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Constellation Europe introduces large format

Constellation Europe, the leading wine producer, has launched a stylish, premium bag-in-box solution called FreshCase, which is set to change consumer perceptions and attract lovers of better quality wines to the larger format sector

From November in the UK, Hardys Nottage Hill will be available in FreshCase packs from Sainsbury’s priced at £19.99. FreshCase is also being launched in the Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The key benefits of FreshCase are:
• A stylish and ergonomic design – designed to pour direct from the fridge and kitchen side.  Containing the equivalent of three bottles (2.25 litres), FreshCase incorporates a pull-out tap and convenient carry handle, which converts to a stand when in the fridge to help the wine pour right to the last glass
• An award-winning Hardys Nottage Hill  wine that is not available in larger packaging formats
• Keeps the premium wine fresh for up to six weeks after opening
• Weighs 70% less than the equivalent three bottles of wine and uses 30% less space making a huge reduction in the energy used to transport wine
• Has the shelf space of one bottle, increasing retailers potential profitability per metre

The launch will be supported in-store with shelf talkers as well as consumer print advertising, PR, digital media communication and a consumer website

The larger format sector for wine is dominated by bag-in-box (BiB), worth £300m retail sales in the UK and over £1bn across the Nordics markets* targeting the mainstream wine consumer. Constellation believes FreshCase can now extend the market opportunity for larger formats by providing a more premium packaging solution for premium wine consumers that currently do not regularly purchase BiB – typically young professionals with high disposable income and an expressed interest in wine.

Developed using consumer insight from a study into the wine lives of European consumers, FreshCase was rated as a ‘novel winner’ by Research International following benchmark testing against 40,000 new product development concepts.

Paul Edwards, CEO at Research International, says: “Only 6% of all new development concepts ever tested by us have achieved ‘novel winner’ status so Constellation’s FreshCase is joining a highly select group of successful new products from some of the world’s biggest companies. Our testing shows that FreshCase appeals to high spending and knowledgeable professional consumers who find the idea exciting, clear and unique.”

Holly Lee, wine buyer for Sainsburys, comments: “FreshCase is one of the most exciting packaging innovations in wine that we have ever seen – offering real benefits to the consumer in keeping premium wine fresh for longer in a stylish and convenient new pack.”

Commenting on the environmental credentials of FreshCase, Nicola Jenkin, drinks category manager, WRAP, says: “FreshCase meets many resource efficiency objectives well – not only is it lightweight, the packaging can easily be taken apart by consumers so that each part can be recycled. Additionally, FreshCase is a product that clearly illustrates a sound and innovative concept in terms of functionality and appeal.”

*In the Nordics markets penetration has risen to between 30 and 50% as wine consumers have become increasingly attracted to the convenience and price benefits of the larger format BiB. In the past few years more wine consumers have started to look for more premium wine in the larger format, reflecting by an increase in wine sales of BiB at higher price points.

Distribution and prices: Hardys Nottage Hill FreshCase: UK £19.99 (Sainsbury), Sweden 209 SEK (Systembolaget assortment), imported by Bibendum, Norway 309 NOK (Vinmonopolet ordering range), imported by Haugen Gruppen, Denmark 159K (Fotex, Bilka and Netto), Norway 299 NOK (Vinmonopolet temporary listing), imported by Strom.

1 October 2009 - Felicity Murray