Tesco wines

Tesco Finest wine is set to move into bag-in-a-box

Tesco is contemplating rolling its Finest wine range into a bag-in-box formula.

Tesco UK and group wine director Dan Jago told The Grocer this week the Tesco Finest brand had a role to play in changing consumer perceptions on the role of packaging in wine and it was an area the retailer was looking at.

“It absolutely has the brand credentials to do so,” he said. “For too long it’s been about 75cl, glass and cork. We changed the world on screw-cap and I think we can do more in bag-in-box than we have done in the past.”

Although it was something he was keen to explore, he admitted that no timeline had yet been set. The retailer is currently “pushing hard” in bag-in-box he added, trialling different sizes in different store formats, including 2.5l bag in box and 1.5l pouches in its Express stores. 

“We changed the world on screw-cap and I think we can do more in bag-in-box than we have done in the past”

Dan Jago

Earlier, Jago had told delegates at the inaugural Wine Vision summit, organised by The Grocer’s publisher William Reed Business Media, that consumers could not be forced into change.

“We’ve a responsibility to lead consumers in certain areas and a responsibility to be very close to them and follow them in other areas. But the one thing you can never do is tell them they are wrong or force them into something they naturally they won’t do.

“At the moment, customers like glass, and we’re down to 300g of glass in a lot of our entry-level packaging. They think it’s recyclable, they think it’s entirely environmentally friendly, so let’s not try to force them to do something they don’t want to do.”

Jago said that while there was an opportunity to look at packaging in a different way, it had to fit within the right affluence level and store format to be successful: “You can do it differently within the confines of customer expectation and acceptance, and I’d love to see more.”

Andrew Bird of Marks & Spencer agreed packaging innovation was “vital” for wine, but although there was a market for new packaging ideas, wine was “resistant” to moving on from 75ml bottles. “People talk about the Swedish market but don’t learn from them,” he said. “Why not paper bags or plastic bags of wine?”

PET bottles had been particularly successful, he said, and M&S was intending to roll out further innovation in PET next year. It is currently trialling an initiative in 12 stores where sterile PET bottles are filled in front of the consumer from 10l bag-in-box shipped directly from the vineyard, to provide in-store theatre and to break down the barriers of “functional selling.”