FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — There are glass bottles of wine, of course. Big glass bottles. Little glass bottles. Medium glass bottles.
And then there bags of wine in cardboard boxes. Some of those are fancy. Think expensive. Some more utilitarian. Think booze for sloshy cousins at the wedding reception.
And don't forget wine in aseptic packaging and even aluminum bottles.
But Eric Steigelman is trying to crack into the already crowded vino market with his passion for pouches.
Make no mistake, Steigelman is a packaging guy who became a wine guy. Not the other way around. With a degree in packaging, an internship in packaging and a sales job in packaging already on his resume, he brings a passion for packaging and an entrepreneurial zeal to his Bonfire brand of wine in a pouch.
“With all the competition, why go into the wine industry?” the Bonfire founder and CEO asked at the recent Global Pouch Forum in Fort Lauderdale. “It would seem impossible to try to gain market share.”
But Steigelman has great hope for his fledgling brand. All he has to do is look in the mirror.
The entrepreneur will be happy with anyone who picks up a 1.5 liter pouch of his Bonfire wine, but he's marketing toward a specific age range: Millennials, a group that's help driving current growth in wine consumption.
“Realizing that it's good to pick a single market when you are launching a new brand, I picked millennials,” the millennial said.
“And so, as I'm branding, I can understand this consumer a little bit better than, say, the next person,” he said about his own millennialism.
Pouches, he said, can speak to wine-drinking folks in his generation.
Steigelman brings his Bonfire wines to the market as the idea of alternative packaging is taking hold, he said. “This is not just a U.S. trend. This is Europe. This is Asia. This is Latin America,” he said.
Consumers are looking for something different. “Functional packaging delights the consumer,” he said. “I'm looking to make that emotional impact with the consumer.”