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3 great packaging solutions for shipping bottles

The drinks market continues to thrive. In the UK alone, it’s estimated to be worth £42.5m as of 2020 (1). Lockdown certainly had us all looking for ways to relax, and buying drinks online was one of the places we all turned to. Off-trade online drink sales have continued to climb in 2021 too, with total sales growth up 22% during the Covid-period (2).

As online drinks sales boom, drinks packaging has become more important than ever. The packaging you use to ship your goods is often the first physical touchpoint consumers have with your brand these days. You want to create a great first impression. Plus, as most primary drinks packaging is glass, you’ve also got to factor in protection to avoid unwanted breakages.

So, whether you’re retailing alcoholic beverages or capitalising on the teetotal trend with low and no-alcohol offerings, it’s important to make an informed choice about your transit packaging. Our group’s most recent unboxing survey revealed that:

  • 20% of retailers are using too much packaging or packaging that was too big for their products
  • 16% of packages weren’t environmentally friendly enough
  • 11% of consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally-friendly packaging

So, if you’re not sure which packaging solution to choose for your bottles and beverages, we’ve put together 4 great options for you to consider:

  1. Flexi-Hex®

Great for: good looks, protection & sustainability

You might have seen eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing Flexi-Hex® bottle packaging on Instagram. It’s certainly become the packaging de jour amongst wine influencers.

Flexi-Hex® Bottle Packaging

So, why is it so popular? Well, Flexi-Hex® is made from 100% sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable materials.

This means it appeals to environmentally conscious brands and consumers alike. It also looks great too. The honeycomb-style material expands as you pack a bottle into it and has good crush resistance.

Flexi-Hex® is available in gift packs for retail or shipping packs for ecommerce and can be used to ship up to three bottles at a time.

  1. UPS Approved Spirit Packaging

Great for: shipping single bottles & guaranteed protection

Our UPS approved bottle kits have undergone rigorous testing that means they meet independent quality criteria. When used appropriately, they’re proven to reduce damages and UPS will pay out against any damage claims*.

UPS Approved Spirit Packaging

There are four sizes available, which have been designed to fit most spirit bottles. Several of the packs are also suitable for shipping wine or champagne size bottles. Each pack is designed to hold one bottle at a time, so if you’re shipping cases, this might not be the packaging for you.

  1. Airsac® inflatable bottle packaging

Great for: ultimate lightweight protection & eliminating damages

Airsac® inflatable drinks packaging has proven a popular drinks packaging option in the last few years. Its supplied flat, so you inflate it when you want to ship your products. This means it’s a great space saver if you haven’t got a lot of room in your warehouse. It’s also available in a big range of stock sizes for wine bottles (from 1 bottle packs to 12 bottle cases), as well as smaller beer bottles. The inflatable design means it can also virtually eliminate damages, as the air absorbs the shock of any drops or knocks.

Airsac Wine Range

Airsac® inflatable bottle packaging

Whilst Airsac® is made of plastic, it is both re-usable and recyclable (it’s made from the same material as plastic bags and can be recycled at the same collection points).  It’s also incredibly lightweight and the total pack is 95% air when in use. As your packages are lighter, this can contribute to lower carbon emissions during transit and reduce your shipping costs.

Protect your products and your brand

The bottle packaging solutions we’ve mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. We have a huge range of options available that can protect your products and your brand. If you want help choosing your bottle packaging our team are here for you. Whether you’d like us to recommend a stock product or support you with a branded packaging solution, email or complete our contact form.

* Subject UPS’s Standard Terms and Conditions and successful account set up process for alcohol shippers.


(1) Statista (2020). “Market share of soft drink sectors in the United Kingdom in 2018”  

(2) Drinks Retailing News (2021)

(3) Macfarlane Packaging (2020) Unboxing Survey – Food & Drink