Upmarket ‘bag in the box’ wines need boxes to match

Christer Brück

Bag in the box wine is now estimated to represent as much as a third of volume of world wine sales in the mass market, and in some countries, such as Sweden, as high as 60%. Shedding its association with ‘cheap plonk’, the format is increasingly associated with quality brands.

Portability and convenience make a box ideal for sharing at outdoor events, rock festivals, parties and camping. Younger generations are more accepting of wine in new types of packaging, including cartons, pouches and single serving plastic glasses. And small households and restaurants benefit from taking the occasional glass without allowing oxygen to enter the container and spoil the remaining content.

Board helps gain shelf appeal

Higher demand in turn leads to increased competition amongst producers, so shelf appeal is growing in importance. Compared to a bottle label, a box has a greater surface area on which to print attractive images and messages. As a result the quality of the outer liner of a corrugated board is taking on greater significance.

The materials used should also be adaptable to both traditional and the more unusual shapes coming onto the market as brands compete for attention and niche markets.

Strength and durability are important

Strength is particularly important for this application, as taps, closures and carrying handles are all added to the box, requiring good conversion properties and tear resistance during use. The top liner must not crack at the corners of the box.

Bag in boxes should also have high moisture resistance, so that they remain intact when stored in the fridge or if spillages occur. These properties are most likely to be found in fresh fibre based liners and fluting.

Advantages of paperboard over glass

Paperboard is also desirable as it is a sustainable packaging material. Metsä Board’s liners and boards are particularly lightweight compared to glass in transit, using less energy. And they are readily recyclable at the end of a box’s life.

As consumers are increasingly accepting bag in the box wines as good value, it’s certain we will see the sector grow. And when even heavy metal rock bands launch their own brands, it looks as though there are exciting times ahead, making greater demands on the box and its design.

Christer Brück's blog post
Christer Brück
Sales Director
Linerboard and Paper
Metsä Board


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