Jessica Bell has seen the wine world from barrel to bar stool. After working at a winery in Spain, as a sommelier in New York City, and as a wine school owner in Milwaukee and Chicago, Bell’s portfolio put her in position to be a successful wine entrepreneur.
She uncorked HaloVino after recognizing a need for a smart, fun and affordable wine tumbler for consumers on-the-go. Her company was profiled as part of an ongoing business series done this fall by UW-Madison students.
About 950 million gallons of wine were consumed in the United States in 2016. Despite those numbers, wine drinkers who prefer a real glass have been limited in where they can enjoy their alcoholic beverage of choice. Many venues such as theaters, fairs, stadiums, and festivals have strict no-glass policies. Bell’s solution: Move over, Red Solo Cup; enter HaloVino.
HaloVino has created the first stackable, shatterproof, stemless wine glass. It is disposable, but also dishwasher safe. This enables wine drinkers to enjoy their merlot everywhere from picnics to Packer games.
With its rounded shape, full body and narrow top, this product allows for the full aroma of wine to come through – unlike the standard plastic party cup for wine usually sold in at these outdoor venues. Consumers now not only spill less while walking with this cup, but also can swirl their wine around to help release full body flavor.
The Milwaukee company has seen success thus far, as its product was recently introduced into Miller Park for the Milwaukee Brewers’ games and other events. It’s also being used at the Wisconsin State Fair.
“HaloVino has been great for us! We started using HaloVino last season on our club level,” said Andrew Pollard, food and beverage manager at Miller Park.
Wine drinking has received increased popularity in recent years with the boom of Millennials hitting legal drinking age, and HaloVino is trying to tap into this growing market. About 42 percent of the wine sold in the United States in 2015 was to Millennials. Further, Millennials are more likely to prefer more expensive wine.
Many wine connoisseurs are apprehensive to using plastic glasses, due to the potential metallic, plastic aromas these materials can create. HaloVino has managed to bypass this problem.
“It does smell normal, it doesn’t smell plastic-y,” said one news media reviewer of the product.
HaloVino was selected to present to a group of potential investors at the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Early Stage Symposium in Madison November 15-16.
By Emma Lankey
Lankey is a student in the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication.