Message in a Box, Not a Bottle

Discussion
Aug 18, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


When you think about a fine wine, do you envision pouring it from a bottle
or a box?


Most consumers, immediately, identify bottles as the preferred container for
fine wine (or any other for that matter). Mokelumne Rim Vineyards and other
vintners want to change that.


The company has produced a super-premium, oak-barrel-aged zinfandel packaged
in a box holding the equivalent of four 750-milliliter bottles. Marketed under
the brand name, Le Cask, it retails for $24, a significant discount from what
it would cost if sold in a bottle.


Michael Solari, owner of Lodi Avenue Discount Liquor told the Stockton Record
he features the wine at the front of his store. Mr. Solari says he sold more
than 200 boxes in the first five weeks he stocked it.


The key, he believes, is to promote Le Cask as a cask not a box to overcome
any negative perceptions consumers may associate with boxed wines.


Le Cask is no ordinary wine in a box, says Mr. Solari. “No question about it,
it is as good as any $12 to $15 zinfandel in the store. It’s the best idea I’ve
seen in quite some time.”


Moderator’s Comment: Will American wine drinkers make
the switch from bottles to boxes?


Rodney Schatz, co-owner of Mokelumne Rim Vineyards, told
the Stockton Record, “It’s initially going to be very difficult. But once it
gets out there, people will latch onto the concept and run with it, because
in many countries of the world, this is how they consume their daily wine.”


Schatz’s partner, Leon Pierce added, “You get a huge price
cut (box versus bottle). We believe in giving our customers value. We believe
we can have a huge impact.”
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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