Constellation Brands Debut Wine Cocktails in Paperboard Packaging
On March 30, 2022, alcoholic beverage behemoth Constellation Brands announced its first-ever ready-to-drink (RTD) and multi-serve boxed wine cocktails — Next Round Cocktails. Constellation has stated that both style and taste were important north stars for Next Round Cocktails, which debuted in primarily paperboard packaging instead of metal or glass.
Boxed wine might have carried a stigma in the past, but Constellation Brands showed its confidence in the category format by releasing statements that unapologetically and simply proclaim Next Round Cocktails' packaging as a box, e.g., "Party hosts of social gatherings can instantly set the scene with Next Round Cocktails offering the popular flavors of Salted Lime Margarita and Strawberry Lime Sangria, and guests can simply pour from the box over ice in a glass and enjoy."
The CPG even backed up its enthusiasm for the boxed wine and wine cocktail category's potential to be both functional and stylish by working with award-winning illustrator Simone Noronha. In a written statement, Noronha said the following about the partnership, "The fruit flavors in Next Round Cocktails were a delight to bring to life using vibrant colors, bold bursts of elements and textures, swirling and mixing in motion. It makes for an instant statement at any part."
Ann Stockman, VP of emerging brands at Constellation Brands, also referenced the importance of the printed packaging in a statement about the product's launch. "Recent YPulse research of our target consumer reports that post-covid, 66 percent would prefer to drink at home than go out, so we've created Next Round Cocktails to fit right in as the ultimate co-host, all tastefully dressed and ready-to-serve up the fun," said Stockman. She noted that the boxed wine cocktail product line launch was a commitment to innovate in two strong beverage categories — the $696.5 million pre-mixed cocktails category and the $903.2 million premium boxed wine category.
The rolling launch of Next Round Cocktails is underway at major retailers in the U.S., along with online delivery such as Instacart and Drizly. At launch, the product line includes Next Round Cocktails Salted Lime Margarita (13.5% ABV) and Next Round Cocktails Strawberry Lime Sangria (10% ABV). The formats are a 1.5L bag-in-box option with a suggested retail price of $16.99 and a 500mL single-serve Tetra box with a suggested retail price of $5.99.
At a time when reports of packaging material shortages, Constellation's launch of Next Round Cocktails begs the questions: What's next for packaged goods companies struggling with supply chain constraints? Will these brands consider new packaging formats or reconsider alternative formats that have failed to capture mainstream acceptance before? And how can the industries that support CPGs, including package printers and converters, respond to serve these brands better?