Kingsland Drinks bolsters bag-in-box capabilities with six-figure investment

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Leading independent drinks firm, Kingsland Drinks, will boost its bag-in-box wine capabilities in 2021 with a six-figure investment in additional production line machinery  that will reinforce its position as a full-service drinks company and leverage the booming bag-in-box sector.  

The investment will increase the company’s capacity for packing bag-in-box wines by 50 per cent, totalling more than 28 million litres per year. Kingsland Drinks currently packs bag-in-box wines for several leading UK retailers and contract packs for a number of top brands.  

The new line, at Kingsland Drinks’ site in Irlam, Salford, builds on the company’s existing bag-in-box infrastructure, which supplies 1.5L, 2.25L and 3L formats to some of the UK’s biggest retailers. It will be installed in two parts; a new filler will be fitted in April 2021, followed by the installation of a pick and place and end of line palletisation system. The line is expected to be fully operational by May 2021. 

The UK is one of the fastest growing markets for bag-in-box wines, up over 25 percent in value and 21 per cent in volume terms since the start of the pandemic, with its freedom of consumption, longer life once opened, and value for money all compelling consumers to buy into the sector. Bag-in-box wine is also more efficient to transport versus its bottled counterpart, resulting in a lower carbon footprint when transporting around the UK. Additionally, both the cardboard outer and the inner bag are recyclable.   

Ed Baker, managing director at Kingsland Drinks, says: “We’re proud of our ability to offer a full category service and have carefully expanded and upgraded operations in recent years to enhance our offering. Many of our suppliers are keen to venture into new wine formats and bag-in-box is certainly one that is being embraced by consumers, due to changes in lifestyle and the fact that at-home drinking occasions are set to be a dominant feature of socialising. 

“The pandemic has shone a well-deserved light on this format and it can only gain momentum as the industry educates consumers on its benefits. Bag-in-box wine is here to stay, and our investment means we approach the years ahead with experience and world class capabilities.” 

The investment is the latest in a considerable pipeline of development for the company which has seen its infrastructure grow exponentially including a new canning line in 2020 with the capability to produce 80 million cans per year. The line already produces cans for new ready-to-drink brand Vin Crowd, which is now available in Co-op, Nisa and Costcutter.  

In the last six years alone, Kingsland Drinks has installed a carbonation line, reinstated its onsite winery, introduced new high-speed bottling lines, expanded its NPD capabilities with a new laboratory focused on future-thinking and insights-driven product development, and upgraded its capacity to bottle spirits and package new and emerging formats.