In a bid to find a kinder way to ship bottles, Bubble Brothers Wine Merchants recently introduced Pulpsafe, WBC’s 100% sustainable transit packaging for wine delivery. We spoke to Managing Director, Billy Forrester about how Bubble Brothers were successfully taking green to the extreme.
Who wants free delivery?
The answer is pretty much EVERYONE. We expect our bottles to arrive in one piece, that’s a given. But with consumer expectations at an all time high, we also want them delivered yesterday. We want our bottles shipped securely and in impeccable condition. And now we want them shipped with as little impact to the environment as possible too. What’s more, we really don’t want to have to pay extra for it either.
For many wine merchants offering mail order services, it would seem the odds are stacked against them.
Bubble Brothers Wine Merchant has set the bar high across the board. They have introduced a “Green to the Extreme” range to their online offering. The Purato wine range is not only certified organic and carbon neutral, but their bottles, labels and packaging are all made from recycled materials.
If that wasn’t green enough already, Bubble Brothers are delivering their wines using WBC’s Pulpsafe packaging. Pulpsafe is made from repurposed newspaper. It’s 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable so we think it’s a match made in heaven. We asked Managing Director, Billy Forrester, about the change.
Tell us about the change in direction
“Bubble Brothers have been buying protective packaging and protective outers from WBC for many years now. We have been using the Mailsafe range of bottle transit packaging, in particular M12’s, a combination of B6’s and outers which have worked really well.
But it’s also a fiddle putting all the different components together when you have quite a few orders to do. However you plan it, I always end up running out of one thing or the other.
Recently we decided to take a new direction.
Wine is difficult to transport safely, like any liquid stored in glass. Bottles are easily broken if they’re not securely packed, and one breakage can ruin a whole mixed case.”
So why Pulpsafe?
“We liked the idea of Pulpsafe because it fitted in seamlessly with the new greener range of wines that we have on offer.
Our business is a combination of retail and wholesale. Since the advent of COVID 19, we have lost about 40-45% of our turnover. On the other hand there has been a surge in orders from our website for home delivery.
We were delighted to find a robust, sustainable solution for shipping by courier. The new recycled boxes are far better for the environment than polystyrene, for instance, because if they can’t be re-used, they can be recycled!
We’ve learned from experience that investment in packaging is money well spent. The Pulpsafe boxes represent great value: good for the planet, easy to pack and unpack, and they’re really strong and secure.
We don’t charge for our transit boxes, but we hope our customers find creative ways to keep them going once they’ve arrived, whether that’s recycling or reuse.”
Absorbing the cost, is it worth it?
“We don’t charge customers for the packaging and we offer free shipping on orders over €100. That means in reality we have to absorb the cost of any new innovative directions we take.
The cost to us is €6.93 per 12 bottle box and we use DPD for deliveries which is another €7.80 per drop. All of this we as a business have to absorb. Nobody likes to pay for their deliveries but in explaining the value of Pulpsafe to our customers, there lies a story.”
“David Attenborough was recently talking about how we have to recycle, we must reduce our waste. It’s absolutely imperative.
I think if you’re actually getting something that is genuinely a high quality product that has an investment in the future of the environment, you don’t mind paying a couple extra Euro for it. And if we can counter that with an offer to reuse or bring them back to us, that’s even better.
So we are currently looking into implementing a discount system for the packaging that is returned.
The truth is we might not get many that take us up on that offer, but it’s about being transparent with our customers and offering an incentive at the return stage.”
The Purato range can be purchased online now and for further information on Bubble Brothers Wine Merchants visit bubblebrothers.ie or better yet, go visit their stall at The English Market, Cork.