Tesco is to launch premium boxed wines under its Finest range this autumn.
The upmarket bag-in-box packs are expected to have bevelled edges and be 1.5-litre in size, smaller than most boxed wines. The Grocer understands the six-strong range will roll out in September and include wines from South Africa, France, Australia and Argentina.
Accolade Wines - which has a three-year supply deal with Tesco - will fill the boxes at its Accolade Park site in Bristol, marking the first time Finest wines are packed in the UK.
There was a “real opportunity” for the UK to improve its packaging, said Paul Schaafsma, general manager of the Australian business. “We need to innovate in the way we convey quality.”
News of the launch comes six months after The Grocer revealed Tesco was considering using Finest for bag-in-box. At the time, Tesco UK and group wine director Dan Jago said Finest had the brand credentials to change consumer perception of wine packaging.
Bag-in-box is currently worth £292m and accounts for 5% of total value sales of still wine [Nielsen 52w/e 26 May 2014] and 7% of volume.
Overall volume sales of boxed wine have declined 5% in the past year, driven by the three-litre format, which accounts for almost 60% of the sector. Smaller formats such as 2.25-litre are in growth.
Mintel research suggests consumer perception of boxed wine have changed, with two in five thinking the quality was now as good as bottled wine.