American shoppers could be seeing 500 or 1,000 liter self-serve wine tanks at their grocery stores by next year, compliments of the French.
French entrepreneur Astrid Terzian has installed eight of these self-serve wine tanks in French supermarkets, according to Dr.Vino. The concept is reminiscent of a "bygone era" when French customers brought their own flagons to a wine shop to be filled.
Environmental awareness and the economy are how she is promoting her brainchild device. The purchaser brings their own container and fills it from the self-serve tank. The wine can be shipped more efficiently without the individual bottles, and the cost is only about $2 a liter to the consumer.
Terzian said customers are "taken aback at first, but then warm up to the idea, especially after a taste. They come back often."
Terzian told Wine Terroirs she gets her wine from select wine cooperatives. Her newly-formed company makes money on the wine sales, but not on the wine tanks.
She has even more plans for her bulk self-serve tank business. She will be opening up the selling of olive oil in similar fashion to her wine business.
The supermarkets which set up the self-serve wine tanks reported "rapidly rising sales of bulk wine, plus it brought in lots of new customers who walked in to fill up their containers and bought other stuff. Some stores decided to provide cheap 2-liter plastic bottles (in addition to the 5-liter plastic jugs) for the customers who didn't bring their own."
When asked what container is best to bring to the self-serve wine station, Terzian answered, "a five-liter jug since it is neither too big nor too small–and it’s typically French.”