Writing for CNBC, Sarah Whitten writes that “Canned wine isn’t just a passing summer fad, it’s a $45 million business”. Wine in cans with pull-tops instead of corks isn’t new, but it has become a staple for young drinkers over the last few years and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Sales of canned wine grew 43 percent in the U.S. from June 2017 to June 2018, according to BW 166, a beverage alcohol market research firm.
While canned wine is still a tiny portion of the wider industry, with about 0.2 percent of total wine sales, it’s growing rapidly thanks to millennial drinkers, according to Nielsen data. By comparison, bottled wines grab nearly 90 percent of the industry’s sales, but are growing much more slowly. (Boxed and bagged wines take the remaining market share.) In her article Whitten explains that “Compared with previous generations, today’s young adults are more likely to drink wine than beer”. Ray Isle, executive wine editor at Food & Wine, also told CNBC that “Millennials don’t have as much disposable income, making more affordable wines in cans more appealing”. On average, a 750-milliliter bottle of wine will cost between $11 and $25. Whereas, canned wine drinkers pay about $4 to $7 for a 375-ml can. These cans are the equivalent of a half of a bottle or, about 2.5 glasses of wine. Some wineries are packaging their wine into even smaller cans of 250 ml (about two glasses of wine) and 187 ml (about one glass of wine).
These cans can be brought to places that glasses cannot, like the beach, the park and campsites. Wine cans are also easier to recycle than glass bottles and are seen as less pretentious to casual drinkers.
Devon Broglie, master sommelier and chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas division, said canned wines are “very drinkable” and a “solid value for the money.” While he predicts the incredible growth of the canned wine industry will start to stabilize over the next few years, he expects the market will continue to expand in selection and quality.
Another major benefit of aluminum cans is environmental. According to the Container Recycling Institute, aluminum cans are recycled 45.2 percent of the time in the U.S., glass bottles 27.8 percent. Many localities don’t accept glass for recycling. Even the carbon footprint of shipping the wine is reduced: The same amount of wine weighs less in aluminum than in glass.
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