New York wineries can now sell wine in cans after restrictions were lifted by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Senator Chuck Schumer said the decision will lead to further economic growth and allow producers to capitalize on an explosive trend. The canned wine industry has grown exponentially in recent years.
“Although it was already a heavy-hitter, New York’s $4.8 billion wine industry was left hanging on the vine by TTB’s outdated rules and restrictions,” said Senator Schumer. “Today’s decision to allow winemakers to sell their products in the most popular-sized cans will lead to further economic growth and allow producers to capitalize on an explosive trend. I’m proud to have helped New York’s wine industry cut through the bureaucratic red tape, can regulations that weren’t helping anybody, and uncork the full potential of the Upstate economy.”
“Senator Chuck Schumer delivers! On July 10, he visited Fox Run Vineyards to express his strong support for making it easier for wineries to sell their wine in cans by changing allowable can sizes. This is technically known as “standards of fill” regulated by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and Senator Schumer had already written a letter to them. This week, TTB announced the changes that Senator Schumer requested for our industry are now in effect. Result: Wineries can reduce costs while expanding marketing. We are grateful for his leadership on this and other issues affecting our industry,” said Jim Trezise, President, WineAmerica.
“I would like to thank Senator Schumer’s many years of work on this. Without his help, this very important change to standard fill sizes would not have happened. This allows Fox Run Vineyards and the wine industry to use standard size cans that are much more affordable and useable by the public,” said Scott Osborn, President and Co-Owner of Fox Run Vineyards.
“We thank Senator Schumer for paying attention to our growing industry. This change by the TTB will give wineries the flexibility they need to grow and give the consumer the types of products that they are seeking,” John Martini, owner of Anthony Road Vineyards said.
Schumer explained that prior to today, while wine sold in cans has become an increasingly popular consumer demand, TTB’s restrictive Standards of Fill prevented Upstate winemakers from selling wine in popularly-sized cans, including 12oz (355 ml) and 8.4oz (250 ml) sizes. Even though TTB regulations allowed beer to be sold in cans of any size, TTB regulations only permitted wine and hard cider above 6.9% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) to be sold in less popular can formats such as the 12.7 oz can (375 ml) and only permitted the popular 8.4 oz cans to be sold in a 3 or 4 pack, but not individually. Today, TTB has eliminated these restrictions by updating its Standards of Fill regulations and authorizing the addition of 355 ml and 250 ml can sizes for wine.
Schumer visited Finger Lakes and Southern Tier wineries last year after writing to the TTB, arguing that the onerous can size regulations were tightly restricting New York producers’ ability to sell their product, and in turn, restricting their ability to hire new employees and grow their businesses. Schumer pointed to a wine consumer survey by WICResearch.com, which concluded “the total wine market will grow in order to satisfy consumer preferences,” if TTB were to permit sales of wine-in-a-can in a single 250ml size, which the survey also revealed is the single-serve size most popular with consumers. Similarly, Schumer noted in comments submitted to TTB, WineAmerica, a prominent trade association for American wineries, urged the bureau to not only allow the sale of single 8.4 oz cans, but also allow the sale of 12 oz cans, because they are less expensive and easier to source than the 12.7 oz cans. Schumer explained that while beer and soft drink producers enjoy a ready supply of 12 oz cans, New York wineries have reported to him as having to wait up to six months to source 12.7 oz cans because they are less commercially viable. Moreover, Schumer said that 12.7 oz cans are often more expensive and require wine producers to buy-in-bulk, which can be cost-prohibitive for smaller wine producers.
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