A young British entrepreneur had the bright idea of selling wines in single serve portions in plastic stemmed wine glasses with foil tops.
The single serve, he reasoned, would be attractive to people who didn’t want to open a whole bottle, and just wanted one glass. It would also be attractive to people having picnics, going to festivals and concerts and commuters going home after a hard days work and looking to unwind on the train.
So he took his idea to the friendly and welcoming folk on ‘The Dragons Den’. This is a British TV series where budding entrepreneurs look for funding from a team of hard bitten business people.
Well, they shot him down in flames. Thought his idea was mad, it would never take off.
A few months later he sold his idea, lock, stock and barrel to Marks and Spencer, and now they are selling so much that they are struggling to keep up with demand. The glasses of ready to drink wine are flying off the shelves.
James Nash is delighted, as he feels it’s a vindication of his idea, and one “up the spout” for the team on Dragons Den.
Reaction to the product has varied. You can’t argue with the sales figures, and it is the Summer drinking season in the UK. Marks and Spencer are confident that they’ve hit a niche as their research has told them that there’s a gap in the market for these convenient packs for concert and festival goers. Also, they will appeal to people who want to limit their consumption to one portion.
Others have slagged off the quality of the wine, but some have given it the thumbs up – especially the chardonnay which is described as “rich and buttery”.
The environmentalists have done a dance also, citing the over packaging of the wine using plastic as a problem. M&S have countered saying that the glasses are reusable.
The servings offer three types of wine, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Rose, and cost about R26 each, for a 187 ml portion. The wine is sourced from The Languedoc, the worlds largest wine region, in southwestern France.