Wine by the Helmet? Packaging COULD BE a lot more fun!

What hath God wrought? Walking down Polk Street in San Francisco, I spot a rotund gent on a moped, wearing Bermuda shorts and bowling shoes, no socks. Tee shirt with effects of chilly day evident. (I guess that is better than assless chaps – we have to wait for the Folsom Street Fair for that!) But it struck me that this is a demographic – the moped-riding-short-wearing-bowling-shoe-fan – that new wine packaging might appeal to. Like a motorcycle helmet-shaped wine bottle.

In many ways, wine packaging today is uninspiring. No significant change, really, in hundreds of years. I know that food packaging is culture-bound; I remember the olden days when Tetrapak had a heck of a time making inroads outside Northern Europe. And clearly, wine packaging is VERY culture-bound.

I like the concept that MÁS Wine Company introduced, that of packaging a super premium wine in a mini tank. According to their website, “the German engineered mini tank is an environmentally friendly, air-tight, stainless steel container that mimics the way wine is stored at a winery. These mini tanks are re-usable, and they keep every glass as fresh as the first.” Now if we could just move that down from the 11 or 15 liter size to something that fits on my kitchen counter…. You get the idea. New packaging ideas!

Last year at a wine shop in CapeTown, South Africa, I was amazed at the plethora of wine packaging alternatives. Doypack. Bag in Box. Cans. Tetra. A bunch more I forget. So if things are changing elsewhere in the world, they will slowly but surely make their way to the shores of this colony – you know, the place where packaging changes most slowly – the US of A.

I think that we need to help it along.

Just for fun, give me some ideas of new demographics/market niches (see my example above) and the wine containers that would appeal to them. Keep it clean. Keep the other stuff for San Francisco the weekend of September 27, 2009. (There is so much to enjoy in our Folsom Fair city!)


  1. Check out the new mini-barrel by Red Truck. It's a typical 3L wine bag set in a plastic "wine barrel" that appeals to consumers who love the benefits of 3L packaging but can't get over the stigma of the box.

    My guess is that it will be the wine innovation of the year.

  2. Obviously this app appeals to the Mommy market; I'll let others flesh out the granular demographics:


  3. I think 3L bag-in-TUBE wine will be a hit. Hahn's new "FOUR" Cabernet is quite good. I poured it at several events. People hesitated, but liked the juice.

  4. I have used the mini barrel at a party and it was a huge hit. We love Red Truck!