Adventures in packaging: single-serve wine in a plastic glass!

le froglet

Forget screwcaps versus corks: An English entrepreneur has sold this invention of single-serve plastic wine glasses–stem and all!–to Marks & Spencer, which now “struggles to keep up with demand.” He is laughing all the way to the bank since a business reality show in the UK called “Dragons’ Den” panned the idea when he presented it on the show. Sold under the brand “Le Froglet,” the individual 187ml glasses cost £2.25 ($3.33) for a Shiraz, Rose and Chardonnay, which, apparently, come from the Languedoc.

What say you: abomination or genius? Would this solve all your needs for wine in the back of a taxi? On a train home from work? At picnics? Your wine-through-a-straw needs?

“Wine-in-a-glass entrepreneur ridiculed in Dragons’ Den toasts M&S success” [Daily Mail; also image] Thanks, Jessica!

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44 Responses to “Adventures in packaging: single-serve wine in a plastic glass!”


  1. I’d go with brilliant AND tragic. He’s had a brilliant idea and executed well on it, and in the UK market especially, I’d say it’d sell well.

    However, I doubt I’d by one. I’d rather spent £10 on a “nice” bottle (maybe a New Zealand Pinot or a Sangiovese (sp??) ), than on 4 glasses of what I’d assume (maybe wrongly) is fairly average wine.

    Also, it’s called Dragons Den, not The Dragons.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/

    The people on it are The Dragons, tho only ‘cos of the shows name. Not the first time they have been wrong, but they are usually very on the ball.


  2. I think those could be popular at county fairs or outdoor concerts over here. Granted, I can also envision thousands of those little lids stomped into the ground, but some enterprising carny is going to sell fried brie on a stick and salt-cured olives strung on bracelets for that convenient “wine tasting on the go” experience.


  3. Hi Nic –

    Thanks for the catch on the name of the show–I’ve corrected it in the post. Sadly, we couldn’t even watch it here if we wanted to since on the link above it says the show is not available in our area. But in the fine American tradition of taking British shows and making local versions of them, we do have one called Shark Tank.

    Benito – Yes, seems like a lot of packaging material per ounce and also, as you point out, material that’s unlikely to find its way to the recycling bin.


  4. This is a horrible idea for the environment. Can you think of all the trash this is generating?


  5. I love the idea! I could see it at concert venues and such as well, but I doubt for the same price. For my personal consumption, I am open to it. I have bought wine in the 4 pack of mini bottles before in an effort to keep my wine fresh when I only choose to have 1 glass every so often.


  6. […] Dr. Vino notes single-serving alternative packaging: […]


  7. This would be a good idea for outdoor concerts and other events held outdoors where people would be concerned about glass. However, I have to agree that the environmental impact is not ideal. Any idea on the recyclability (if that’s even a word) of the plastic used for these? if you could even get people to put them in recycling containers in the first place, of course.


  8. I see this perfect for an airline. Yes the environmental impact is a little high, but they already have mini wine bottles AND plastic cups on certain airlines. This would even cut back on the environmental impact!


  9. In some countries you can buy Vodka in single serve glass (plastic, 20CL).
    Personally, never did it. :)


  10. For a time, Francis Ford Coppola Presents sold Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon in reusable plastic bistro glasses. Called Wine by the Glass, they were sold in 2007 at Giants’ AT&T Park in San Francisco.

    They’re pictured in my story “Tiny Bubbles, Tiny Bottles” for portfolio.com. The url below should take you to a photo of them. The design seems much more sensible than the Froglets. But when I inquired about them a few months ago, I was told they’re no longer available.

    http://www.portfolio.com/culture-lifestyle/culture-inc/food-drink/2007/07/25/Wine-and-champagne-small-bottles


  11. This is one of those days that I wish I had one a Twitter plugin to capture some of the comments from there. Before they vanish into the ether, here are a few of the reactions:

    @chris_beaumont: Is there anything in your life as classy as a foil topped single serving of wine served in a plastic cup?

    milbrandtvino: LOVE IT!

    mary_kate23: hellz yeah

    rmgagnon: Is this really necessary?!?

    Enerveld: Hé, wat ludiek (sorry @LisaPortengen): gevulde wijnglazen kopen in de supermarkt.

    krlayton: Cross your fingers this makes it to the US! Single-serve wine in a plastic glass!

    curdsnwine: I’m not sure how I feel about these single-serving wines. Good for a picnic, but I don’t know about taxi rides.

    @MalibuOnIcePlz: Cool! Great party idea!

    @WilkyWoo: Yep, genius – single serve wine in a plastic glass

    @HipsterEnology: Environmental Impact Fail.

    @bosco: Click-worthy

    @CarrotsNCake: This is cool… I think?

    sarahweddle: They look like jello… or candles!

    @Caneco: Mais uma inovação maluca. Vinho servido num copo de plástico, devidamente embalado. É tipo o Bongo dos adultos.

    webbetas: Si les anglais ne font pas peur avec ce genre de produits:

    @MadlenerB: sieht aus wie diese glibber-gel-kerzen RT: @Luca: Wein portionsweise in Plastikgläsern abgepackt http://bit.ly/9g0TIv Das ist ein dumme Idee

    SassyRouge: Single-serve wine? Intriguing…

    mayssamaha: Single serve wine in a plastic cup anyone? Not so sure about this one…

    denysedd: This solves all my portable wine-by-the-glass needs. Maybe its time to start packing my lunch.


  12. Dude, those things are full to the top! You’d have to guzzle half of it to even begin to swirl it. How gauche! A juice box and straw would be more practical…;)


  13. I can see that there’s a market for it – for all those picnics, camping trips etc. that we all hopefully get to go on during the summer. But without knowing about the quality of the wine, I think that I can safely say, that I’m not in the target group for Le Froglet. It’s just too unromantic for me, and I’d much rather bring a nice bottle and my fine glassware to the park, even at the risk of breaking a glass or two.

    But perhaps a more important concern is the environmental impact of this kind of packaging. I don’t know the numbers, but I’m guessing that the impact is huge compared to regular bottles and even more compared to bagged or boxed wine. And I’m also guessing that the cost of the Le Frog-packaging is relatively higher than more traditional solutions – you simply get less wine for your money.


  14. http://www.ratebeer.com/beerimages/full_size/29409.jpg


  15. There is a US product Copa Di Vino (www.copadivino.com) that looks to be pretty cool.


  16. Europe takes its time for this, the Japanese (Ozeki) invented the One Cup long time ago (in the 1960s’) for a quick and casual sake in the train or under the blooming sakura, see link :
    http://www.ozekisake.com/index05_07.html

    Just change the plastic for glass (I think we can also do with a simple shape similar to the One-Cup) and the idea could be great.

    Next, we’ll try to find reasonably-drinkable wine in there…


  17. Environmental impact? You’ve got to be kidding me. What a complete waste of brain cells worrying about the environmental impact of a perfectly good and convenient method of selling wine. Hats off to the inventor, and good luck to him. I hope he makes a bundle of money and fills 10 landfills with the trash. If you are worried about the environmental impact, don’t buy his product.


  18. By the way, for those who will inevitably be horrified by my callous disregard for the enormous amount of landfill space these containers will take up, I did a quick calculation. Assuming a 4″ diameter container, 1/8″ thick, with a 1/32″ thick lid (which is erring very much on the high side) – 1 million of these containers would take up substantially less space than 20 tri-axle dump trucks can carry. That’s a small price to pay for employing several workers in his production facility.


  19. […] Dr. Vino reports about a new, adventurous kind of wine packing. How would you like a single-serve plastic glasses of wine? Apparently a lot people in the UK like it a lot. […]


  20. Good for those young enough not to know what good wine in real glasses tasted like. Maybe for pajama parties for those old enough to drink.


  21. Amazed this was not done in the UK before. Here in China strong liquor is sold in packaged single shot glasses (mainly at railway stations). Beer is liquor is also sold in sealed (or unsealed sometimes) plastic bags, perhaps that could be M&S’s next strategy?


  22. these are clearly for drinkin’, not for sippin’

    Reminds me of the wine-version of those test-tubes of shots with the foil tops. The funniest thing here is that putting the wine in a “wine” glass surely is intended to make the on-the-go experience more classy. “Ooh, those folks are drinking their picnic wine out of foil-topped plastic stemware instead of boxes! This ‘Kid Rock’ concert has gotten much more refined!”


  23. The blog fakeplasticfish.com had a field day with this.


  24. I think it’s a fab idea! Especially if you go with a white aperitif and then move onto red. For instance, you can buy a glass of white and a bottle of red.
    I’m going with genius :)

    Regards
    Jen@cybercellar


  25. Interesting, and yes, as one commenter said, perfect for airlines. And as others said, lots of packaging. I wonder if they considered compostable “plastic”.


  26. Not that the wine is of particularly high quality, but I would worry that the plastic would taint the taste. I could get over the old-fruit-cup-from-a-New-York-diner packaging if I thought that the wine quality wouldn’t be compromised by the packaging. Given that I think that even soda tastes funny when in one of those plastic cups, I think I’m siding with the person that said juice boxes were the money move!

    Elizabeth (winefornormalpeople.blogspot.com)


  27. Funny and impressive in a quirky way, but how would you age these in the winecellar: standing up or on-the-side?


  28. Hardy’s had a single-serve product called Hardy’s Shuttles that was a 187ml bottle with a glass that acted as the screwtop as well. Didn’t catch on here in the US. I agree with the other commenters re: environmental impact. If it could be made of something that breaks down/composts, it could be handy for poolside, etc. Re: taxi, I can think of a few NYC cabbies who made me wish I had a drink in the backseat.


  29. Needs a punch-hole for the little straw.

    OR… maybe… wine in a sippy-cup? I’m down with that!


  30. I wouldn’t use it, because of the environmental impact it has, along with the severe lack of variety it offers.


  31. I hope these don’t replace restaurant wine-by-the-glass programs.


  32. My favourite single serving is Oneglass
    http://www.oneglass.it/en


  33. […] vino? […]


  34. I’d want to taste the wine first before going whole hog into supporting it, but the packaging idea is BRILLIANT. But I like @sipwithme’s suggestion of compostable plastic.


  35. If Coppola couldn’t make the wine-in-plastic-glasses work (i.e., sell), it seems to me others probably won’t be able to turn this into a long-lived viable business. A better idea might be 250-ml mini-cartons, like the Three Thieves Bandits–but with a straw attached. Not particularly classy but pretty practical.


  36. ITS THE BEST INVENTION SINCE SLICED BREAD (WITH THE CRUST CUT OFF)…

    I’d rather drink straight from the bottle.


  37. Oh, great. More garbage to deal with…


  38. Curly straws…?

    http://www.elbloggotorcido.com/2010/06/adventures-indeed-in-wine-packaging.html


  39. […] again, for the second time in a week after the single-serve wine cups, we must ask you: abomination or genius? Permalink | Comments (6) | SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: […]


  40. There’s a US company doing it better. Copa Di Vino http://www.copadivino.com

    The wine is really good, it adds up to approx $14-15 bottle but you’d totally pay that for this wine in a bottle. The glass is better too because it’s more stable. This looks like it would tip over if you set it on a table.


  41. Twitter Comment


    vino en copas de plástico individuales para tomar en cualquier lugar #vino #packaging [link to post] – cc/ @EnofilosLounge

    – Posted using Chat Catcher


  42. Ignorance of packaging materials can have people talk garbage,envious are the people who wished that they had thought of the idea first.
    I believe and think that it is a great idea.This product is great for open air events where glass containers are not allowed, picnics, barbacues/braais, taking to the beach, tamper evident seals eliminate the possibilities of open drinks being spiked.
    The packaging products making up the concept can be and is/are fully recyclable.
    You go and best of luck


  43. The Froglet is far from being the first “ready-to-drink” glass of wine that exists.
    There is a company in France that packages this type of product for about 10 years.
    Check out their website http://www.quartvin.com

    Froglet cap seems to be swollen, it’s not very fancy :/


  44. Where can I purchase the wine in a glass?


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