Wine in a can: Attracting Millennials while keeping your brand classy

Canned wine

Canned wine is a hot trend in the wine industry, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

“Sales of cans increased 69 percent in 2018, with volume up 47 percent over the previous year, according to Beverage Media, citing Nielsen statistics.”

Nearly twenty years ago, Oskar Blues did something bold: They put their craft beer into cans. The industry was skeptical about moving away from glass bottles.

Canned wine

But now, for reasons like convenience, sustainability and consumer preference, canned craft beer is becoming more and more the new norm.

Brewers Association explains that though “bottles still remain the majority of packaging for craft brewers, as the chart below shows, can volumes, and their share of craft sales, have continued to rise on a fairly consistent basis over the past few years.”

Canned craft beer

As canned wine continues to prove itself a trend in the wine industry, it’s important we pay attention and be open minded to adopting this rising style of packaging.

Canned wine is a hot trend in the wine industry, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

“Canned wine accounts for a tiny fraction of the market, still only about 1 percent. But sales of cans increased 69 percent in 2018, with volume up 47 percent over the previous year, according to Beverage Media, citing Nielsen statistics.”

Washington Post

One of the most prominent reasons some wineries are already starting to offer canned wine is to reach an audience of younger wine drinkers.

Reaching the Millennial market with canned wine

Right now, most wine is consumed by Baby Boomers, but it’s not going to stay that way.

How do you attract Millennials, who are reported to become the largest generation of wine drinkers in 2026?

Millennials are open to canned packaging and are looking for the perfect Instagram pic. Canned wine looks fun, it’s different, and it feels more casual and playful than traditional wine bottles.

Canned wine millennials

Back in 2017, I wrote a blog post about why Millennials like canned wine. A Texas Wine Marketing research study reported some of the reasons Millennials gave:

  • I like cans because I can put a straw in it and not smudge my lipstick.
  • I like the can because I could walk down the street, drinking wine and nobody would question me.
  • I would buy it for regular single serving consumption at home. Wellness is a huge priority to Millennials.
  • I would take it to a gathering with friends, like the beach, camping, and outdoor events.
  • Wine in a can looks fun, I’ll try it. Millennials are known for being open to trying new things.

Canned wine is more sustainable, which also appeals to Millennials.

What about the packaging?

Just as is true with bottled wine, canned wine offers an opportunity to establish a brand identity that resonates with the audience you’re trying to reach.

We had the opportunity to create some gorgeous canned wine packaging for KC Wineworks, who successfully launched their canned #ShowMeSangria in 2018.

Canned wine

Canned wine opens the door to a whole new world of packaging, which gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience in a different and exciting way.

“As the main (and often only) physical interaction with a Direct to Consumer brand, packaging is the most important touchpoint in the customer journey.”


For any business that sells real, tangible products, packaging design is always a crucial piece of developing a brand and resonating with your customers.

After all, you have mere seconds to catch someone’s eye across the aisle.

Ask us about our market research, strategy and design services. We’d love to brainstorm and innovate with you! 

Click here to schedule a free discovery call.

Why Millennials love wine packaging that is not in a bottle

If you follow me on Twitter, than you know I have been in a bit of Millennial tweeting frenzy this month. Why? Millennials are the next big wine consumer and more and more wine brands are taking steps to target this demographic. The better you understand your consumer, the easier it is to create & target a brand to appeal to Millennials.

One tweet, I referred to the Australian Vinomofo and how it got its mojo – a wine club targeted at Millennials and “not about bowties and bullshit.” While that quote is not about canned wine, it does succinctly sum up Millennial attitude toward wine in general. Millennials are not buying wine for the same reasons as Baby Boomers. This video by Union Wine Company shows the difference between Millennials vs. wine snobs:

See all 8 hilarious videos by Underwood canned wines here.

Why alternative packaging?

Nielsen reports that “Wines in boxes and cartons of all sizes represent more than 8% of table wine store sales dollars today, and just under 20% of table wine volume.” In 2016 boxed wine is up 16.2%, Tetra packs are up 21.7%, and canned wine grew by 125%.

Why are Millennials fueling this growth? Let’s look at the Texas Wine Marketing Institute research study on Millennial Wine Consumers: Profiles and Responses towards Alternative Wine Packaging. They heard the below top reasons on why certain packages were chosen:

  • Attractive and Aesthetics: Packaging design is playing a huge role with Millennials
  • Functionality: Convenient. Practical. Useful. You can go to a park or sporting event and still drink wine.
  • Value: Like the single servings and the price.

Why Millennials like cans

While the buzz this year on wine in cans is powerful, it is still only less than 1% of the wine retail market. But according to Nielsen it had a huge growth in 2016 with total sales of $14.5 million, up from $6.4 million in the prior year.

I’ve talked to several Baby Boomer winery owners and they just don’t get why you would ever put a wine in a can. This is why it is critical to find out WHY Millennials like cans. Here are some of the comments Millennials made in the above Texas Wine Marketing research study:

  • I like cans because I can put a straw in it and not smudge my lipstick.
  • I like the can because I could walk down the street, drinking wine and nobody would question me.
  • I would buy it for regular single serving consumption at home. Wellness is a huge priority to Millennials.
  • I would take it to a gathering with friends, like the beach, camping, and outdoor events.
  • Wine in a can looks fun, I’ll try it. Millennials are known for being open to trying new things.

What type of social media reaches Millennials?

We often tell our clients they should pick which social media channels they should be on, by looking at who makes up each channel. Instagram skews younger:

  • 59% of 18–29 year olds use Instagram.
  • 33% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram.

A good example of the right way to use Intagram. The below Underwood photo plays up the concept that Millennials care about: you can bring a can to a beautiful beach. Plus, by using their brand hashtag #pinkiesdown they link into the Union Wine Company hashtag and further convey how they are an unstuffy wine brand.




Want more Millennial research?

Read the Top 9 tips for marketing to Millennials and how the wine brand Uproot targets Millennials here. Plus, follow owner, Rebecca Ritz, on Twitter.



















Millennial Wine Consumers: Profiles and Responses towards Alternative Wine Packaging


Texas Wine Marketing Institute presented their research study at the #TWGGA17 conference.  As a packaging designer, I love reading this type of research and love passing it along to winery owners.

This past weekend I was a speaker on Content Marketing at the Annual Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association conference and had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk by the Texas Wine Marketing institute: Millennial Wine Consumers: Profiles and Responses towards Alternative Wine Packaging by Nicholas E Johnston, PhD and Natalia Velikova, PhD.

Overview of Research

They presented Millennials ages 21-39 four different types of alternative packaging shown below and asked their impressions on each one:



What influences Millennial wine purchases?

Texas Wine Institute found the below factors influence Millennial wine purchasing. Price, brand and variety are the most important factors, similar to other wine consumer demographics. Right behind those three are label design, entire package design and information on the back of the label. Lastly, country of origin and location on the shelf.



Why buy alternative wine packaging?

Why would a Millennial buy wine in something other than a traditional wine bottle? There were many reasons, but the two situations that had the highest percent of Yes responses, were for regular consumption at home and gathering with friends (Millennials don’t want to crack open their expensive wine with guests 🙂



Perceived Perception

We at Bauerhaus Design also talk a lot about perceived value on this website and in our own presentations. Some winery owners don’t realize the importance until you show two wine labels side by side and then ask them which is more expensive.

In this research study they rated 4 different perceptions: Attractiveness and Aesthetics, Functionality, Value, and Quality of Product. Which packaging alternative ended up with the best perceived perception? Cans win overall:



Want more information about the study?

See the full presentation here and the original report on the Texas Wine Marketing Institute website here. They dive into much more detail than I go into here. You can contact the presenters directly with this information:

2017-02-17 11.00.56


Does the research translate to sales?

Interestingly, this week the Wine Industry Advisor just published: Sales of Wine in Cans Jump Over 125% As Wine Consumers ‘Open Up to Cans.’ Bota Box, a leader in boxed wine, sold over 4 million cases in sales in 2016 and their Nighthawk Black Red Blend scored the #1 Red Wine in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2016. What does this tell us? It tells us that the market for alternative packaging is growing. Have an idea for a boxed wine, pouch, can or mini-bottles? We would love to hear more about your project. Contact us  and let’s set up a time to talk.








How a small winery used a contest to pick their new wine label

Wine label design options

We know every customer has an opinion, here is how one winery involved their customers.

Earlier this year we worked with Susina Plantation Winery on their brand strategy, logo design and wine label design. Susina Plantation Winery is a micro winery in Thomasville, Georgia, near Tallahassee, Florida. In 2002 the owner Randy Rhea planted a 3 acre vineyard with multiple varieties of Muscadine grapes and currently sells around 150 cases per year. His goal with this re-design was to bump up his $10 bottles to at least 300 cases per year. He does not have a tasting room, but instead relies on local liquor and wine store sales and also sells it by the glass at a few local restaurants.

When I presented owner Randy Rhea with three label options, he couldn’t decide. So, he printed them out, applied them to a bottle and asked the customers in 3 local liquor stores to vote.

They showed the original label design:




Plus, the client showed the three new label designs for people to vote on:




Notice how the designs all have a similar design? Originally I presented 3 different designs, but since the client was going to have people vote on the final designs we needed to make sure:

  • The client loved all three designs. Design tip for contests: Never show designs you don’t love for people when asking customers to vote.
  • All three designs included the brand strategy that we developed:
  • There are three basic wine business strategies that have been most successful with wine brands. For Susina Plantation Winery we suggest focusing on the place and showing off the Susina Plantation Big House.
  • Highlight it is a sweet wine, with a stamp that looks historical or a color call out.
  • Include text on the front or back that emphasizes their love of Georgia history, which is why the current owners purchased and renovated the Susina Plantation Winery to its former 1841 glory.
  • Proud to grow and produce sweet Southern Georgia Muscadine wine.

We followed this strategy by creating a one color illustration of their plantation home, using copy that says “grown and produced in Georgia” and using bright colors to show the sweet Muscadine flavor profile. Each of the 5 wines will be a different color palette.

Next they set up contest details in 3 local stores, plus posted information on Facebook and their email newsletter:







They then announced their final label design and winner with a live Facebook video. Great idea since we know that video can produce 70% more conversions than other media.




Final piece social media post was showing the winner of their contest and the winning wine label:




Do you want to grow your wine sales?

Packaging design is a very important part of a wine brand’s sales. Why?

According to the 2014 Gallo Consumer Wine Trends Survey, nearly 2/3 of wine drinkers selected a wine for its label – with emphasis on “younger consumers .”

An even stronger reason?

Scientific research tells us that 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and that human beings process images 60,000 times faster than text

This means that our brain is making unconscious decisions about wine labels all the time. How strong is your wine label design? Is it unforgettable?

Bauerhaus Design provides full branding services including identity design, packaging and support collateral for small to mid-sized wineries. We also offer a host of marketing services to help your winery fill the gaps from strategic marketing plans to social media management! For a free estimate customized for your needs, please contact us.






















KC Wineworks: branding for Kansas City, Missouri winery

What happens when Baby Boomers and Millennials come together to create a wine brand? KC Wineworks just opened in the Crossroads Arts district of Kansas City, Missouri, and a few brand elements from our recent collaboration are highlighted below.

If you were at the Annual Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association conference in February and saw my presentation “Case Study: How Six Brands Target Six Different Wine Consumers” this may sound familiar to you!


We created KC Wineworks logo as two separate pieces that can be combined in various ways. The gear represents the modern focused Millennials and how their winery is in an urban setting. We played with several different type styles and ultimately went with a more classic serif font with a swash that is very typical of a font that appeals to Baby Boomers.



Wine label design

For this design we again focused on balancing the two different age groups. This label has a very unique gear die-cut that shows off the cutting edge Millennial winemaker. Since this design has lots of edges, we worked together with the printer to make sure that the label could easily be printed and applied to the bottle. We adjusted the initial gear teeth to be a little rounder in the process. The Baby Boomer part of the label comes with the layout. The layout is a very traditional layout with an illustration as the main eye candy and the rest of the wine information in a easy to process hierarchy.


Cider label design

This label was a little more of a challenge, because the client requested that it not have a back label. This meant that all the TTB information needed to go on the front, too. We had to strike a balance between making sure you first read “Crossroads Apfel” but still able to read the government warnings. Since ciders are mostly consumed by younger generation, we used a sans serif font for the “Crossroads Apfel” and added a fun wood texture.


Plus, letterhead and business card design:


Click here to see the KC Wineworks website design and development case study.

Muddy Arch: Wine logo, Label & Package Design


Muddy Arch has officially launched! Bauerhaus Design a full service branding, packaging and web development agency located in the Midwest, created the packaging for Leonard Wine Company. This wine company is made up of Tom Leonard, who is located in St. Louis, and his son, Chris Leonard, a winemaker in Napa, California.

This father and son duo wanted to pay homage to their hometown St. Louis with the idea of the “Muddy Arch” for their Roussane wine. Muddy Arch is currently at several restaurants in Sonoma and Napa, California and Chris and Tom are in talks with several St. Louis, Missouri distributors.

Part of the packaging process was also suggesting paper, foil, printing methods, plus designing the corks, capsules and front and back wine label design. Above left is the final approved design Bauerhaus created and on the right is the final printed label. Below are photos of the cork, label and capsules on the bottling line:


Often the best re-cap of what it was like to work on a project comes directly from my client:


Muddy Arch Roussanne labels have arrived fresh off the press!

I have been working with Tapp Label Company for many years at Napa wineries. Having confidence in their fine product we have enlisted their services to effectively communicate what lies within our bottles of wine. We are using a fine-grain textured paper with a flash of matte silver foil to capture an elegant presentation.



This goes without saying. Thank you very much to our Illinois based designer, Becca Ritz of Bauerhaus Design, for sending Tapp a beautiful design to print.


What Tom and I loved about working with Becca on this label is that she had a real interest in correlating her vision of powerful design with the creation inside the bottle. We dropped our first designer, based out of Napa, as we quickly realized the brand image our consumers would see was simply a gorgeous picture, but lacked continuity with what you would be drinking. We are thrilled to have gone back to our Midwestern roots to discover this great designer who understands both beauty and the need for consistency in brand identity.

We love producing these elegant, vineyard designate wines and feel that Tapp and Becca have done a beautiful job for us, capturing what lies inside the bottle.

-Chris Leonard

Bauerhaus Design is currently working on their website design and development. Want to know when you can purchase Muddy Arch near your location? Follow all the Leonard updates on their Facebook here.

4 strategic tips for your “back” wine label design

We talk about the front wine label design all the time, but the back is often a hugely overlooked piece of marketing material. In the presentation I have given to several different wine associations, “How wine label design can increase your retail sales,” I talk about how important the back is to communicate your brand message.

Yes, the back label is typically where the TTB requirements like the Government warning, Alcohol by Volume, and so on are located. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – the back wine label is the PERFECT place to share your brand story and show how you are different from the competition.

Here are 4 strategies to make your “back” wine label design more effective:

Know who you’re targeting

Who is your target market? Often when I ask clients that question, they reply with “All wine drinkers.” The problem with that thought process is that there are actually different segments inside the wine drinking population. Paying attention to exactly who your customers are will help you create marketing campaigns that precisely target your niche.

For example, if your top wine buyers are “Image Seekers” they will check restaurant wine lists before they dine out so they can research wine scores online. If you want to appeal to this audience, make sure you reference outside reviews and wine scores on your website. Plus, know that Image Seekers are greatly influenced by packaging and design. Click here to read about the 6 different wine consumers.

Highlight what makes you different

If your competition includes the 10 wineries down the road and all of their winery “back” labels focus on the family history in wine making, pick a different focus. Every winery should be able to list the 1-3 things that make you stand out from your competitors.

Complete this sentence to help you think through what makes you different:
Only (your winery) delivers (unique differentiating benefit) to (target audience).

For example, on the below label our client Boenker Hill had a few differentiating benefits. One, it is in St. Louis and most wineries are not close to St. Louis. Two, they want to have a booming special event business so we included the text “perfect hill top views and location for your next special event.”

They also have a long farming history that we highlighted by creating a “Missouri Centennial Farm” stamp. We played up their focus on Missouri wines by showing the Missouri Wine Sweetness scale and mentioning “Wines of Missouri” in the text.




Include a call to action

A call to action can be for a website, social media links, or direct consumers to a video. Be creative. While I think QR codes are a thing of the past, you can still send people to a custom URL with a special message or educational or humorous video.

Below on Molly Dooker’s Merlot, they include a call to action to the watch the “Mollydooker Shake Video” on their website. Great idea to incorporate video on a wine label!



Admit it, you want to know what the heck a “mollydooker shake” is, right? Here you go:

Tell an unforgettable story

I often say that a brand story is important, because you may not remember what the winery owner looks like or what color the walls of the winery were, but you will always remember a good story. Why? Think about it – for thousands of years we were primarily storytellers. We did not have books to read or TVs to watch. It was all about the story.

Here are three examples of unforgettable stories. The first, New Belgium Wheat Beer, shows a great example of incorporating a hashtag and a social media photo contest onto a back label. The other two wine labels show off stories that are not your typical wine heritage or pairing label:




What does your “back” wine label say about your brand? Is it memorable? Does it stand out from your competition?

Texas Winery Logo & wine label design: Bingham Family Vineyards

Winery logo design

Earlier this year, we worked with Bingham Family Vineyards, an adventure of music, children, grapes, and organic crops on the High Plains of Texas. They are opening their doors on April 24, 2015 in Grapevine, Texas.

A little more about their family:

“Cliff Bingham, a fourth generation farmer in Terry County, began full time farming in 1982. Since 1992, Cliff and his wife, Betty have served as pioneers in the Texas organic cotton and peanut markets. They diversified their farming operations in 2003 by planting grape vines. Together with their children, the Binghams currently own or manage over 200 acres of wine grapes in the Texas High Plains AVA. They are now pleased to be moving forward in the Texas wine industry by starting a winery. They plan to continue selling grapes to their winery friends across the state who are producing award winning wines as well as producing wine of their own under the Bingham Family Vineyards label. They are an ordinary family that has eleven children, homeschools, plays music, loves art, loves life, wants to take care of God’s earth, and loves the Lord. They make a lot of mistakes, but they keep turning to God for inspiration, encouragement, and strength.”

For inspiration of the Bingham Family Vineyards, one facet of their story really kept presenting itself over and over: Their love of music.

Bingham Family Vineyards defined their brand position as:

Bingham Family Vineyards is a multigenerational wine grower that promises the curious wine explorer a joyful experience through hand crafted wines, the fullest expression of the Texas High Plains.

Inspired by their love of music and their grape growing history I presented 3 different winery logo design options. From those three, they picked one and then spent time tweaking till we were both 100% happy.

The final winery logo design that was chosen is:

Bingham Family Vineyard logo

Next up, we worked on the Bingham Family Vineyards wine label design. Since we focused on the musical story of Bingham for the logo design, we really wanted to incorporate the farming history as well as promote “100% Texas grown.” I again presented three options, with the family ultimately loving this option the best:

Wine label design for Texas winery

After this wine label design was chosen as the final direction, we set about to tweak small things. For example, Bingham provided me with a drawing similar to the label design drawn by Grandma Peggy Bingham, plus we changed the Texas wording in the brown bar. The final label design:

Chardonnay Bingham wine label design

Many package design companies are all about showing off the front label design, but the back label is a great place to continue to tell your brand story along with details about each wine. Here is the Bingham back label:

Back of Bingham Chardonnay


Next I designed their email newsletter header and a brand standards guide. A brand standards guide has really helped many of my clients know how to layout the day to day marketing and design for their winery. This answers questions like – can I use my logo this way? How much space around my logo should I have? What type families and colors should I use on my marketing collateral?


Here is a sneak peak into what is inside:


Are you starting a winery or need a brand re-fresh? Fill out my contact form with your project details and I’ll get you an estimate.

To check out the hours, directions and read more about Bingham Family Vineyards wines go their website here.


5 tips to increase perceived value of your wine label


Perceived Value Wine label


When I give presentations on wine label design and wine branding, I often show the above photo and ask “which wine costs more?” In other words, “which wine is of higher quality?” It’s impossible to know the quality or taste of the wine by staring at the photo, but at EVERY conference I have presented EVERYONE says, “the wine on the right.”

Think about this fact: Our senses take in about 11 million bits of information every second, but we are only consciously aware of about 40 bits of that information.

This means that our brains are often taking shortcuts when it comes to packaging design. For example, how many times do you really notice all the details on a wine label? Unless you are a wine label designer, like I am, I doubt you are consciously noticing each font on the label, the paper type, Pantone colors, foil, and embossing that were used.

Instead you glance at a wine label and unconsciously think: poor label design = poor wine quality. Professional wine label design = high quality wine.

What are these visual cues that we unconsciously see? In the above example your brain is noticing the subtle differences –  hand drawn rustic fonts vs. the more elegant calligraphy & serif fonts. Non-traditional design vs. very traditional hierarchy and comes to the conclusion the wine on the right is more expensive.

While the design greatly depends on who you are targeting and your brand story, the most expensive traditional wine label designs often show similar patterns.


Traditional wine label design most often uses serif and script fonts. Modern or Millennial targeted wine label design often uses sans serif or hand drawn type.


One over looked piece in wine label design for small wineries is often the paper choice. Textured paper signals to us that this wine is high quality. Think of all the adjectives you use to describe your wine and pick paper that mimics those adjectives.


Deep wine colors or jewel tones are often used for high end wine labels, while brighter colors signal this wine is at a cheaper price point.

White space

The more white space (also called negative space) you have, the more your consumer will assume this is a higher quality wine.


Our brains pick up subtle details like the beautiful embossing (raised swashes) below that tell us that certain wines are more expensive. Other visual details we register are foil stamping, custom logo design (another words not clip art) as well as custom illustration or artwork. These details communicate this wine is high quality.


Penfolds packaging design


How do you know what color, texture, etc to pick? Know which of the 6 wine drinkers you are targeting and have an unforgettable brand story. Also, make sure you pick a designer that partners with you and can help guide you based on your target market and wine price.

Rebecca is the owner of Bauerhaus Design, which specializes in building brands for wineries. Take our free 7 week wine marketing class to learn how to sell more wine with a powerful brand, email marketing, social media, online ads and more: sell-more-wine

New website design & wine label design for St. Louis County winery

Boenker Hill Vineyard and Winery is a new winery that will open in Bridgeton, St. Louis, Missouri later in 2015. We first met owners Matthew & Jolynn Boenker a few years ago and spoke to them about their vision for a new winery. One of the last Missouri Centennial Farms in St. Louis County, Boenker Hill Vineyard & Winery has a Butterfly Garden, Manicured Grounds, a State Hill Top View, and convenience to all in St. Louis and St. Charles. Due to its long history, the property is loaded with vintage charm and 2 barns – one red barn that houses the new winery and a second rustic white barn that you see from the road.

Boenker Hill came to Bauerhaus Design, a full service wine marketing firm, to create a brand across both their WordPress website design and wine label design that were classic, yet showed off one of their barns where they plan to host many barn weddings.

Owner, Rebecca Ritz, a wine label designer and website designer, spearheaded the design portion. She presented three different wine label designs and barn illustrations to the Boenkers.  They ultimately chose this very traditional wine label design for their 8 wines:







Often we talk about the front of wine labels, but often forget about the back. In the presentation I have given to several different wine associations, “How wine label design can increase your retail sales,” I talk about how important the back is to communicate your brand message. For Boenker Hill, one of their major goals for their winery is to have a booming wedding business, so we included the text “perfect hill top views and location for your next special event.”

Also on the back label, I created a “Missouri Centennial Farm” stamp to show their long farming history. We played up their focus on Missouri wines, by showing the Missouri Wine Sweetness scale and mentioning “Wines of Missouri” in the text.


Responsive WordPress Website Design

We also created their responsive WordPress website design, so their website would be easily viewable across iphones, tablets and desktops computers. Another words, no pinching and zooming in to try and read text or press links!




Three original designs were created and presented and they ultimately chose the design with a rustic wood background. They had their first outdoor wedding at their winery last fall and were able to get some great wedding photos that we used both on the home page and in their gallery. We incorporated the same barn illustration and colors from their wine labels, so their website would be immediately identifiable with Boenker Hill. Check out the new design and development at:


Wordpress Winery Website Design