The wine industry is one of the most interesting markets for bottling and product decoration and worldwide uses some 590-million square metres of labelling materials of all types.
In creative circles, a visual design that has the ability to attract attention and really stand out at the point-of-purchase has ‘pop’.
A lot has been written about the value of wine labels as brand builders, differentiators, new-market attractors, and so forth – ‘the bottle is your billboard’ approach.
While wine drinkers are changing and becoming more open to imaginary design, they are becoming equally discerning about the quality and positioning of their choices.
‘Wine quality and positioning is instantly communicated in the visual representation of the label, and wineries have – as research shows – just seconds to influence the buying decision in an increasingly crowded marketplace,’ notes Harry Havenga, marketing manager: Label and Packaging Materials at Avery Dennison
In the myriad modern labelling options, pressure sensitive labelling (PSL) has slowly but surely overtaken traditional wet-glue applications and is continuing to grow. Initial design restrictions of PSL, such as limited substrate materials, textures and embossing, has rapidly decreased to a point where a designer’s imagination is the only limitation to the desired look of the label.
For the winemaker, PSL offers more than other labelling techniques when it comes to simpler and cleaner application systems. ‘Unlike glue applied systems’ cumbersome, messy and time-consuming materials and equipment maintenance, PSL change-overs are as simple as switching rolls. It’s quicker, easier and offers much higher productivity,’ Harry believes. PSL also offers superior end-use performance – even after exposure to the fridge or an ice bucket, these labels look better and last longer.
PSL’s benefits for brand managers include customisable versatility. This technology provides greater design and production flexibility, with fewer limits on label shape and size. ‘No other decorating technology offers the same combination of brilliant graphics, intricate die cuts and virtually invisible edge lines,’ Harry continues. There are many ways in which PSL delivers distinctiveness and true brand differentiation, including broad material selection, the no-label look and split-label design options.
Another plus for brand managers is the substrate variety of PSL. A large selection of papers and films, combined with specifically-formulated adhesives, accommodate the most innovative wine packaging ideas. ‘Substrates include glossy bright white papers and traditional tactile paper, and if that doesn’t satisfy the desire for differentiation, a wide variety can be sourced from around the globe,’ Harry suggests.
‘Our pressure-sensitive labels allow wine producers to brand their products to exacting specifications, to accurately portray their image, and position a particular product for its specific target audience,’ Harry enthuses.
Avery Dennison is a leading supplier, worldwide, of wine labelling substrates and has established itself as the pioneering force in pressure sensitive materials for the South African wine industry.
A wide variety of face materials are on offer from Avery Dennison, from matt to high-gloss finishes, from tactile textures to high-performance films and metallic foils. ‘These stocks exude quality and sophistication and are unmatched for texture, printability and convertibility,’ Harry adds.
Taking another leap forward to assist wine producers to make informed decisions about labelling, as they do when producing the wine itself, is Avery Dennision’s Wine Label Style Guide.
This local guide is available in booklet format, representing Avery Dennison’s wine-labelling materials’ portfolio that reflects wine characteristics, whether for a traditional, timeless wine, an innovative modern brand or a pure, naturally elegant wine.
Each product in the guide contains printed face stocks to illustrate the effects achievable to suit a variety of different consumer groups. The guide demonstrates traditional printing processes on a range of standard face materials – textured and plain papers, films and metallised face stocks, as well as stocks for digital imaging technologies, popular for short-run and limited edition wine labels.
In terms of adhesives, options for the wine trade include wash-off qualities for returnable bottles and ice-bucket performance for chilled wines. Both paper and PET release liners are available, according to the producers’ needs for automatic and high-speed label dispensing.
To order an Avery Dennison Wine Label Style Guide, contact Harry Havenga on firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 011 2495700.
More space on wine labels
VR Print is a print specialist with particular focus on a wide variety of labelling options, such as pressure-sensitive labels, booklet labels (Attach-A-Leaflet), as well as peel-and-read labels (coupon labels).
‘We offer superior quality labels with high-build, silkscreen and up to ten colours on all types of self-adhesive substrates,’ notes VR Print’s MD, Paul van Rensburg.
‘With our core business focused on peel-and read and booklet labels, we offer the latest and best technology available, with our two high-speed, large width offline booklet label machines, as well as the largest production capacity in terms of booklet label production in Africa,’ Paul adds.
This production capacity is made possible through the investment of the latest Prati Vegaplus Booklet LF 330 that produces booklet labels off-line, with maximum accuracy in leaflet positioning and die-cutting (PPM Feb11, p60).
VR Print’s booklet labels, distinguished by the Attach-A-Leaflet trademark, provide valuable space for product information, of particular interest to the wine industry where additional space is increasingly required for on-pack communication.
‘In cases where there is not enough space on the front of the label then multi-page booklet labels are an ideal solution,’ notes Paul.
‘The additional space these labels offer can be used to carry further marketing information about the wine estate, product range, or for promotional activity, and, importantly, legal requirements in terms of the new Consumer Protection Act,’ he continues.
According to Paul, VR Print is the only booklet label printer offering the patented nip-roller system, from Global Print Services (PPM Feb11, p61), which puts a curl into the label preventing winging or edge-lift on the labels and facilitates easier mechanical label application.
VR Print also offers peel-and-read labels, printed on its new Nilpeter coupon press. ‘Increasingly our customers need to include additional information on their labels and peel-and-read coupon labels provide the answer,’ Paul highlights. These are totally resealable labels that peel away to reveal two panels of print behind the label face.
Adding to this, Paul notes that these labels also offer a more economical solution than booklet labels for promotional labels and can accommodate scratch off areas as well as random numbering. These labels have been embraced by the wine industry, which has enjoyed fantastic results from this communication tool.
‘VR print offers exciting niche-market label solutions with our booklet and coupon label systems pioneered for the wine market,’ Paul comments. ‘The results achievable are endless, and certainly set a new trend and standard for the wine industry in terms of cutting-edge product marketing,’ he concludes.
VR Print has representation in the Western Cape to offer its leading-edge label solutions to the wine industry, or any other product categories that require specialist labelling solutions.
In South Africa’s highly-competitive wine industry, where more than 3 500 wine producers fight for consumers’ attention, standing out from the crowd is an absolute requirement for success.
Stephen Beattie, Pyrotec’s marketing director, believes packaging is often overlooked or neglected as a product differentiator. ‘Packaging is not just an informational tool – it has evolved into an experience tool, able to grab consumers’ attention, relate to their identities and create connections on an emotive level,’ Stephen maintains.
Through its PackMedia brand, Pyrotec has implemented a number of innovative campaigns for the wine industry.
One of which is value-add information. ‘Wine labelling offers limited space for information as most available space is taken up by the product name and logo, tasting notes and other essential information,’ Stephen comments. ‘By using on-pack devices such as the Fix-a-Form leaflet label, wine brands can include additional information to ensure a deeper understanding of the brand, its history and ethos,’ he adds.
The Fix-a-Form leaflet label has recently been implemented for a Cape wine farm that includes historical information about the brand, specifically for the export market.
‘The Fix-a-Form leaflet label also includes recipe ideas for meals that pair well with the wine. All the information is packaged neatly and the on-pack device does not compromise the aesthetics of the wine bottle,’ Stephen stresses.
Another campaign developed by PackMedia is consumer engagement. ‘We’ve seen the adoption of SMS-based competitions grow rapidly over the past year, with brands using their packaging to involve consumers with the product they’re purchasing,’ Stephen explains. ‘This allows a more personal engagement that builds strong connections with consumers,’ he continues.
An example of this, Stephen notes, is a local wine farm that added a Protag neck tag to one of its ranges, that included a scratch-and-win card for instant prizes. ‘This type of direct consumer engagement not only builds brand equity but also opens the door to further engagement on future campaigns by the brand,’ Stephen confirms.
‘On-pack publishing is another trend we’ve seen internationally and only recently spotted in the local market,’ Stephen adds. The idea of on-pack publishing was born in Australia when a company added a removable 32-page glossy booklet magazine to a bottled water brand. Coca-Cola subsequently became the first soft drink manufacturer to use this tool for a removable fashion and beauty mini-magazine, added to bottles of Coke Light.
‘Locally, Virgin Active used this option for its bottled water brand, and included a 24-page removable booklet with fitness and nutrition tips, fun facts and easy-to-do exercises. With the rising popularity of custom publishing we see great potential in this on-pack technology,’ Stephen concludes.
Pyrotec offers a full range of innovative on-pack devices that help brands increase on-pack real estate and effectively build brand loyalty and increase sales.
Move to high-build
According to Grant Watson, Rotolabel’s sales director, a major trend is that wineries are more price-conscious and omitting extra processes on their labels.
There’s also been a major move from embossing to high-build in the last two years, and designs are tending to be more simplistic and vibrant – cleaner colours, bright, fresh designs –in contrast to conservative matt papers with foiling, etc.
Another point to note is that many big exporters have moved away from exporting wine in bottles and are using bulk packaging. According to Grant, this could equate to 40-million bottles, and 80-million labels no longer required for exported wine.