When the New York Mets start the new baseball season at Citi Field, they'll be offering their fans the customary goodies — hot dogs, beer, peanuts. But they'll also be providing an unexpected treat — quality wine.
It's all because of revolutionary packaging. Last November, Vino Solo, a wine uniquely packaged in a plastic bottle with its own attached drinking flute, was introduced in the US, and it turns out it's a perfect fit for baseball stadiums and other large venues. The packaging has the added advantage of being one-sixth the weight of glass and it's recyclable.
Andrew McMurray, VP of Zachys Wine & Liquor in Scarsdale, New York, is part of a consulting team that works with the New York Mets. He said of the wine, "Cracking the code for getting a high-quality glass pour that is easy to handle, serve and consume in a general concession setting has been a challenge for us since day one," he commented. "The Vino Solo package answered that dilemma in one fell swoop."
Mets fans will enjoy a specially created version of Vino Solo under the "Fin" label, a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon, both from California.
Vino Solo's creator, Singlz KDM North America, is a joint venture based in the U.S. managed by KDM Global Partners for Singlz International, a New Zealand company. Singlz KDM North America's president, Jonathan Gelula, says the packaging "offers unprecedented service efficiencies" at venues like ball parks.
"The Vino Solo bottle-and-flute combination reduces inventory costs and other issues concerning the storage and transport of wine glasses," says Gelula. "The bottle-and-flute combination still only use the same amount of storage space as any other 187ml product. Using Vino Solo dramatically reduces beverage service time as the server simply opens the tamper-evident seal and then hands the unit to the customer. And faster beverage service translates to greater sales and more profitable operations."
Clearly, Gelula is hoping the experience with the Mets will get other big league teams -- and any organization that needs to serve wine efficiently -- to play ball with Vino Solo. "Consumers want a higher-quality wine that also offers compelling convenience and style qualities," says Gelula. "And, for all on-premise wine vendors, whether they are a MLB team or an airline, a cruise ship, a convention center, caterer or performing arts center, this unique packaging helps sell more wine quickly, enabling beverage service to be more profitable."
What's your take on this? Do you think Vino Solo will be a big hit and steal away the beer drinkers — or will it strike out with baseball fans?