News > April 2024

If you want to cut wine’s carbon footprint, consider concentrating

Monday 08 April 2024

‘British made light and low can be a good way to go’ to cut carbon by 25% in retail wines
Supermarkets could cut the carbon footprint of some of their entry level wines by a quarter if they move to British made light and low wines made from grape concentrate, according to new independent research.
Broadland Drinks, the UK-based drinks producer and co-packer that has pitched itself as a ‘one stop shop to cut carbon’, recently commissioned a CarbonCloud survey which found that its 8% ABV British wines made from fermenting concentrated grape juice, typically have a 25% lower carbon footprint than imported wines.
As the trend for no-and-low-alcohol (no-lo) wine continues to grow, and retailers look for innovative ways to decarbonise shoppers’ baskets, locally-made wine has vast scope for driving innovation and category growth, while playing a key role in helping retailers meet their sustainability goals.
Broadland Drinks’ CarbonCloud survey follows a report from the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) last year, that revealed the biggest opportunity for reducing the environmental impact of packaging in UK supermarkets lies in the Beer, Wine and Spirits (BWS) and non-alcoholic drinks category, which weighs in at 33% of a supermarket’s entire environmental packaging impact.
To meet the industry’s commitment to halve the environmental impacts of their packaging systems by 2030, will require major changes. The IGD report said to meet this goal, supermarkets need to increase recycled content, maximise recyclability and decarbonise supply chains.
This method of production from concentrate makes it easier to control the ABV (alcohol by volume), anywhere between 0% and 15%. This is ideal for the low and medium alcohol range and makes products more affordable and accessible to consumers who may be more health aware, have less disposable income available or are choosing to drink in moderation.
Broadland Drinks’ portfolio of made from grape concentrate wines include its popular Three Mills range, including a Crisp White, Fruity Red and Fruity Rosé in ABVs at 0%, 5% and 8% and Fruit Fusion Summer Berry, Dark Fruits and Tropical Fruits wines at 5%, as well Mulled Wines.
DEFRA’s 2024 wine reforms which aim to unlock innovation and increase consumer choice by including the blending of imported wines from different countries and the blending of wines with other ingredients, mean Broadland Drinks is ideally positioned with its expertise and BRC AA+ facility to take advantage of this reinvigoration of the wine category to offer consumers more choice.
The proposed reforms also indicate a government in favour of enhancing consumer understanding of the product, increasing their confidence in purchasing no-lo wines and supporting them to make healthier choices.
With 58 years’ experience of innovating and pioneering new forms of wine and low carbon packaging formats, Broadland Drinks has been fermenting base wines from grape concentrate, adding natural ingredients, and innovating to create many wines: from award-winning mulled wines and tonic wines to fruit wines, botanical and fortified wines.
Broadland’s own British wines have won IWSC medals – a testament to their quality. ( Its innovative Three Mills 0% ‘tastes just like wine’ according to ITV This Morning’s Alison Hammond, but uses up to five times less energy to make than de-alcoholised alternatives.
Broadland Drinks CEO Mark Lansley said: “With the decline in global wine consumption, its high carbon footprint, the health risks and the high price of “standard wine”, wine made from concentrates can help play a part in increasing sales, reducing prices and cutting carbon.
“Our independent research from CarbonCloud showed our 8% ABV British wines made from fermenting concentrated grape juice have a 25% lower carbon footprint than imported wines.
“We’ve spent decades fermenting base wines from grape concentrate, adding natural ingredients and innovating to create all sorts of wines like mulled, fruit fusion and fortified.
“When we make our wines from concentrates, it’s very easy for us to produce wines at any ABV between 5% and 15%, making them great for the low and medium alcohol range so they’re lower in calories with a lower duty cost, leading to lower priced entry-level wine for those consumers who find themselves looking for cheaper alternatives.
“Creating wines from fermenting concentrated grape juice here in the UK that are low in price, alcohol and carbon can be a useful option for entry level wine drinkers and retailers.
Broadland Drinks supports wine retailers and producers to reduce carbon with its One Stop Shop to Cut Carbon, by leveraging the company’s low carbon drinks and packaging formats and inherent commitment to sustainability.  
It is aiming to eliminate fossil fuel usage at its winery by 2025 and is well on track.
The Norfolk-headquartered company offers a full range of low carbon wines and drinks alongside a range of packaging formats including BiBs, lightweight glass bottles, paper bottles, kegs and aluminium cans. It was one of the first companies in the UK to install a Bag in Box filling line 45 years ago.
It has already invested in 1,000 500w solar panels to cover its winery roof leading to on-site generation of over a third of its electricity consumption with the rest of its power met by renewable energy. And it has switched to LED lighting in office and production areas, completed the switching of its fleet of forklift trucks from gas to electric and introduced a successful cycle-to-work scheme for employees.
Broadland Drinks won the Drinks Business Green Awards 2023 for Water Management. Its water treatment plant processes thousands of litres of winery wash waters so they are taken directly by drain to the village water recovery system, instead of being driven away for processing by nearly 3,000 HGVs.
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