A web conference, hosted by global glass manufacturer O-I, highlighted several initiatives towards a sustainable future for glass wine bottles.
The webinar included interviews with key glass bottle stakeholders, presentations from glass suppliers as well as case studies from winemakers.
It was moderated by wine communicator Anne Burchett, who also participated in a panel discussion alongside FEVE General Secretary General Adeline Farrelly and O-I’s Global Marketing Director Melianthe Leeman.
Mrs Farrelly said 2022 had been a record year for glass, with Europe achieving production of 23 million tonnes of container glass for the first time in its history. On top of this, 80% of all glass packaging that was put on the market was collected for recycling.
2022 had been a major achievement for glass with the success of the UN International Year of Glass (IYOG) and glass-focused activities which had taken place around the globe.
There had been challenges as well, with glass producers tackling hyperinflation as well as unprecedented energy costs.
Mrs Leeman added the IYOG was an opportunity for O-I to shed a light on the people that make the glass process possible and how glass has transformed everyday lives. Despite the external challenging contexts in 2022 the company had seen an increase in the demand for glass.
The company announced its MAGMA and GOAT technologies in recent years which it said would set new standards in renewable glad manufacturing in future years.
“We have a heritage in innovation, and we have a future in innovation,” said Mrs Leeman.
Discussing glass as a container for wine, Mrs Farrelly said: “Glass is the best material for wine because of its inertness.
“Nothing can get through the glass bottle and the quality of the wine cannot get out of the glass bottle, and that makes it an appropriate material for wine.”
Glass also brings value to the product by helping to differentiate it from others, and its inertness can give wine a long shelf life.
Mrs Farrelly continued: “Whether moving wine from a warehouse or whether it has to sit on a supermarket shelf or at a consumer’s home, it does naturally have a long shelf life.
“Another important aspect about wine is it looks great on a table, it can be served directly on a table, the bottle itself is perfectly servable on the tables.”
Diana Goff (pictured below), Global Foresights Manager at O-I, said that the main wine trend for 2023 would be sustainability.
She said that consumers had become more aware of the environmental damage caused by plastic packaging, CO2 emissions and waste.
Consequently, consumers look for a holistic approach from brands for ethics and sustainability.
According to the Wine Intelligence SOLA 2022 report,1 nearly half of regular wine drinkers globally seek to buy sustainable products and are willing to pay more for it.
Furthermore, 44% of global consumers use sustainable packaging to positively impact the environment or lead a more sustainable life.2 While 70% of UK wine buyers aged 18-34 feel a greener pack would encourage them to purchase a product.3
In addition, according to a Wine Intelligence survey in 2019, approx. 60% of trade members agreed that lighter weight glass bottles would provide the highest opportunity for the wine category compared to other materials.4
When looking at packaging overall, glass is the clear leader for the wine category, which holds a share of 85% globally and is expected to grow at 1.1% through 2026.5
In key markets, like France, Italy and the US, the growth of glass will grow ahead of the overall category in the same period (see figure above).
To access the full webinar, please click here.