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By: Karine Dussimon

The future of packaging for still light grape wine is rather positive. By 2018, global retail demand is set to rise by a 2% CAGR to reach 20.3 billion units. Yet it is also going through rather revealing changes. While the ‘Old World’ continues to dominate still wine consumption in glass bottles in 2013, Western Europe is predicted to see a decline and glass is finding a new lease of life among developing regions. Asia Pacific holds some of the best opportunities for packaging and closure unit volume increase in still red wine but also white and rosé.

A Seemingly Homogenous Market

Demand for still light grape wine packaging is on the rise, globally. Still wine packaging also remains rather concentrated in format, with the ubiquitous 750ml glass bottle and cork representing the bulk of volumes. Glass holds a share of 85% of the entire category; a characteristic which comes to a great extent from the traditions of wine production and consumption in the Old World. Western Europe still accounts for 49% of global wine packaging sales in 2013. This homogeneity in the market for still wine packaging and closures is not expected to change in any drastic manner through to 2018; yet there are some areas of diversification in evidence.

Look to Asia and Latin America for Large Volume Growth

Still Light Grape Wine Packaging Volume and Forecast Growth by Region

Source: Euromonitor International

In the near future, packaging for still light grape wine will find the bulk of its global growth potential in Asia Pacific. The region will, over 2013-2018, generate some 1.3 billion additional units. Western Europe is experiencing a mild but steady decline, due to high maturity levels and ongoing expenditure restraint amongst many consumers in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. Meanwhile, Asian consumers are warming to still light grape wine consumption, seduced by a certain perception of the product as being sophisticated. In China, by far the most promising country for still wine packaging, red wine is perceived as having health benefits and appeals to consumers for this reason. Brazil and Argentina are other key countries for future growth, fuelled by a growing middle class, and also marketing campaigns run by major importers such as Expand Importadora and Interfood Importação, aiming to promote the culture of wine drinking in the case of Brazil.

It is the sense of sophistication and the etiquette around wine drinking that will enable the 750ml glass bottle to continue its unrivalled ascent for still light grape wine in emerging countries. This is also why, despite the metal screw closure seeing the biggest growth as a closure type globally, the more traditional cork will take the lead in newer wine territories such as Asia.

It seems that the glass industry can only benefit from renewed investments outside of the Old World, where still light grape wine keeps creating interest.

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