• The milk drink brand Cacolac, a long-standing player in canned wine in France, is expanding its production plant located in the heart of the Bordeaux vineyards.

  • Maison Le Star, merchant and producer in Gironde, now sells between 80,000 and 100,000 cans of wine in France per year.

  • The start-up Wine Star has launched a new brand, Star Beverages, to support French winegrowers who want to put their wine in cans.

After the explosion of bag in boxes (BIB, or wine bags), will the consumption of wine in cans have a click in France?

If wine professionals do not read coffee grounds, they nonetheless agree on the fact of feeling a "thrill" ...

A historical player - since 2012 - in the canning of wine, the Bordeaux milk drink brand Cacolac has just announced the investment for five million euros in a new production plant, in Léognan, in the heart of the Bordeaux vineyards, where it has been established since 2000. If it is above all a question of satisfying rapidly growing international demand, it is also to anticipate changes in the French market, which until now has been reluctant but which seems to be opening up.

According to a study published this summer by Ball Corporation (supplier of aluminum packaging), a third of French people have already consumed canned wine or are ready to try it.

This trend of consumption is observed in 48% of people of Generation Z (under 20) and in more than two millennials (under 35) in five (43%).

Already six million cans of wine per year at Cacolac

With its production unit reaching saturation point, Cacolac will therefore build a new building "exclusively devoted to filling services for alcohol, and in particular wine, on which there is a great demand", explains the CEO of the company Christian Maviel. .

Cacolac already produces some six million cans of wine per year, for a total production of 60 million cans, all products combined.

Its new factory should allow it to increase its production of alcoholic beverages in cans by 25 million initially, and 40 million in the long term.

This new 2,000 m2 site should be operational by the end of 2022.

Maison Le Star sells between 80,000 and 100,000 cans per year in France

The vast majority of canned wine production will go abroad, particularly to America and Asia. “For the moment, the market is mainly located in the United States, where consumers are more easily free from the container, continues Christian Maviel. They seek the practicality of the packaging, and do not have the same relationship to the product as the French consumer, where the weight of tradition is stronger. In Europe, there is a demand that has also been emerging for three to four years, mainly in England and the Scandinavian countries. "

But things are moving in France too.

Maison Le Star, a wine merchant based in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande (Gironde), which also owns three châteaux in Bordeaux, launched in 2020 a range of classic wine in a can, Le Star.

It is an IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) wine from Pays d'Oc, available in three grape varieties, Merlot in red, Chardonnay in white and Grenache in rosé.

"We sell 200,000 cans per year, mainly abroad, especially in the United States, but we are also referenced at Carrefour in France, where we have sold between 80,000 and 100,000 per year over these first two years", assures the marketing manager, Emmanuel Castano.

"It's not supposed to replace the bottle"

“We feel that the French market is attractive, and big competitors are getting involved,” continues the marketing manager of Maison Le Star. But success will depend on better visibility, particularly within dedicated "corners" in supermarkets. This is why we offer our product in the snacking world, in the midst of salads, beers and sodas, rather than being drowned in the wine shelves. It is a ready-to-drink wine, for on-the-go consumption, knowing that a 25 cl can represents two glasses, with the advantage of lightness and practicality. It's not meant to replace the bottle. "

"It is a way of making wine rediscover to a young population which is a little disinterested", continues Christian Maviel. Even if not all types of wine are suitable for this mode of consumption. "We put quality wines in them, it is essential otherwise we lose the consumer, but they are essentially new wines, rosé or white, more suited to this concept of" can "which will seek freshness, and to consume quickly. It is not made for wine to keep, even if there is no contraindication either, because the aluminum packaging and without bisphenol A is neutral. "

At Cacolac, red wine represents 10% of cans, white 20 to 30% and the rest is rosé.

“It is mainly wine from the south of France, but Bordeaux wines are also getting involved,” adds the CEO.

I even think that Bordeaux may be one of the dynamic players in this concept in the years to come.

"

"More increased consumption of wine by the glass in recent years"

With his start-up Wine Star, Cédric Segal had, in 2013, made the bet of offering AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) wine in a can.

“I never understood why we wouldn't drink good wine other than by the bottle,” he explains.

On the other hand, the wine does not evolve in a can, so it must be ready to drink.

"

Wine Star has produced over two million cans since its launch.

Production which has passed 90% internationally "because there was so far great reluctance in France" recognizes the entrepreneur.

"But it is changing, he assures, in particular thanks to the increased consumption of wine by the glass in recent years.

"

A product "essentially summer, for picnics or aperitifs"

Cédric Segal launched a new brand in 2018, Star Beverages, which provides services for French winegrowers wishing to canned their wine. “We work with 150 winegrowers, and if the production goes mainly abroad, we have a few brands like La Robe du vin, or Miss Vicky Wine in Beaujolais, which also sell in France, and even the Domaine de Fabrègues in the Languedoc and the Celliers du Dauphin cooperative (Rhône Valley) which are presented at Auchan. "

Often considered sacrilege in France, can canned wine be democratized on our tables?

Cédric Segal believes in it, because "the market is more and more mature", but it will be necessary to wait for "spring or summer 2022" to have the first elements of answer, because it remains a product "essentially summer, for spades -nics or aperitifs ”emphasizes Christian Maviel.

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