Keg wine on tap: a sustainability-oriented innovation

How could the wine industry be more sustainable? To answer this, an Interreg French-Swiss project gathered researchers to help a French keg producer and a Swiss wine distributor make their innovation more ecological, social and economical. What innovation? A reusable plastic keg with a disposable airtight pouch inside.

To assess the environmental impacts of this keg compared to glass bottles and help its eco-conception, IFV did a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Six indicators were considered as relevant. Results show an environmental benefit of the reusable keg except for resources depletion. A shift from aluminium to plastic pouch and from single use to washable pouch’s head could improve the keg ecological profile.

The Changins School of Viticulture and Oenology tested the suitability of the keg for the conservation and consumption of wines, by chemical and sensory analysis. The nature of keg materials was studied in different storage conditions. A HACCP was also carried out to ensure the quality of the wine, from conditioning step to dispensing system. Results confirmed the capacity of the keg to ensure wine quality and protect wines against oxidation, offering a real opportunity for sulphite free wines.

Market studies conducted by Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne show that winemakers, as well as 64% of restaurateurs and 96% of wine consumers are in favour of kegged wine, mostly for economic savings, and for its sustainability, respectively. Kegged wine also results in optimal logistics from wineries to restaurants, more customer-centric staff, better service efficiency, and improved consumer experience, by meeting a growing demand for wine by the glass. Finally, keg wine served on tap is seen as a sustainable-oriented innovation that benefits all wine industry stakeholders.

Authors: POUGNET Stéphanie1*, BACH Benoît2,3,  ADOIR Emilie4

1 Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO 
2 Changins, Viticulture and Enology
3 University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland
4 Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin

*Email: stephanie.pougnet@ehl.ch

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