Wine In A Glass
Have you ever had a single serve wine while watching the football at a stadium, or even at a music concert? Odds are you were enjoying a Wine In A Glass beverage. These single serve products are readily available across Australia, however with the cancellation of many events during the COVID-19 pandemic, the business has been forced to adapt, leading them to investigate entry into many overseas markets.
Established in Echuca, Wine In A Glass is a unique business with an even more unique product offering. Managing Director, Michelle Anderson-Sims and her team have been providing single serve Australian wines in reusable, recyclable plastic cups to consumers for the past nine years. With a focus on convenience, safety and quality, the Wine In A Glass range was the first of its kind in the Australian market and has extended across the country, with Michelle Anderson-Sims claiming, “anywhere glass can’t go - this product can”. Successfully breaking into the domestic food service industry, providing wine for events such as the Commonwealth Games, stadium grand finals and concerts as well as being stocked in 90% of private hospitals and found throughout the passenger transport sector from trains to planes.
In 2020, the COVID-19 restrictions had a massive impact on business, with 95% of all domestic business effected. Such a shutdown forced the company to look for other business avenues, with export markets presenting themselves as a viable opportunity, particularly due to the durability of the product and long shelf life. However, the company lacked the capacity and industry connections to reach potential buyers in these distant markets, an issue that was further exacerbated by their regional location, making attending networking events a struggle.
Since taking the leap and beginning to explore export opportunities, Wine In A Glass has participated in four FIAL-run Virtual Meet the Buyerevents with industry body, Wine Australia. This participation has allowed them to connect with a large portfolio of experienced buyers in various countries, from Sri Lanka to the Maldives. The online nature of these meetings provided a “brilliant opportunity” to showcase their products without having to physically access the relevant markets- a major positive when border closures restricted movement, not only internationally, but also domestically. Michelle has credited being involved in these events as having not only “helped in turning the business around” but also as being instrumental in “taking the business to a whole new level”.
TheVirtual Meet the Buyer events have helped Wine In A Glass secure deals with several overseas partners across the globe dramatically increasing the capabilities and profitability of the business. As a direct result of the FIAL events, Wine In A Glass is now shipping 40-foot containers of product to a major supplier in South Korea each month. New relationships have also been forged with buyers in Hong Kong, having the potential to see Wine In A Glass spread throughout Asia. But it hasn’t stopped there, with Polish buyers also enthusiastic about pushing the product into the European market. There is also great potential with export deals with Sri Lankan and Maldivian markets, which has further opened up communication channels to other suppliers, including a major international airline. This flow-on effect from the FIAL events and connections established at Virtual Meet the Buyer events has had a significant impact on the business, with demand for the single serve, individual beverages increasing even further worldwide amidst COVID-19 fears. Overall the initial establishment of relationships with buyers through the online meetings, facilitated by FIAL has been a success for Wine in a Glass, with Michelle Anderson-Sims highlighting this impact saying, “Working with FIAL has given us a great opportunity to reach markets that we would not been able to on our own”.
Case study developed by Lucy Hickman - Science and Food & Agribusiness Student at the University of Sydney