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Turning Point in Wine Packaging

Posted: Thursday, 27 September 2012 15:52

Turning Point in Wine Packaging

September 27 : One has come across several interesting wine labels including the artist paintings from Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux to Art Series of Grover Vineyards in Bangalore and even attractive sleeves by Turning Point wines in India, but a Sonoma winery has unveiled a unique form of packaging in the form of an evocative paper wrapping around the wine bottle that has been a hit within days of the launch.

Truett-Hurst, a Sonoma County based wine company has announced that the Pleasanton, California based Safeway supermarket chain is carrying its unique wine lines for its retail shelves. Called the Evocative Wrapped Bottles, the concept has already been a hit with the consumers, reportedly within days of its being made available.

The company already has inventive wine labels like Fuchsia, Curious Beasts, Candells, Schucks, and Bewitched; these are sheathed in exquisitely designed wraps that tell a story, give a recipe, or celebrate a special occasion.

This brings to mind our own Indian label Turning Point by Ashwin Deo, the ex- Moet Hennessey CEO who spent a lot of time in getting the labels designed before he launched his wine produced by York Winery in Nashik and focused on the younger generation market. It has a sleeve coating but the emphasis is on the name of the label only with attractive colour schemes that beg the customer to hold the bottle in their hands and hopefully take it home with them.

The wine company worked with a London and New York based package design company named Stranger and Stranger. Truett-Hurst helped the designer Kevin Shaw identify 22 buying occasions and created brands in a packaging format that could command a powerful shelf presence.

The added paper that wraps around the bottle with beautifully designed copy material, allows for more information that may include pairings and even recipes. But it definitely engages the consumer in a manner that a regular, small back label may not. The Evocative Wrapped Bottles present a major opportunity for gifting, delivering a significant added value to the retailer and the buyer, claims the company.

The company CEO says that while designing they have considered all purchase impulse components with the 9 labels that are being released nationally by the Safeway chain stores. Each label is designed around an occasion rather than a grape varietal or other traditional information available on back labels.

According to the thinking of the company and the designer, these Evocative Wrapped Bottles will help consumers select a wine that suits their personal desires and needs, an attribute that the wine industry doesn't address with standard packaging design. Designer Shaw reportedly says, "I've thought for a long time that there's a real opportunity to engage wine consumers on their own terms. We offer them products based on provenance and variety, yet they are buying wine for occasions." He adds, "Consumers want a wine for fish, a wine for a barbecue, and a wine that makes a hit at a dinner party. Instead, they're offered 6,000 indistinguishable and unmemorable Pinot Noir brands from various parts of California." Whether it is the blood-colored Curious Beasts or the aura of Bewitched, the wine becomes the focal point of an evening or occasion.

Some of the occasions and moods the labels address are ‘Feeling wild?’ (which calls for a ‘Bewitched’ Pinot Noir or Chardonnay from Russian River Valley), ‘Anniversaries’ (Curious Beasts red wine label - a blended red). Celebrations like ‘It’s a Boy and ‘Happy Birthday’ calls naturally for a Sparkling Wine, a Brut Rose. ‘Girl Gone Summer’ call naturally for a Fuchsia label with the rose blend or a white wine blend, both for summer when the girls would love them.

The Evocative wraps perform like a fully synthetic paper but print as traditional pulp-based paper with the look and feel of a hand-wrapped bottle. The wraps are 100% FSC certified and recyclable and stand up in cold-box environments or in water, such as in an ice bucket or ice chest, for extended periods with no visual changes. The wrap can also be reused for more occasions, according to Sacramento Bee.

While Ashwin Deo may not have immediate plans to go for changing the sleeving of Turning Point bottles into the Evocative wraps, the Company has plans to license the Evocative Wrapped Bottles series all over the world and he may be interested to start planning for the next phase of his marketing plans. The current sheath type bottle gives him a decent chunk of market share but there are naysayers who feel that perhaps due to the cost of sheathing or the additional cost of packaging, the product is expensive - it sells for Rs.650 in Maharashtra where Ashwin holds fort for the Turning Point wine that was a turning point of his career.

For an earlier article on Turning Point, visit:
Launch: Turning Point for ex-Moet India Boss


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