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The premiumization of beverage alcohol products has been a growing trend in the drinks space for years. Bota Box, a bag-in-box wine product that launched in 2003, is tapping into the “premium mediocre” craze by branding itself as a premium yet affordable product in a unique category: boxed wine.
As boxed wine sales surged during Covid-19, Bota Box has experienced punctuated brand growth. What exactly has made the brand so successful? It taps into several key features valued by modern-day consumers — affordability, convenience, and millennial-focused branding.
Here are 11 more things you should know about Bota Box.
The name is a nod to a wineskin from the olden days.
Before there was Bota Box, there were bota bags. The traditional Spanish pouches, complete with carrying straps and nozzles, were historically used as portable wine holders. Bota Box opts for mylar bags instead of leather skins, but the ultimate purpose of the bags and boxes is the same: to make wine more mobile. Bota Box is named after those bags that, throughout history, helped travelers quench their thirst while on the go.
U.S. consumers buy a lot of Bota Box.
Bota Box churned out 6 million 9-liter cases of wine in 2020, a number that helped it earn the American Association of Wine Economists’ 10th-place spot for top U.S. wines by production volume. Two other top-volume-producing boxed wines were included in the 2020 winner list. The first was Black Box, which beat out Bota Box for the ninth- place spot by 1 million cases. There was also market giant and overall top seller by volume, Franzia. It produced a staggering 23 million cases in 2020 (nearly four times as much as Bota Box).
It cashes in on the ‘premium’ boxed wine trend.
For many affordable-wine enthusiasts, value outweighs quality (hence the cult following of brands wines like Franzia and Two Buck Chuck). However, “premium mediocre” product offerings have emerged as a prominent beverage alcohol trend. In the boxed wine category, the term “premium” is popping up on several labels — with premium price tags to boot.
Bota Box is one of the key players in this movement, positioning its offerings as “premium wine without the corkscrew.” With this upscale label comes a slightly higher MSRP. A 3-liter Bota Box wine sells for $19, while a Franzia box of the same size is a little more than half the cost, at $11.
Different portion sizes and palates are accommodated by Bota Box’s offerings.
The original Bota Box line features 12 classic reds, whites, blends, and a rosé. In an effort to expand its offerings to health-conscious consumers, the brand also introduced Bota Box Breeze, a line of three wines lower in carbs and calories. For flavor seekers, there’s the Nighthawk line, which features seven bold takes on varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Malbec.
Of the 22 available wines, 10 also come in 500-milliliter Bota Mini sizes. All options are available in Bota Box’s standard 3-liter boxes as well.
Bota Box’s barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon is the only one of its kind on the market.
Despite the argument that spirits-barrel-aged wines aren’t “real” wines, the category has continued to see growth. Today, every major American wine brand boasts a spirits-barrel-aged line of wines. Bota Box was the first bag-in-box wine brand to dip its toes into the barrel-aged game, though. It released its bourbon-barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon in 2019, making it the first and only alternatively packaged barrel-aged wine on the market.
Bota Box shares a wine family with a celebrity…
Delicato Family Wines, the parent company of Bota Box, acquired a wine brand bearing an influential name in August 2021. When the Francis Ford Coppola portfolio came into Delicato’s hands, “The Godfather” director’s wines became some of the most recognizable brands the company sells.
…but Bota Box is more famous.
Despite the celebrity name that comes attached to Francis Ford Coppola wines, Bota Box remains the star child of the Delicato portfolio. Bota Box sales grew by an impressive 41 percent in 2020, and the brand has more than doubled in size over the last three years. The Coppola acquisition is beginning to generate potential sales buzz for Delicato, too, though it remains to be seen just how well Coppola will perform for the company.
It’s the highest-selling growth wine brand in the nation.
Bota Box came out on top as the No. 1 fast-track growth brand in Beverage Dynamics’ 2021 Wine Growth Brands Awards. How did Bota Box secure its first-place position? It experienced double-digit growth for three consecutive years, along with a 41.2 percent increase in case sales from 2019 to 2020. There’s no denying that the bag-in-box wine is becoming a brand to be reckoned with.
It took the title of 2021 Wine Brand of the Year.
Bota Box surpassed 11 million total case sales in 2020. In 2021, it won Market Watch’s Wine Brand of the Year award. The industry publication named Bota Box as the 2021 winner for its continued success and growth in the boxed wine space.
Bota Box wants to save the world, one box at a time.
The boxed wine industry’s emphasis on its environmental benefits is, in part, a marketing tactic. Still, it’s true that the environmental footprint of boxed wine is lower than that of bottles, and that transporting heavy glass bottles cross-country has a more negative environmental impact than transporting lightweight bags.
Bota Box plays up this good-for-the-world perk on its packaging. Each box is stamped with an “environmentally friendly box” logo. The wine cartons are also 100 percent recyclable, thanks to the unbleached, post-consumer fiber material they’re made of and sustainable ink print on the package design.
Its rosé beat out Dark Horse and Barefoot on Drizly’s spring best-seller list.
When spring rolls around, rosé takes center stage on retail shelves. The fervor surrounding this blush-hued, floral-forward wine feels somewhat akin to the pumpkin beer craze of autumn. The competition for sales is strong, but Bota Box has shown that rosé doesn’t have to come in a bottle to be a top seller.
When Drizly — the alcohol delivery company that has become more popular than ever in light of pandemic restrictions — released its list of best-selling rosés in spring 2021, Bota Box took third place. Major brands Dark Horse Wine and Barefoot couldn’t quite compete, landing in the fifth and 10th spots, respectively.