with the aim of helping to reshape the carbon footprint of wine.

Packamama’s innovative eco-bottle shares the classic high-shouldered silhouette of a traditional wine bottle. But when turned to the side, it reveals a slimmer, flatter profile that allows twice as many bottles to fit in a standard wine case – which means it’s much more efficient to transport.

Using recycled PET also saves weight and with the bottles being 83% lighter, emissions in transport are reduced as
well as the energy in production and recycling to further tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

Packamama’s first production order was for 65,000 units, which has risen to 90,000. By the end of the year, Packamama predicts production will exceed 150,000 units.

“The initial uptake was so strong that we ran out of stock after our first production,” Accolade Wines CMO Sandy Mayo told The Guardian. “We fast-tracked a second production run and increased our production volumes by more than 50%.”

Taylors Wines MD Mitchell Taylor said the winery had a similar experience with its One Small Step flat bottles.

“We’ve been blown away by the uptake, so much so we’re increasing our existing range from two to four wines with another range already in the pipeline,” he said.

Taylors Wines’ One Small Step range already existed in glass bottles so by rereleasing the range in new packaging, they have been able to do a side-by-side comparison.

“Within three months sales of our flat plastic bottles have almost met that of our existing glass bottle range,” Taylor said. “We’re anticipating, with greater awareness, the new packaging will soon outsell the existing.”

Packamama co-founder Santiago Navarro said he wasn’t surprised that Australians had embraced the concept so quickly and suggested more wine companies would follow Accolade and Taylors into the flat bottle market.

“Australia is home to the two most significant successful wine packaging innovations of the last century – bag-in-box and screw cap, both from the mid-1960s,” he said.

“We are presently in commercial discussions with nine of the top 12 largest Australian wine producers by revenue.”

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