The wineries nowadays are looking for changes in color, weight, shape and different labeling to create a brand image and distinguish themselves in their quality. Though the traditional 750ml bottles remain the norm due to the regulatory limitations as well as the general consumer opinion that this is the exact size for a wine bottle, still the wineries are experimenting new shapes and colors to add value to their products. However another opinion of the industry circle is that still the tradition is strong in respect of the colors and shapes of the bottles.
But there is an increasing tendency to use bottles with blue, red and frosted bottles. The unusual bottle sizes and weights are requested for premium wines selling at more than $ 25. But Joel Miller of Phoenix Packaging is of a different view. Miller says that the tendency in North America is still not to break away from the traditionally established standards. He adds that “In Italy if you look at 15 different wines in a store, 12 of them will be in different shaped bottles. In North America three will be different. ” According to Miller the North American wineries have to go a long way to enter in to creative structural packaging.
The wineries may not change the safest ways of packaging in accordance with the established industry norms, unless they are pushed to do so by the competitors. The best they may experiment with is the Labels on the bottles. As Larry Walker (2002) puts in his article “Silvani, at California Glass, said that while they frequently receive questions about “unique” and “different” bottles, “most customers still want antique green bottles, with some requests for flint, amber, deadleaf green, and a few requests for the more ‘exotic’ colors such as Kuprius (turquoise blue), ruby red, cobalt or royal blue and the like.
” Thus it becomes evident that though lot of talks are going on to change the traditional ways of presenting the wine still it appears that considerable changes have not taken place in this respect. Due to a higher contribution in terms of the volume and value of the wine being produced by the California region there has always been a demand for the wine bottles. Though precise statistics are not available on the quantity of bottles required and the quantity being manufactured within the United States it appears that there is a huge demand for the wine bottles in the region.
As observed by Donald R. Cameron the Chairman of Cameron Family Glass packaging “We discovered two major issues that proved to us there was room in this industry for a new player: a lack of capacity and quality issues,” This company intends to put up a large exclusive wine bottling manufacturing plant after spending three years in researching the wine industry in the US and has identified the need for such a large capacity bottle manufacturing plat with latest technology. This act of the company goes to prove that the main issues connected with sourcing the wine bottling are:
• Lack of internal capacity to supply the required quantity of wine bottles and • There are always quality issues with the supplies of wine bottles. Presently though a sizeable portion of the bottles are manufactured locally within the country, some portion of the requirements is being imported from European Countries and China. Hence it can be pointed out with the growing demand for bottles there is a good scope for arranging to get the bottles imported and supply them locally to the wineries. It may not be a prudent idea to put up a glass manufacturing plant as the industry is capital intensive.
Moreover the wine industry though appear to be on the greener side now, has undergone tremendous economic pressures including government prohibitions, effect of drunken driving etc resulting in a sluggish growth of the industry. To invest large sums on a capital intensive venture the future of which depends on the wine industry is not advisable. But from the foregoing review of the wine business in the California region, it appears that definitely there are bright chances for making the wineries buy the imported bottles so long as the following conditions are satisfied:
1. The bottles are of exceptionally good quality as compared to those of the local production. 2. Cost wise the imported bottles are competitive to the local production. 3. The manufacturer abroad is able to take into account and provide for the changes in the color, shape and sizes of the bottles as may be required by the wineries. 4. The reliability of the supplies can be ensured with respect to the time of deliveries. 5. There is a close cooperation between the wineries and the company that intends to supply the imported bottles.
Since most of the wineries are family owned there will be considerable difficulty in making them agree for the terms of supply of imported wine bottles. Similarly they may hold rigid views in respect of the colors and shapes of the bottles and would like to follow strict traditional standards for the manufacture of the wine bottles. The supplier should be able to understand the values attached by such owners to the colors and shapes of the bottles and supply them the bottles exactly as per their requirements.
References: Derrick Schneider (2005) Opening Bottles Wine. Review online winereviewonline.com/opening_bottles.cfm.