Food & Beverage
In the last twenty years, there’s been a virtual explosion in the number of artisan wineries and craft breweries—much to the imbibing public’s delight. With the growing interest, however, comes growing competition. To be profitable, producers need to use every cost-saving measure in the book.
One such measure is taking advantage of a bottle repacking service. While large scale producers can often afford their own bottle repacking equipment, many producers don’t have the budgets or, for that matter, the floor space for that kind of set-up. And transferring bulk wine bottles from eight-foot-high stacks on pallets into your custom cases by hand is both expensive and time consuming. Alternatively, buying bottles prepacked in custom shippers requires accurate production forecasting months in advance, which leaves no flexibility.
In addition to bottle repacking, a reputable provider can offer a variety of other services to clients. They can also help you source the right bottle for your product, warehouse your bulk glass, and essentially provide made-to-order bottles packed in your custom cartons.
At Cline Family Cellars, one of California’s premier family-owned wineries, Director of Operations, Peggy Phelan, can’t emphasize enough how much TricorBraun WinePak’s repacking service has helped their business. “We have no storage charges, no empty glass taking up space in our warehouse—no commodity risk. Plus, they deliver the exact number of cases we need in Cline-branded shippers, and they arrive at our dock on the day of bottling. For a smaller, family-owned winery like us, it’s the only way to go,” she says.
Equipped with a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art, fully automated repacking system, TricorBraun WinePak’s facility in Fairfield, California, can take a formerly labor-intensive task and handle it with speed and efficiency. What’s more, TricorBraun WinePak has broad expertise in international sourcing, distribution logistics and storage solutions.
“TricorBraun’s vast packaging experience represents creative minds that collaborate together and consider ways for maximizing our common resources. Utilizing WinePak’s automated repack line to meet a shared need gave us the perfect answer. This allowed us to take advantage of our planning schedule for similar bottles without compromising our wine customer commitments.”
—Lanny Johnson, Manager of Repack and Warehouse Operations, TricorBraun WinePak
With growing competition in the craft beer industry, many micro-brewers are taking advantage of bottle repacking services. Last fall, however, a bottle supplier in Utah decided that bottle repacking for their clients was not cost effective and announced that they would no longer be offering the service. This new development would soon leave many microbrewers in a bind. So, to help their many craft brewing partners, the TricorBraun team put their heads together in search of a solution. They consulted with Lanny Johnson, Manager of Repack and Warehouse Operations at TricorBraun WinePak. Their wine bottle repacking line had never handled beer bottles before, but it often repacked claret-style wine bottles that were very similar to the 22-oz bottles microbrewers often use. It just might work.
With minimal adjustments to their repacking equipment, the WinePak team was up and running. Before long, they were repacking beer bottles at a rate of 9,000 cases per day. You could say it was out-of-the-box thinking to solve an into-the-box challenge. Moreover, it’s a testament to the value of teamwork. While TricorBraun and TricorBraun WinePak are separate divisions that operate independently, they both share the same goal: excellent service.
Moving forward, 22-oz beer bottle repacking is likely to become a regular WinePak service that brewers can take advantage of as they look to increase their production and save on costs.