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Beverage Media
July 2013
S
ometimes the most revolutionary
ideas are the most obvious ones.
Stack Wines falls squarely in this
“why-didn’t-someone-think-of-that-
before?” category.
The idea may be simple—750ml bottle
of wine divided up into four single serv-
ings in ready-to-drink glassware ideal for
taking anywhere—but the packaging is
not. In development for three years, Stack
Wines features a snap-apart design with
four individual shatter-proof stemless
wine glasses shrink-wrapped in a sturdy
zip-apart sleeve.
Stack Wines launched in March of
2012—and recently expanded nationally in
partnership with Shaw Ross International
Importers—but the idea was hatched in
2010 when business school student Matt
Zimmer was at home drinking a stale glass
of wine. A lightbulb went off and he started
sketching a bottle of wine that was divided
in four parts. Zimmer then teamed up with
fellow MBA classmates Jodi Wynn and
Doug Allan (whose background includes
wine educator and a stint at Napa’s
Chateau Montelena), and the
trio began rapidly prototyping
the concept.
“Matt and I were not part
of the wine industry, but we
saw this product as some-
thing that could fit into our
lives as consumers,” explains
Wynn, who serves as Stack
Wines’ VP of Marketing. “It
is the perfect solution to the
problem of having to lug
glasses, bottles and corkscrews
to outdoor concerts, music
festivals and picnics.”
Portability is central to the brand’s
identity (the tagline featured on the pack-
age reads: “Take It With You”). For this
reason, Wynn says, Stack Wines doesn’t
target a specific demographic—everyone is
a potential consumer: “If you are camping
or on a boat this product is perfect for that
situation—or if you just want one glass of
wine on Tuesday without opening a bottle.
This isn’t meant to replace your bottle of
wine at a fine restaurant; it’s meant to be
an option when you might otherwise not
think of wine.”
‘Zip, Snap & Sip’
It took Wynn and her co-founders over a
year to develop and repeatedly test their
supply chain, and move from prototype
to final product. It was difficult to find
a bottling line that could achieve the
correct vacuum seal required for wine.
Getting the four glasses to snap together
consistently was also a challenge. After
years of trial and error. Stack Wines’
current incarnation was born. The exterior
shrink sleeve includes a graphic of a zipper
on the side with the instructions
“Zip, Snap, Sip” and, once unzipped,
releases four glasses snapped together
like Legos. “It feels like holding glass,
but has all the benefits of plastic,”
Wynn describes.
Benefits that include a far lower
carbon footprint and recyclability.
“Because they are 50% lighter than
glass bottles, we can fit 40% more
wine onto a truck,” Wynn says. “The
trade also appreciates that it has the
same dimensions as a regular 750ml
bottle of wine for easy slotting next to
other 750ml bottles.”
Quality, Convenience
& Fascination
It’s the wine inside, however, that has con-
sumers coming back a second time. “There
is a lot of alternative wine packaging out
there, but many have very entry-level wine
in them,” says Wynn. “We are trying to
help change that by offering quality wine
in convenient package.” Co-founder Doug
Allan works with wine suppliers to achieve
the flavor profile he is looking for—wines
that are refreshing, designed to be con-
sumed in casual, often outdoor, environ-
ments. The four offerings—Cabernet, Pinot
Grigio, Chardonnay and an off-dry red
blend, “Charisma”—are all California ap-
pellation and SRP $11.99-$12.99.
“The first time the Stack Wines found-
ers came to our offices, we were fascinated,”
recalls Nick James, VP Marketing, Shaw
Ross International Importers. “We had
never seen anything like this before.” James
noticed the same thing when he passed the
Stack Wines samples around his office as
he did when he showed them to his chain
buyers: People immediately start unzipping
and unsnapping the package. “We knew
right away we had something unique here.”
Even members of the trade who thought
they had seen everything found the packag-
ing appealing—all the more so when they
tasted the wine. “The quality of the wine
really delivers,” James adds. Shaw Ross is
still rolling out Stack Wines nationwide—
so far, about 20 markets carry it. And reor-
ders are already pouring in.
n
BRAND
PROFILE
Have Stack Wines, Will Travel
The Industry’s Most Innovative Single-Serve
Wine Concept Rolls Out Nationwide
BY KRISTEN BIELER
ZIP SNAP SIP
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