Really Good Boxed Wine

High-End Boxed Wine

Company Information

Website:

https://reallygoodboxedwine.com

Sector:

Alcoholic Beverages

Location:

Cincinnati, OH

Consumers spend $420 billon a year on wine. But many believe high-quality wine has to come in a glass bottle. One startup is aiming to prove that belief wrong.

The company is called Really Good Boxed Wine. As its name suggests, it sells high-end wine in a box.

Really Good Boxed Wine has been endorsed by Master Sommelier Andy Myers, one of only 269 Master Sommeliers in the world. It’s the first and only boxed wine with this type of endorsement.

Noted Myers, “The clarity of concept is a huge part of what I love. The bulk of the boxed wine industry goes for quantity over quality. Really Good Boxed Wine keeps [its] focus where it belongs, on the wines, and that’s what shows through.”

Following sell-out pilots in 2021, Really Good Boxed wine launched nationally in January 2022. And it surpassed $100,000 in revenue in 120 days. The company has since been featured in The Washington Post, Yahoo! Finance, Napa Valley Register, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sommeliers Choice Awards.

While Really Good Boxed Wine is making headlines, so is the wine industry — specifically, the unprecedented levels of M&A activity in the sector.

• In October 2021, the Wall Street Journal noted, “Wine Deal Making Surges as Investors Look Past Covid-19 Woes.”

• A North Bay Business Journal article from November 2021 said, “Wine business appetite for acquisition tops pre-pandemic pace.”

• And in March 2022, a Wine Magazine article proclaimed there are “more mergers and acquisitions in wine than ever before.”

Recent blockbuster deals include:

• Sycamore Partners acquiring Ste. Michelle Wine Estates for $1.2 billion.

• E&J Gallo Winery acquiring part of Constellation Brands’ wine portfolio for an estimated $810 million.

• And GI Partners acquiring Duckhorn Wine Company for around $600 million.

According to research firm Pitchbook, companies spent $1.8 billion on wine-related acquisitions in 2020. In 2021, they spent more than $8 billion.

Said Stephen Rannekleiv, a beverages strategist at Dutch financial services company Rabobank, “[2021] has been a year of blockbuster deals in the wine industry. In the fifteen years I’ve been covering wine, I have not seen anything like this.”

Really Good Boxed Wine could soon become an acquisition target itself. That’s because it’s taking an untraditional approach.

As mentioned, wine is traditionally sold in glass bottles. But the cost of packaging using glass and cork is ten times higher than other alternatives. And for ninety-seven percent of wine that’s consumed each year, glass and cork packaging is unnecessary.

Bottled wine is a problem for everyone. For the drinker, once opened, a bottle can start to spoil after twenty-four hours. For the producer, glass and corks are expensive and heavy to ship. And meanwhile, packaging and transportation make up more than half of the wine industry’s carbon footprint, so it's bad for the environment.

Boxed wine solves these problems. But historically, boxed wine has tended to be low quality and mass produced. High-quality wine in a box hasn’t been available.

That’s the stereotype this company is aiming to bust out of. Really Good Boxed Wine — the company's name takes a jab at subpar boxed wine — focuses on the quality of its product.

A box of Really Good Boxed Wine retails for sixty-five dollars. Each box is three liters in size, equal to four standard 750ml bottles of wine.

Consumers can also sign up for monthly subscriptions, which brings the cost of each box down to less than sixty dollars.

Really Good Boxed wine spends around sixty dollars to acquire each customer, and each one’s lifetime value is $149. The average order value is more than $100, and the company has a repeat purchase rate of forty-five percent. (The industry average is twenty-seven percent.)

Gross margins per box as of Q1 2022 were sixty-three percent. And gross margins on its subscription service are fifty-six percent.

The company is in the process of securing wholesale distribution in five states, with planned tests in retail and on-premise.

Team Background

Jake Whitman - Co-Founder & CEO

Jake is a three-time founder and brand management executive in the consumer packaged goods and financial technology industries.

As Brand Director for Procter & Gamble, a consumer goods company, he ran the day-to-day North American business for beauty brands including Gillette and Old Spice. After that, he moved to Intuit, a financial services company, where he worked in marketing and led campaigns for the company’s social responsibility initiatives.

From there, Jake joined SoFi, a personal finance company, where he was Head of Product Marketing for SoFi Money, one of the company’s fastest-growing products.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Chestnut Hill College.

Amy Troutmiller - Co-Founder & COO

Amy has twenty-five years of experience in the wine industry.

She spent the first half of her career in operations management, working with chef Eric Ripert, Kimpton Hotel Group, and The Ritz Carlton.

She then transitioned to wine imports and distribution, first as a partner in a mid-atlantic regional wholesale company, and then for a national importer and distributor. In these roles, she had operational and financial oversight of thirty-two partnerships and two e-commerce wine sites.

In addition to her role with Really Good Boxed Wine, Amy is Founder & CEO of Common Fuel Consulting, where she works with clients in the alcoholic beverage industry on business development. She’s also co-founder of SWIG Partners, a company focused on matching producers with import and wholesale partners.

She studied at Purdue University.