Waitrose has announced it will continue to assess its existing BWS packaging while also seeking out packaging innovations as part of its efforts to become the “leading sustainable retailer in the UK”.

The grocery retailer said alternative wine formats are becoming increasingly popular with its customers while it is also seeing demand in stores for more sustainable products, as well as for organic and vegan wines.

Waitrose will continue to add products that fit into these consumer trends, and this is reflected by the two new products it launched this week: a fully recyclable wine in a tube and a bag-in-box collaboration between When in Rome and Phillip Schofield.

It also said it plans to remove black plastic taps from its existing bag-in-box wines in the first half of 2020, with the taps to be replaced with easily-recycled white plastic. Waitrose currently sells 17 different bag-in-box wines, as well as several canned wines. 

The wine in tube format, which Waitrose claims is a first for a UK supermarket, was created in collaboration with Italian producer, Orion Wines.

It comprises a ‘bag in tube’ system, which is 100% recyclable and it contains the equivalent to three glass bottles. Once opened, the wine remains fresh for at least ten days longer than a 75cl bottle, according to the retailer.

The wines are made by Alessandro Michelon, head winemaker at Orion Wines and are both organic and vegan.

The Maree d’Ione Fiona from Puglia is already popular with Waitrose shoppers in its 75cl bottle format.

The Terre di Faiano Rossa, Puglia, is a blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon and it is a new addition to the range, from the same winemakers as the top-selling Waitrose red, Terre di Faiano Primitivo.

Waitrose buyer, Marien Rodriguez, said: “This is an important step forward in our efforts to become the leading sustainable retailer in the UK. These beautifully Italian wines offer customers the possibility to enjoy wine in a sustainable way.

“They are organic, vegan and come in a beautifully designed, fully recyclable and convenient tube.

“The demand from our customers for more sustainable products and packaging, as well as organic and vegan wine, continues to rise and we feel these wines are the perfect addition to our range.”

Also this week When in Rome worked with Phillip Schofield to produce two eco-friendly bag-in-box Italian wines, exclusively for Waitrose.