Tiny Keg Can Co, operational since 2019, has officially launched a brand new custom-built packaging and carbonation facility to service the increasing global demand for wine-in-can.
Tiny Keg previously operated as purely a mobile business which packaged over 6 million cans in the space of three years, of which 70% has been wine with global destinations such as US, Japan, Holland and the UK.
There has been a great uptake from international markets for wine-in-cans including carbonated wines. A number of our customers have grown export volumes to various different markets. An exciting new avenue for wine sales has opened and is showing year-on-year growth.
“Tiny Keg Can CO has invested state-of-the-art equipment and upgraded our capabilities to meet increasing demand and has opened a new carbonation facility”, explains Tom Riley, Tiny Keg Can Co managing director.
Tiny Keg’s offering of flexibility, mobility and low MOQs has reduced the barriers to entry. Innovative brand owners are able to seed the market without excessive capital exposure. This has allowed for democratisation of beverage offerings which has seen an explosion of new exciting proudly South African brands hitting local and global markets.
“Tiny Keg wants to see a vibrant SA beverage market, alive with interesting and innovative brands; and we want to see our home-grown brands thrive in markets around the world”, Tom Riley explains.
A ‘floor wetting’ event was held on 10 February 2022 to officially open the facility. Customers, suppliers, winemakers, beverage brand innovators and many others from the wine-in-can ecosystem were invited to celebrate this big step for a small business.
“It really brings us a great amount of joy witnessing the growth stories of all our customers. The can is here to stay and it’s going big!” remarks Riley.
TINY KEG: A VIABLE SOLUTION
He says there are three problems with canning in South Africa. The first is large minimums. “High barriers to entry for new beverage brands, high MOQs in current supplier bases and capital expenditure is hindering market entry for local producers.”
Furthermore, the lack of flexibility stifles innovation, both in terms of product and markets. “New beverage types, flavours and categories are emerging internationally, but are not accessible due to the above-mentioned constraints.”
Generic service offerings are also impeding progress within the category. According to Riley, there are currently no turnkey bespoke products and packaging options available.
Not only does Tiny Keg offer mobile services for canning on-site at a brand’s own facility, but its agility and flexibility ensures low MOQ’s, seven can sizes as well as a broad range of packaged products.
“With purpose-built facilities for mixing and carbonation, Tiny Keg’s services allow producers a turn-key, shipping-ready, bespoke service,” Riley comments.
Tiny Keg also offers additional can decoration services for sleeves and labels as well as SAWIS certification and real applications.
Mobile and micro canning inspired a revolution in drinks in the USA. First in beer, and now in wine and other beverages. The same is increasingly happening in beverage markets around the world, and Tiny Keg’s mission is to bring that revolution home to South Africa.
“We think that South Africa’s ever-changing drinks industry is ready for us. Our producers want great packaging quality, to stand out on the shelf, and to appeal to consumers around the world. Our consumers want interesting experiences, high-quality products, and to be more environmentally conscious.”
A CUSTOMER’S STORY
Lubanzi Wines, a socially-conscious wine brand, crafts ethically produced wine that punches well above its weight and creates a difference in the lives of the labourers who live and work on South Africa’s wine farms.
“Tiny Keg have been pioneers in facilitating opportunities for companies like us in the SA market – making bespoke production and route to market no longer mutually exclusive. It’s our collaborative partnership that has allowed us to build a supply chain entirely in South Africa,” says founder Walker Brown.