Pouches a hit with booze marketers

E.J. Schultz

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Packaging, Film & Sheet, Design

NEW YORK (Sept. 27, 11:05 a.m. ET) — A baby-food trend has made its way to booze.

Squeezable pouches — which have been the packaging of infant brands for a while — are emerging as a big hit for alcohol marketers. They are now putting wine, premixed cocktails and flavored malt beverages in the plastic packaging as a way to lure consumers seeking a quick and convenient buzz — er, drink.

The trend took off this summer, spurred by newly introduced pouch versions of big brands such as Smirnoff and Arbor Mist. Sales of alcohol pouches jumped 153 percent to $154 million in the year ending June 23, according to Nielsen. And pouch drinks are making rapid distribution gains in grocery stores, according to SymphonyIRI Group. While distribution is lower at drug and convenience stores, chains such as Walgreens have begun stocking pouch brands in coolers at some stores.

“All the companies are jumping on board,” said Megan Metcalf, editor of Wine & Spirits Daily.

One of the biggest entrants to the category is liquor giant Diageo, which this summer began national distribution of Parrot Bay- and Smirnoff-branded pouches containing fruity malt-beverage drinks meant to be frozen and squeezed into a glass or cup. The single-serve 10-ounce pouches retail for $1.99 and are positioned as a no-mess way to enjoy fancy bar drinks at home.

They also save time. “If you think about making mixed drinks, in a lot of markets you need to go to the liquor store for one ingredient, you need to go to the grocery store for another, you need to pull out the blender,” said Patrick Hughes, Diageo’s brand director overseeing frozen-pouch marketing.

Most brands don’t have traditional media dedicated for the pouches, but have added some in-store and below-the-line marketing for the new packaging. An example is Arbor Mist, which features a video contrasting the laborious blender-mixing method against the freeze-squeeze-and-pour ease of a pouch.

The pouch craze has been under way for some time across consumer packaged goods, including for baby food brands such as Gerber, which is marketing them as a way for toddlers to “self-feed.” Campbell Soup Co., meanwhile, is seeking to win over millennials with new soup pouches called “Campbell’s Go.” Part of the pouch appeal is that it “reduces the amount of materials that are required for the packaging,” said John Kalkowski, editorial director of Packaging Digest. And “it also gives you a pretty good surface for advertising, for marketing the product.”

Still, some booze marketers think pouches are more fad than fixture. “We tried this packaging once with Tropical Freezes in 1995 and the product was not a success,” said a spokesman for Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman, which has no plans to take the pouch plunge “any time in the near future.”

But other marketers keep plowing money into the packaging. Phusion Projects, maker of Four Loko, in April launched in pouches a new malt beverage brand called Island Squeeze. Arbor Mist, the large wine-with-fruit brand owned by Constellation Brands in May rolled out frozen wine cocktails in pouches at retailers such as Walmart, and will add a fast-growing Moscato varietal to the mix next month. The pouches helped the brand to win over younger consumers, said Marketing Director Amy Martin.

Pernod Ricard’s Malibu rum brand entered the pouch market in 2010, with prepared cocktails meant to be served cold, not frozen. Made with spirits rather than malt liquor and, at 1.75 liters, they’re enough for 10 cocktails and they’re not marketed as single-serve. “The format with the pouch and the little nozzle really made it a very sharable opportunity for us,” said Brand Director Lisa McCann.


Comments

Pouches a hit with booze marketers

E.J. Schultz

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

French investment firm buys Alabama-based CSP Technologies

January 30, 2015 1:10 pm ET

A French investment firm has finalized a deal to buy CSP Technologies Inc., an Auburn, Ala., company that makes specialty plastics packaging.    More

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

Profit dips at Bemis Co. Inc.

January 29, 2015 2:04 pm ET

Profit dipped for Bemis Co. Inc. for all of 2014, but were up during the fourth quarter in what the company's leader called a “pivotal year....    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Losing weight with style, plastics in the Dragons' Den

January 29, 2015 6:00 am ET

A 19-year-old entrepreneur brings business to a U.K. injection molder after winning support on TV's Dragons' Den, auto suppliers combine...    More

Image

African equity fund invests in Kenya's General Plastics

January 28, 2015 4:24 pm ET

An African investment fund specializing in agriculture has invested in Kenyan packaging firm General Plastics Ltd. to provide funds to expand in the r...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events