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How to make your startup stand out? Learn from this wine startup case

Ingo Nassau does not give up. Dozens of times, the 54-year-old has already blown off the purchasing managers of supermarkets and discounters in Germany. “Such a nonsense, but no one buys” gets the sales expert from the Ruhr regularly heard. And the advice that he should finally come up with a real product.

“I have a real product” says Nassau defiantly. “And now also a real success story,” says the CEO of the startup Finest Food Factory from Bochum with reference to increasingly large sales volumes of his goods in America and Asia. The entrepreneur will therefore continue to try to get shelf space in the German trade – and for canned wine.

Wine + is the name of the product that Nassau offers to German retailers, such as sour beer. Behind it is wine of the grape varieties Merlot, Riesling and Dornfelder, bottled in black quarter liter cans with so-called soft-touch feeling for a soft and non-slip grip.

Rising sales in the US

The content comes from various winemakers from Rheinhessen, bottled at the more than 150 years old winery Bermes in Wörrstadt in the district of Alzey-Worms. “This is not a Château Lafite-Rothschild, which we fill here,” says Nassau in the world-wide discussion on the edge of the world’s largest industry fair Prowein in Dusseldorf. But it is also no plörre. “Our cans can easily keep up with a bottle of wine”.

On open ears this statement meets especially in America. There, the topic of canned wine, which according to experts has been around since 1936, seems to emerge from the niche after many decades. In any case, the consumer researchers of Nielsen report skyrocketing sales in the US, where in addition to Wine + including the wine company of US film director Francis Ford Coppola or the Union Wine Company with the brand Underwood are represented on the market, to suppliers from Chile and Australia. In 2017, for example, the increase was more than 50 percent, higher than any other alternative wine packaging. And also in 2018, there were apparently again increases in the clear double-digit percentage range.

Now clear the large retailers in the United States shelf space for wine from the tin, report industry observers. In addition, sales television is on the rise. “QVC wants to offer our products in the future” says Wine + founder Nassau. Only recently he had been to negotiations in the headquarters of the TV station. The result: Wine + will soon be featured in a food and beverage show that runs on Wednesdays and attracts an average of 22 million consumers.

Generation Y is the target audience

The startup Finest Food Factory, which sells under the name Secco + sparkling wine in canned, therefore, its stock in the United States vigorously on. Especially since Nassau sees the breakthrough now done. “In America, the can has become established as a container for wine”, believes the entrepreneur, who now hopes for radiation effects on Europe and especially on a rethinking in German trade.

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Encouragement comes from the experts from Nielsen. “America is often a trendsetter when it comes to drinks” says Christiane Stuck, who is watching the wine market for the consumer research company. Therefore, it can not be ruled out that canned wine could also come to Germany as a trendy drink.

Published inStartups

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