Kelly the Culinarian: Kelly's kitchen finds: Boxed wine gets top-shelf treatment

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Kelly's kitchen finds: Boxed wine gets top-shelf treatment

Franzia is not a product one can savor. Nor is it a product the vast majority of adults consume, or even buy in a regular store without worrying if they might run into a neighbor.

Target wants consumers to come out of the closet about boxed wine. From the superstore that has made everything from Isaac Mizrahi shoes to bridal gowns cheap chic, Target brings another option. For $15.99, the store serves up wine "cubes" (not cardboard boxes.) The three-liter boxes come in a variety of flavors and serve up the equivalent of four bottles of wine. There is also a 1.5-liter $9.99 model.

What I find so interesting about the product is the marketing. Target not only carries this product, but I found it on an endcap at the front of an aisle towars the front of the door. They want adults to check out this product and not be ashamed that they are purchasing boxed wine. Also, the Target Web site about this product explains that the packaging (usually associated with subpar wine) helps preserve the wine for up to a month, right in the fridge.

Target has to foresite to market this product with accessories as if it was an iPod. Yet again, instead of relegating this product to the back shelf of your fridge, Target wants consumers to bring it to the table using a wrought-iron cube stand. Or, place it on the edge of a table with a black leather-like cover. Or, take it to a party using the neoprene cube cooler, available in both the 3- and 1.5-liter cube. Another smart part of these accessories that I'm sure Target thought about was that if you buy the accompanying items, which are branded with the cube logo and currently fit no other boxed wine product, the cosnumer is much more likely to come back and buy the product again.

Too bad I can't tell you what they taste like -- I wasn't really in a wine mood. But I'm certainly curious and may have to try the Australian Shiraz or perhaps the Reisling, which will debut in the fall.

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