“A truly good wine tastes good poured from a bottle, a jug, a wine skin, a box, a decanter, a flagon or in Ben Wren’s case a can…” And who can disagree with that?
Ben Wren ruffled feathers almost a year ago for the first time when he produced premium wine in a box. But it seemed South African’s weren’t quite ready yet. Undefeated he is now back on the scene more infused that ever by his latest venture; Wine in a can. It’s not revolutionary internationally, in fact has been on the market since 2004 in America and is a proven concept gaining in popularity year on year. But he is at the forefront of the canning revolution locally and has paved the way for others to to join his quest.
The canned wine market is now worth over US$70 million in the US, up from 70% in 2018, according to Nielsen data for the year to March 2019. In the UK the category has increased by 125% year-on-year to August 2019, and is now worth over £3.6 million.
Wine in a Can may just seem like a fad to the conventual wine consumer, but it is the Generation Z who are the target market; the eco warriors, who are driven by innovation and convenience. They aren’t scared of change. Ben Wren, the founder of Ben Wren Wines has used his advertising background to really understand his target market and give them what they actually want, and not just the traditions they inherit. Ben Wren Canned wine is an unexpected adventure directed at under 35 year olds.
Ben Wren provides superior wine in super convenient packaging. At the end of the day, cans are practical, convenient, economical, better for environment, they chill faster, they need less sulphur additions, they are easy, non pretentious and they can exceed the consumers expectations.
“It is surely remarkable that the wine industry is still using packaging that dates from the seventeenth century. Certainly it is about time that the global wine sector reconsidered packaging, at least for the great majority of less expensive wine that is made for immediate consumption rather than ageing in bottle.” Jancis Robinson, MW
But for Ben the can is not the most important factor in this equation; it’s the wine. It’s always about the wine. The grapes are sourced and the wine is made by Attie Louw, the award winning winemaker at Opstal. He has put his highly regarded name, behind the brand and is excited to be apart of this joint venture with Ben.
“Wine cans are the talk of the industry at the moment. Partnering with Ben has been great. He has built a phenomenal brand and I’ve complimented that with wine perfect for the adventurous drinker. The wines have been blended with drinkability, fruit purity and freshness at the forefront of my mind. Qualities that fortunately come naturally from the Slanghoek Valley”
Other wines that have been produced in this format tend to omit key information on the actual wine; the varietal, the vintage, the winemaker. This, in my opinion cheapens the perception; why would you trust the unknown? There is nothing to hide here. It is what is says on the seriously cool label! It is also very well priced at R32.50 per can, making it very accessible for the intrigued first time buyer.
Those who dismissed Ben a year ago are now hounding him for samples and orders. You will find these products on a shelf near you very soon. If you can’t wait to tap the can, order from his website. You may get a surprise when the delivery guy is Ben himself! He is a one man brand at this stage, so chat to him directly on instagram or facebook. Soon you’ll see the cans adjourning the mini bars of Cape Town’s premium hotels and here’s hoping they will be flying high with you soon on your favourite airline. After all the sky is the limit, and Ben Wren can and he will!
I will be reviewing his wines, amongst other cans recently launched in the local the market, in my next post – so stay tuned… its wine time!
Bubbles Hyland, Well Red Wine Magazine Editor and Founder. Wine is her passion and it's also her job; it engrains every aspect of her life. She aims to make wine accessible, and spread the love and knowledge she has in a fun and approachable manner.