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For the first time ever in South Africa, boxed wine has outsold its fancier counterpart in the bottle.

Due to the alcohol bans in 2020, wine sales in South Africa fell by 20%. Sales in glass bottles fell by 24% while boxed win only fell by 10%.

Because the sale of alcohol in restaurants, pubs, taverns and shebeens were forbidden, people opted to drink at home. Businesses closing, people being retrenched and other economic woes that went along with the pandemic meant that people were more budget conscious.

That’s why the cheaper boxed wine was on the top of a lot of people’s shopping list instead of the more expensive bottled wine.

Philip Retief, CEO of Van Loveren Vineyards, told Business Insider that COVID has strengthened the trend towards boxed wine, which has been growing over the past five years, while demand for wine in glass bottles has stagnated.

“Boxed wine is seen as offering more value, and being more convenient. Because many quality wines are now also available in boxes, younger wine-drinkers often don’t have the negative perceptions that older generations have about drinking wine from a box.”

While countries like Germany and South Africa aren’t big fans of boxed wine, other countries like Sweden, Australia and New Zealand have fully embraced the concept and most of their wine for home consumption is sold in boxes.

Image credit: Winelands

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