End of the dozen bottle case of wine?

In a story in the Melbourne Age today (20 July 2005) Coles demands half-measure from wineries Leon Gettler reports that a major Australian liquor retailer has required its wine suppliers to package wine in six-pack cartons rather than 12-pack cartons from October 2005.

The main reason for this change is based on occupational health and safety issues – in other words, the repeated lifting of heavy 12-bottle cartons is seen a risk to the staff health – and who could argue with that?

No doubt other retailers will follow this lead and I don’t think it would be over the top to suggest that this will herald the end of the 12-bottle case of wine (and spirits for that matter) as we know it.

The obvious flow-on (no pun intended) will be the abolition of 12-bottle packs of 750ml beer bottles and even 24 and 30 pack slabs of 375ml beer cans and bottles. The costs to the beverage industry (not just small winemakers) to repackage will be massive – the profits to packaging companies sensational. Consumers, as usual, will bear the costs of this repackaging in the long run.

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