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2023 WINExpo Recap & Launch of New Wine Packaging Product, EcoVino™

Bay Cities and Cruz Foam launch sustainable wine shipping box.

The 2023 WINExpo, wine's premier trade show of the year, proved to be a massive success!

Cruz Foam, in collaboration with Bay Cities, participated in this year's event held in Santa Rosa, CA. The Expo surpassed all expectations, boasting a sprawling vendor exhibition spread across two buildings and an expanded outdoor area. It provided a dynamic platform for engaging discussions, captivating demonstrations, and lucrative deals within every facet of the wine industry and its supporting sectors.

The event drew an impressive crowd of over 2,000 attendees, creating a vibrant atmosphere filled with diverse speakers, enticing sales opportunities, and even a touch of wine tasting.

Amidst the exhilarating festivities, Cruz Foam and Bay Cities seized the spotlight with a groundbreaking announcement at the Expo—the unveiling of EcoVino™, the wine industry's inaugural and most environmentally sustainable shipping solution for impact and temperature control. This marked a significant leap forward for the industry, setting a new standard for eco-friendly practices.

The newly launched EcoVino product is a 100% sustainable wine bottle shipping package for wineries and the growing number of environmentally-conscious consumers. The package is not only entirely reusable but also exemplifies environmental responsibility during disposal. Once it reaches the end of its life cycle, the Cruz Foam insulation can be composted,* and the outer corrugated layer can be recycled in a curbside recycling bin.

This newly developed foam made from upcycled food waste will revolutionize the wine shipping industry and marks a significant stride forward in the packaging circularity movement that offers several benefits to eco-conscious wineries, including:

  • Reducing waste by breaking down into nutrient-rich compost instead of languishing in landfills;

  • Lighter weight and more compact packaging material resulting in lower freight costs;

  • Insulating wine from temperature extremes

  • Appealing to consumers who are increasingly buying from businesses with more sustainable solutions.

“We are excited about the debut of the eco-friendly wine shipping solution at this year’s WIN Expo,” says Sahar Mehrabzadeh, EVP of Sales at Bay Cities. “Being an employee-owned company makes us [Bay Cities] passionate about creating customer-tailored solutions like the 100% sustainable shipping solution engineered to protect fragile, temperature-sensitive wine bottles in transit.”

Bay Cities Wine Shippers

Toby Corey, Executive Chairman & COO of Cruz Foam, agrees. “We wanted to solve the issue that our winery customers have with shipping wine during the hot summer months. This proprietary innovation is environmentally controlled and 100% sustainable, made with our compostable foam and recyclable corrugated paper, which aligns with our circular material focus. It has been great working with a partner that has put sustainability at the forefront of everything they do.”

Bay Cities is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Their sustainable packaging is composed of 90% post-consumer material and is 100% recyclable. Its paper is from the New Indy paper mill, which runs on renewable sources for 73% of its energy, and, in turn, the steam generated powers Bay Cities’ corrugator with zero waste and zero transmissions in the manufacturing of the corrugated board. Cruz Foam’s compostable formula is currently in the process of ASTM testing and obtaining the appropriate certifications for this new product.

Additionally, Bay Cities ensures the shipping integrity of all sustainable packaging with rigorous testing in its in-house, ISTA-certified testing labs. The lab equipment simulates on-the-road shipping conditions to make sure wine bottles are protected from breakage when packages slide back and forth when trucks climb mountains, bounce as they maneuver over potholes, or survive inadvertent falls during transit.

Bay Cities Wine Shipping Box

The Bay Cities winery portfolio includes over 50 wine packaging and shipping projects, from gift laydown boxes to point-of-sale displays and brown box shipping. It also has a creative services team for branding and graphic design, a structural design team to develop displays and other products it manufactures, and packout, fulfillment, and distribution facilities in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Jose, and Bentonville, AR. An added benefit is taking advantage of its strong relationships with U.S. grocery chains nationwide.

*Compostability certification in progress

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