How Consumers View Different Wine Containers

U.S. wine consumers believe wine sold in boxes, tetra, plastic and cans reduce harm to the environment and are most easy-to-recycle. However, they may not be perceived as providing the highest wine quality or appropriate for every wine style or occasion. 

That's according to a new study by Liz Thatch, MW, and four other wine researchers.  

The containers consumers believe are the lightest weight are plastic bottles, cans, and light-weight bottles.

Consumers perceive the regular weight glass bottle to be the heaviest, but most appropriate for taking to a formal event or gift-giving.  It is also considered good for red wines especially, and suggests higher quality.

The light weight glass bottle is considered to be more fashionable, good for sparkling, rose, and white wines, and when you enjoy wine on its own. It is perceived to be lighter than regular glass bottles.

Bag-in-box products are believed to reduce harm tothe environment, to be good value for money, keeps wine cheap, is convenient, and good for an informal meal at home.  However, most consumers list it as being heavier, especially if they are buying a larger box. BIB is also perceived to contain lower quality and cheaper wines.

Cans are viewed as for portion control, for taking to a casual event, easy to store, easy to recycle and durable. Cans also share the same perception of BIB and Tetra about the wines they contain.

Plastic bottles are viewed favorably by consumers who believe them to be light-weight, easy to recycle, easy to store, and great for taking to a casual event. They are also considered to be more durable, and provide average quality at an average price.

Interestingly, U.S. consumers still don't association light-weight bottles with helping the environment. They also rank taste, recommendations, price, brand, sustainability certifications, and many other factors higher than packaging weight.

This suggests they don't understand the link between bottle weight and harm to the environment. But retailers have agreed to reduce bottle weight.