Alicia Towns Franken
Alicia Towns Franken, with over 25 years in the hospitality industry, is VP Wine Portfolio at Archer Roose, one of the leading canned wine companies in the U.S.. She is responsible for growing the wine portfolio of Archer Roose and for creating an industry-focused program to helped strengthen category awareness of alternative packaging, by developing stronger ties with the winemakers, thinkers, critics, distributors, movers and shakers that are the gatekeepers in this industry in order to raise Archer Roose’s profile.
In addition, Alicia serves on the board and also heads mentorship at Wine Unify, an organization who’s mission is to welcome, elevate, and amplify the voices of underrepresented minorities in the wine industry. She believes that elevating the experience and influence of diverse members of the wine community is but one of many valuable pieces of todays complicated puzzle.
The Quest to Democratize Wine: Increasing Access and Inclusivity in the Wine Industry
The wine industry is suffering. There is a perceived “barrier to entry” that for years went unchecked. But now we are losing a younger generation of wine drinkers who cannot afford the wines of their parents generation and who are intolerant of any notion of elitism/snobbery, to the Ready to Drink category. This is a generation that values authenticity, health, sustainability, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. In other words a generation that will go around the gatekeeper as we saw with Shawn Carter, aka Jayz when faced with a choice, called out the racist comment, took his fans and built his own brand, i.e. “ I don’t need you, you need me”.
Is alternative packaging the answer. “Drinkers ages 21 to 34 represent only 15% of bottled wine buyers but 26% of canned wine buyers and 29% of canned sparkling wine buyers,” By leveraging new formats that can: help reduce the “barrier to entry”, is better for the environment and will fit into their active lifestyle, alternative packaging can provide new revenue streams for the industry. At Archer Roose, we set out to democratize high quality wine by bringing a better, consciously-made glass of wine to consumers, in a format to fit their lifestyles and freeing it from “special occasions so it can be enjoyed at an accessible price point-everyday .