Australia’s gift to the wine industry – the wine cask (or goon as it’s more affectionately known) – is back in vogue during lockdown and it’s probably not for the reason you think.
According to new data from research and development body Wine Australia and market research firm IRI Market Edge, sales of wine casks in Australia surged a massive 21 per cent when lockdowns were first introduced back in early April and apparently it wasn’t just poverty-striken students buying it up either.
Prior to COVID, sales had been going down one per cent a month, the research revealed.
And much like toilet paper, it appears boxed wine has benefited from people hoarding, rather than simply wanting to get sloshed and forget their global pandemic woes.
A smaller wine cask offers about two litres (three bottles) while the bigger casks range up to about five litres in size.
And it appears Aussies’ newfound appreciation for goon is not only a budget thing but a bulk thing, too.
Typically, a bottle once opened – due to its exposure to air – should be drunk in the next few days. However, a wine cask – due to its lack of exposure – can last 2-3 weeks which equates to less trips to the bottle shop.
Another theory for goon’s appeal during lockdown is that we’re not having people around for dinner, so there’s less need to impress. Or, the other theory being people are simply drinking more.
The Wine Australia data also found that wine sales generally were up an impressive 20 per cent since March, although that may be due to fears that bottle shops would be forced to close. Sales of bottled wine priced between $6-$10 was the fastest growing price point, while sales of wine over $50 a bottle had plummeted.
Commenting on the findings Darren De Bortoli, managing director of De Bortoli Wines, told Guardian Australia: “The consumer’s obviously discovering the value that cask wines do offer, and is surprised at the quality of the cask wines. The feedback we’re getting is that a lot of people are surprised at how good cask wine really is.”
Nick Waterman, president of the South Australian Wine Industry Association and managing director at Yalumba added that prior to the pandemic sales of wine casks were in decline by as much as seven per cent a year.
“If you can’t go and repeat shop, and you’re restricted in terms of how many times you can go and visit a shop, you know you can open a two-litre cask and it’ll last for a week or more,” Waterman told The Guardian.
“What we see is households where there’ll be people in the same house, whether they’re a couple or flatmates, and one likes red and one likes white. It means you can have your preferred variety, and drink it over the space of a number of days and nights,” Waterman said.
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