This summer, both brands introduced two wines in 1.5l stand-up pouches with bag-in-box type dispensers, both exclusively to Asda. This followed the retailer’s own 2012 launch of four own-label wines in the same style of pack.
In part, this seems to be driven by Asda’s desire to create a fresh sub-category and draw in new wine drinkers. But it is also to do with improved technology. Marketing controller at Accolade Wines, owner of the Echo Falls brand, Amy White confirmed that the firm sources its pouches from Smurfit Kappa in France. Arniston Bay owner Stellenbosch Vineyards also uses Smurfit Kappa. Asda did not provide any information on its pouch, but it looks strikingly similar to the branded alternatives.
White said: “The triplex metallised film structure gives an excellent oxygen barrier, while offering pack stability and ease of storing and dispensing. The freestanding unit achieves up to a year’s shelf-life.”
Stellenbosch quotes a nine- month shelf-life for wine inside its 174-micron pouch, which consists of polyethylene terephthalate, a metallised layer and low-density polyethylene on the interior. As quality control manager Annemarie Hume explained, Arniston Bay was supplied in a pouch between 2007 and 2010, but was withdrawn due to a number of unspecified “quality issues” with the pack.
She said: “The material we use for the [current] pouch doesn’t really differ from the material we used previously. The biggest difference is we're making use of a new supplier.”
Whereas the earlier pouch had a top and bottom gusset, this version only has a bottom gusset.
Exclusive to Asda
White at Accolade said the pouch had been exclusive to Asda up to September this year. She said: “We’ve been impressed with the rate of sale since launch in May. This will not be a ‘summer-only’ format, as the products offer year-round benefits to our consumers.”
Arniston Bay is imported in bulk and filled into pouches at Broadland Wineries, Norfolk, which claims to have the UK's first filling facility of this type.