In these series of interviews I will interview many enthusiastic people who are involved in the canned wine business.
WITH WHOM DO I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF SPEAKING?
Ben Wren – founder of Ben Wren Wine from South Africa.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGOUND IN WINE?
I have a background in advertising, we launched the wine as we saw an opportunity to market quality wine to millennials. So that’s when we create drinks for a target market, not make wine and pitch it out to consumers. We started with a Sauvignon Blanc and Red Blend high end 3L wine box 2 years ago.
But this was probably 1 year too early and didn’t get retail support. To solve the sampling problem we launched 250ml wine cans and they exploded in the market and have taken over from the box.
HOW WOULD YOU DESRIBE YOUR WINE IN A CAN?
Well I make a mouth filling Cabernet Sauvignon/Cinsault red blend, a delicious rose of Syrah & Viognier (French CÔTE-RÔTIE recipe!!), an amazing Chenin Blanc, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a Bubbly Rosé.
All our success has been built on three factors – great wine, great (award winning) packaging and a competitive price. There is not a better wine at our price point (and above ). Our wines are light and easy drinking. Structured but uncomplicated. They are designed to go in a cooler box and sit next to craft beer. Here in South Africa uncomplicated wines work better in a can and our Rosé by the way is award winning
WHY ARE YOU IN THE CANNED WINES INDUSTRY?
Because I love wine and like doing things differently! Nowadays it’s too easy launching a wine in a bottle – and frankly the market is flooded with good wine bottles with not enough retail support. What I also see in the market is that there is a disconnect between young drinkers and fine wine. My plan is to bring a new generation into the wine category.
‘‘If we’re being totally honest, this is a marriage of convenience. Premium estate wines nursed to life by an award-winning wine master, partnered with stunningly versatile, earth-friendly packaging’’
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF CANNED WINES?
In more mature markets the category has been defined. Entry level, mid-range certified wine, high end specialist wines. And therefore, particularly in the US, we’re seeing better wine being put in cans from top wine makers. Also the range of wines like organic, low alcohol and de-alcoholized wine in cans are growing and will be more visible.
ANY OTHER THINGS YOU LIKE TO ADD?
Yes! Next to my wines, I also have a Spritzer range. They are out selling the wines, they appeal to wider audience and more friendly because of the lower alcohol, low sugar and are 100% natural. Maybe we could do a separated article about this!? Yes would be great!