U.S. consumers love wine. Americans purchased 452.4 million 9-liter equivalent cases in 2021, which was a 3.8% increase from 2020. There are a couple of important takeaways from those numbers:
- The U.S. wine market is large and growing.
- If a consumer doesn’t have a good experience with a particular wine company, they have numerous alternatives.
The opportunities for a wine business to succeed are apparent. However, the high level of competition means that every aspect and every stage of a winery’s production process must be well-planned and well-executed.
In addition to building and maintaining the quality of the wine itself, another incredibly important area that needs attention is how the wine is packaged (including the case used for shipping and wine divider insert). Studies have shown that for many products in general, the packaging is sometimes more important than the product! Whatever you’re offering to the general public, you should carefully pay close attention to the quality of the product and the packaging.
While there may be a lengthy list of other reasons for the importance of packaging, here are three main reasons why you should allocate time and resources to ensure your packaging is first-rate: 1) To protect your product, 2) To protect your brand, 3) To protect your future.
Protecting Your Product
If you look at a crowd-sourced rating system like Vivino, an average to good bottle of red wine may cost anywhere between $15 and $32. Obviously, high quality wines cost substantially more, but on average, that is the price range of wines moving in higher volumes.
Even at those prices, if you put 6 to 12 of those wine bottles in a case, you are starting to accumulate considerable costs for a single shipment. In a box of 12 bottles costing approximately $25 each, a producer should include a wine divider insert to ensure the case arrives at its final destination with all the contents unharmed.
It’s a self-evident fact that if a bottle gets broken in transit, then the entire cost of the product is lost. That’s obvious. However, if the appearance of the bottle is slightly damaged, that can also lead to significant losses.
Value Inside the Bottle and Out
Businesses everywhere are learning how packaging influences a consumer’s choice. With an increasingly competitive wine market, some producers are investing significantly in the aesthetics of their labeling. The right exterior can attract customers and create a positive experience with the product before they even try it. If there is any nick, scratch, or hint of imperfection on the bottle or the labeling, that can detract from a customer’s experience with the product, or possibly cause them to reject it altogether.
It’s immensely important for wine bottles to be well protected from the moment they’re corked until they’re displayed in the shop. If they’re broken, then the loss is total. If they’re damaged, the loss may not be total, but it’s still potentially significant.
Investing in solid packaging and wine divider inserts will ensure your product arrives intact and able to deliver a quality experience to a customer.
Protecting Your Brand
In line with the previous point, good packaging is an effective way to protect your company’s brand. Many people look for an experience or a connection with the items they purchase. While most people will avoid buying something if its appearance is sub-par, on the other hand people are actively looking to make purchases that make them feel good.
A frequently repeated mantra in marketing is, “People buy stories, not products.” Consumers aren’t always buying products for their function, but rather for how those products make them feel. If the quality of a product is outstanding, and yet the item is given a shoddy presentation, people aren’t going to buy it. Or, at least, not many people will buy it.
It may seem unnecessary or irrelevant to pay much attention to the case that ships your product, but this step is also a part of the story of your product. As mentioned in the point above, the physical appearance of your product will impact your sales. The story of your process will also have an impact on your sales.
Sending the Right Message
It may not have as direct an impact as outward appearance, but your packaging does play an essential role in your brand narrative. Take this as another opportunity to present your business in the best possible light. Businesses attract people by paying attention to all the details (including the consistency and quality of its packaging).
Additionally, let’s say a business has invested heavily in its marketing efforts and has crafted a brilliant and compelling story on all its marketing channels, but then the actual product shows up in low-grade packaging. All of that prior marketing and storytelling effort is going to be undone. Consumers expect products to be consistent with their other interactions with the brand.
A good exterior case and a good wine divider insert will protect your product image and ensure you always stay on-message and on-brand.
Protect your Future
One final consideration about packaging: what would happen if your product becomes wildly successful? If you have built a business off a good product and a resonating brand identity, then it’s in your best interest to retain those elements that made you successful. Look at the packaging in the context of your total product development and branding, and then ask yourself, can it scale?
It’s ok to think positively and anticipate growth. We would certainly encourage you to do so. If you’re utilizing appropriate packaging and packing processes, you can expect growth to occur. Your packaging should enable your business to grow and then be able to grow with you. Especially when you incorporate automation and the right end-of-line packaging equipment, you can take business possibilities and turn them into realities.
Why Automation is for You
Wayne Automation is particularly well suited to partner with wine companies looking to grow. We offer a number of sophisticated case erectors and partition inserters that are excellent for wine divider inserts. Regardless of what industrial packaging solution you may need, we welcome you to browse through all our product offerings and see what might help you with your goals.
Whether you know you’re ready to move into automation, or if you’re still thinking about it, we will gladly take the time to answer your questions, arrange a plant tour, or set up a product demonstration so you can make the right decision for your company.
Contact us today and talk with one of our experts.