Are paper wine bottles about to go mainstream?

March 12, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Aldi UK has announced the release of two own-label wines in paper bottles, becoming one of the most prominent global retail chains to do so. The 750 ml bottles are five times lighter than standard glass alternatives and reportedly reduce the per-unit carbon footprint by 5.8 times. 

Despite the first paper bottle prototype being unveiled by Carlsberg in 2019, the technology has yet to be widely adopted by the drinks industry. Hence, if successful, the Aldi UK paper wine bottle rollout could go on to significantly influence sustainable packaging trends globally.

“Our buying teams are continuously thinking of how we can evolve our ranges to offer greater value and greener choices,” said Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK. 

“We are proud to be the first supermarket to launch an own-brand paper bottle, helping to drive sustainable change.”

Aldi UK’s Cambalala Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc will be packaged in fully recyclable bottles that’ve been produced using 94% recycled paperboard lined with a food-grade pouch. The Frugal Bottle is a product made by UK-based company Frugalpac and weighs in at just 83 grams. By comparison, a typical 750ml glass wine bottle weighs around 450 grams.

Frugalpac’s Frugal Bottle was first launched to the market in 2020.  

“Our ambition has always been to allow more people the opportunity to enjoy our paper Frugal Bottles, giving them greener choices,” said CEO of Frugalpac Malcolm Waugh.

“Launching in a major UK supermarket means more shoppers can now drink responsibly and sustainably and we are so pleased to be part of that journey.”

At the time of launch mid 2020, Frugalpac indicated that its bottle design was under active consideration by a number of leading UK supermarket chains and hospitality groups, suggesting the Aldi partnership has been in development for an extended period of time.

In addition to selling its bottles as standalone items, Frugalpac also plans on facilitating reductions in the global carbon footprint of the global drinks industry by selling its FBAM-1 machines to local wine producing regions. Each FBAM-1 machine has the capacity to produce more than 2.5 million Frugal Bottles annually while simultaneously posing the potential to increase profit margins for contract fillers and packaging companies. 

The two own-label wines to be released to Aldi UK stores in Frugal Bottles are the Cambalala Shiraz and the Cambalala Sauvignon Blanc, both from South African and with an RRP of £7.99 (AUD $15.50). The wines will be available in store from 18 March to coincide with global recycling day.

Aldi UK also plans on reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the size of its wine labels across all of its core own-label brands by 2025.

For more information concerning the Frugal Bottles visit the Frugalpac website.

Frugalpac is one of a number of manufactures that have released paper bottles designed for liquor products in recent years. Another example is Pilot Lite, who partnered with Diageo to release a paper bottle version of its Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky in 2021.

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