When our previous wine partner pulled out of the aviation sector during the pandemic we had to find a new supplier of wine that our customers enjoy as much if not better. We also wanted to take the opportunity to find a more sustainable way to offer wine onboard including the removal of single use plastic, better recycling, less waste, and optimal fuel consumption.
NICE are innovators in the wine market, first putting wine in cans in 2019, and are now the fastest growing and largest independent canned wine brand in the UK. The female-led business secured a loan from Virgin StartUp and now we at Virgin Atlantic are delighted to be serving NICE wines in our Economy and Premium Economy cabins.
It was NICE’s sustainability credentials that first drew us to the brand. As a ‘Future Wine Company’, the vision at NICE is to make environmentally conscious wine products for everyone, and every occasion. In 2020, the UK imported 1.5bn litres of wine and with 68% of the carbon footprint of wine coming from its packaging and transportation², NICE challenges and disrupts the market with more sustainable wine formats. Glass bottles are the least sustainable form of packaging wine however they remain the most widely used³. From an airline perspective, the weight of glass far outweighs that of aluminium cans so by stocking our trolleys with NICE cans, we reduce fuel consumption and emissions with less weight onboard.
We did feel we were taking a leap of faith by offering wine in cans onboard, given the maturity of the canned wine market in the UK. But this has proved to be a wise move as since launching NICE wine in Dec 2021 our customers have told us they love the canned wine onboard. The cans also pack easily and use space efficiently in the galley carts, and our cabin crew also enjoy the speed of delivery as part of the drinks service.