Anoushka Szlagowska, Founder of Tart

A new forward-thinking brand is about to take the Australian market by storm, seeking to shake up the canned wine industry while giving back to the community.

Tart, the first product from the Daytime Drinks Company, was created by seasoned industry professional Anoushka Szlagowska. With over 20 years in the industry, Szlagowska recognised the opportunity of the canned wine segment in Australia, as well as the potential behind brands of purpose that fulfil the changing lifestyle needs of consumers today. 

“The idea for the product came a long time ago. The idea for the brand came much more recently,” Szlagowska told National Liquor News

“The idea for the brand largely came from my experience living in New York for six years up until 2019. Wine in a can is much more mature in that market, but more importantly, it’s not a category built on format extension, it exists in its own right as brands are intentionally built just for cans. It’s an RTD product. 

“At the same time, a big macro trend was happening around social inequity. I wanted to tap into some of those category and social themes, not because it was a ‘trendy’ thing to do, but because it struck a chord with my own core values.”

And so Tart, the ‘better for you’ daytime sparkling rosé in a can, was born. With lower calories and lower ABV levels than traditional wine, Tart is described as a rebel brand that does things a bit differently. The meticulous development of the product is also backed up by additional great industry talent, with award-winning winemaker Gwyn Olsen helping create the product. 

In addition to the product itself, Tart’s core philosophy includes contributing to a better world. That’s why it has partnered with period care brand Moxie from the start, to help in the effort to end period poverty in Australia. 

“Through some research and exploration I found out that more than one in five women in Australia today are not able to afford period products… So we decided for every single can sold we are going to donate one tampon to a woman in need in Australia to end period poverty,” Szlagowska said.

“I really feel like we will have a genuine opportunity to make a difference. I wanted to partner with someone of shared values and it was obvious that Moxie would be a natural fit.”

A gap in the market

Tart’s initial entry to the market has been through BoozeBud and was very well received, with all allocated stock selling out within two hours. Szlagowska said she is looking forward to creating more long term sustainable growth as the brand officially enters the wider market, by building connections with like-minded consumers and filling a gap in what she believes is a burgeoning category. 

“We’d love to grow steadily and build a consumer base who truly buy into the benefits of what we deliver and the values of what we represent. Sometimes it takes a brand to come along and crack the category open. We really believe we can be that brand to crack the category of wine in a can in Australia,” she said. 

“Let’s face it, the world doesn’t really need another wine. What Tart does however is challenge the idea of what wine can be. It challenges the perceptions of what occasion wine should be drunk.

“What makes Tart truly unique however is our point of view on the world. We exist to challenge the status quo, whether that be traditions of the wine industry, consumer drinking occasions or certain social constructs and biases that exist in the world. We have received such overwhelming support for this and we are thrilled that we can continue to have a strong voice.”

Many in the Australian industry are skeptical of wine in a can, but having seen the rise of the format in the US firsthand, Szlagowska thinks this skepticism is due to change.

“I truly believe wine in a can has enormous opportunity in Australia… The biggest opportunity in my view will be how it is merchandised at retail. It currently sits in the ‘too hard’ basket and typically sits on ambient shelves,” Szlagowska said. 

“The biggest mistake a retailer could make is to dismiss Tart because ‘wine in cans are too small and too slow.’ Tart may be wine, but it follows very few of the rules of wine; it is in a can not a bottle, it is lower in alcohol, it was built for the daytime, it is low in calories. These are classic qualities of an RTD. 

“There is an assumption that RTDs are derived only from spirits – vodka seltzers aren’t ranged on the vodka shelf, bourbon and colas don’t sit with the whiskey shelf. It’s clear Tart should be ranged alongside other RTD products in the cold fridges (as I have witnessed in the US). The best thing a retailer could do is to look at Tart as a brand that will break this category open. [For example,] alcoholic seltzer didn’t exist two years ago. It took a brand like White Claw to crack open a new segment in the category.”

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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