Bonnie Cliff (BC): Has the trend towards sustainability been affected by the coronavirus outbreak?
Amelia Dales (AD): It’s clear that sustainability continues to be top of mind for both consumers and businesses and has in fact come to the fore during the coronavirus outbreak. According to Google Trends, search interests in ‘How to live a sustainable lifestyle’ increased by more than 4,550% between February and April, coinciding with the start of the lockdown period. Additionally, a study conducted in April 2020 by London-based research company Ipsos Mori revealed that 71% of adults globally agree that climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19 in the long term. In a positive sense, there has been a wake-up call as to the seriousness of a global climate crisis and the need to develop more sustainable lifestyles to combat it.
BC: How have you managed customer expectations over the last six months? Have you adopted any new technologies to cope?
AD: It is important to mention that Garçon Wines operates as a business to business company rather than selling to consumers. Through our business customers, stockists of our letterbox-friendly flat wine bottles, we saw an almost 600% rise in demand of our product during lockdown. The convenience and safety of a contactless delivery of a bottle of wine through the letterbox, without having to go to the supermarket, was an attractive offering for people while we were confined to our homes. As we go into the final quarter of the year and beyond, the continuous growth of ecommerce is certain. We offer companies an upgrade to 21st century product 'hardware' with our innovative flat wine bottles that are ideally suited to online wine sales. We have many companies wanting to onboard our packaging as their new technology to help them adapt to new and rising consumer demands for wine deliveries.
BC: What are the key areas for development in innovative packaging?
AD: In my view, development in innovative packaging is founded on creating packaging that is fit for purpose within a 21st century world in urgent need of greater sustainability. Being fit for purpose encompasses considerations of recycling infrastructure in the country the packaging is used, logistics and a whole host of more granular considerations that must be designed into a product. As a specific example, I hope that we soon see greater traceability throughout the lifecycle, and particularly in the recycling of products, to ensure fully circular models where no packaging goes to waste.
Importantly, we should base developments on the premise that there is no one size fits all solution but rather a right size fits the right application depending on the product used itself, the channel it is sold into and the country. This is where innovation stands great chance of success. In terms of wine, the current dominant, one-size fits all approach is the round, glass bottle, which is no longer fit for almost all applications in the 21st century. One example of how the industry has identified a different scenario is how keg wines are becoming more popular for house wines in restaurants or bars, which sell through in much greater volumes. In this specific application, decanting wine from keg to glass or bottle for immediate consumption is by far the most sustainable solution. For everyday drinking, we believe our eco, flat wine bottles are the more sustainable solution for mass-market wines, which constitute around 85% of the bottles of wine consumed annually around the world.
Learn more from Amelia and other experts in the industry at the SHD Logistics Digital Conference on Thursday 15th October. Book your place here.