Quantcast

Tag Archives: wine labels

Why wineries change their label design

winetrends

wine label designMostly, because they can. That’s one of the conclusions of an article I wrote for the Beverage Media trade magazine, trying to figure out why so many producers seem to be changing the look and design of their labels. Because, given the changes in the wine business, with more and bigger companies controlling more brands, it’s going to happen more often.

Or, as one retailer told me: “Sometimes I wonder why they need to fix something that isn’t broken.”

And, though the article was written for retailers, it has lessons for consumers as well. Ever go into a store, look for your favorite wine in its regular place with its regular label, and not see it? Chances are it’s still there; it just has a different label. Don’t laugh. Retailers told me this happens all the time.

So what’s going on with all the re-labeling?

• It’s difficult to get a firm grasp on how often this happens. Brands that have changed labels over the past several years include Blackstone, Columbia Crest, La Vieille Ferme, Jacobs Creek, Columbia Winery, Cuvaison, Hahn, Parducci, and Langhe Twins.

• Producers, facing a need to make their product stand out among what may be 15,000 different wines in the U.S., are more willing to change the label than ever before. In addition, they know more about this kind of marketing, and will spend the money to do it where they may have been reluctant before.

• Consumers aren’t always the primary target for label changes. Producers sometimes do it to impress distributors and retailers, to reassure them that they care about the brand and will put marketing dollars behind it. This is completely different from every other consumer packaged good, and we have the three-tier system to thank for it.

• Most label changes aren’t complete makeovers, although that seems to be happening more often. Usually, the changes are tweaks to reinforce the brand’s image, and are only noticeable over time.

• Once-popular wines that aren’t anymore are the most likely to get a new label. Also, producers aren’t shy about changing labels on popular brands, if they see a chance to keep the current audience, which may be older, and attract a new, younger one.

Update: Nutrition and ingredient labels for wine

winetrends

Nutrition and ingredient labels for wineThe Wine Curmudgeon’s views on nutrition and ingredient labels for wine are well known: The wine business is missing an opportunity to reach younger consumers by stonewalling the labels.

But not everyone shares my view, and my piece in the current issue of the Beverage Media trade magazine looks at the topic from a variety of perspectives. The highlights of the article, as well as a few of my thoughts, are after the jump:

Winebits 306: Grape shortage, Bogle, wine labels

winenews

So much for the experts: Last week’s report that the world was facing an imminent grape shortage and a corresponding leap in prices sent the wine world into a minor fluff. Eventually, common sense prevailed and the news was discounted for what it was — at the very least odd and at the very most suspicious. There is no grape shortage, and the best reporting on the subject was done, as usual, by Lew Perdue at Wine Industry Insight. Stacy Finz at the Chronicle in San Francisco contributed a very sensible piece as well. Most telling was this bit in Finz’s article: “The report’s authors, Tom Kierath and Crystal Wang of Morgan Stanley’s Australian consumer and beverage branch, declined to be interviewed.” My experience, after some 30 years as a reporter, is that when someone doesn’t want to defend what they wrote or said, then there isn’t much reason to pay attention to it.

Wine drinkers know a good thing: Bogle, the $10 wine that has been in the cheap wine Hall of Fame as long as there has been a Hall of Fame, continues to sell lots and lots and lots of wine. Shanken News Daily, the web news service (and part of the Wine Specator empire — oh delicious irony), reports that the company’s sales rose nearly 16 percent in 2012 to 1.75 million cases. That makes Bogle one of the biggest dozen or so producers in the country, and it has almost doubled its sales in the past 18 months since I interviewed Ryan Bogle. The Shanken article credits the quality of the Bogle wines for the label’s success, though in a very Winestream Media way, citing points — “more than 30 scores of 87 points or higher from Wine Spectator” — as proof of quality. Though, to be honest, as annoying as that is, I don’t know why I would expect anything different.

An easier to read wine label, please: Lou Marmon, one of the best wine writers that not enough people know about, has a fine take on the foolishness that passes for wine labels these days. “Clearly front labels are critical to wine marketing,” he writes, “but is there any reason why they cannot be more accurate and informative?” Marmon details all the agonies involved in reading a wine label, whether misleading terms like “old vines,” cute labels, and variation in alcohol content. And, he points out, that doesn’t include the difference between European and U.S. labels, which take the subject in another, albeit equally confusing, direction.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: suv | Thanks to toyota suv, infiniti suv and lexus suv