UK consumers are known for their love of alcoholic drinks, providing a lucrative market for glassware brands to supply the nation with beer, spirits, and wine glasses.
However, for the general UK public, purchasing alcohol is limited to supermarket products or pub-based drinking, with little thought given to the vessels used.
France-based brand Chef&Sommelier taking advantage of this gap in the market by introducing specially engineered drinkware to the UK with the aim of improving the nation’s knowledge of and experience with sparkling wines.
GlobalData intelligence forecasts that the sparkling wine category will register a rapid value and volume growth by 2026 in the UK, pointing towards the need for the production of specialised drinkware to match this growth.
How Chef&Sommelier engineers wine glasses
Alongside its professional tableware and cutlery solutions, Chef&Sommelier’s glassware is manufactured in France at Arc International’s glass manufacturing site in the town of Arques.
The brand’s goal is to bring the sophistication of France’s wine industry to the UK while also meeting the demand for durable and practical glassware.
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This is channelled through its ‘Exaltation’ product line which is focused on sensory-based design that accounts for the ‘clinking’ sound of wine glasses, the smell and sight of the sparkling wine bubbling in the glass, and of course the taste.
The ‘lily-flower-shaped’ tempered glass removes the risk of breakage or damage, and the rim is designed to be as smooth as possible, angled for the drink to hit the centre of the tongue to heighten specific flavour profiles of the chosen wine.
Additionally, the smell of the sparkling wine is enhanced through the large evaporation surface and closed in wall of the glass for the release of concentrated aromas.
As for the visually appealing bubbles in sparkling wine, small, interspaced notches made in the bottom of the glass create pockets of air to allow for directional bubbles in the drink.
Changing UK consumers’ perceptions of wine
A representative of Arc International asserted that “Our glasses are just a vessel. If they remain invisible to the consumer, then we have done our job.”
The success of such a product in the UK market will depend on educating the nation’s consumers to notice and engage with the details that make up their drinking experiences.
Experiential glassware could also play a part in improving the image problem of wine among younger consumers, who typically prefer craft beers, fruity ciders, and boutique spirits.
The transformation of the UK alcohol market could be facilitated by innovative glassware solutions, provided that consumer education is successfully achieved.