What do consumers want from wine labelling – a South African perspective.

I think this question has to be broken up into many categories, as this greatly depends on the income bracket that is purchasing the wine, and whether the wine is being sold locally or internationally. However I like to as rule of thumb think that all consumers are aspirational and want to buy something that projects a sense of value and quality. A, B and some C income consumers will more than likely have more knowledge about the product they are purchasing, and are therefore more brand specific, and often brand followers. Often this purchaser will be interested in unusual varietals and more complex wines with unusual blends.

C, D and E income consumers are far more price specific and therefore more concerned with good quality value for money, and prepared to try different things that have the perception of good value.

However in the international market things are very different, as South Africa is perceived as a new World producer, and so the packaging has to project this. (This is quite a fragmented part of our market base as we are a cacophony of both a first and third world societies, with political demographics having to be included in this dilemma)

Our international packaging is very descriptive of where we come from. However I think and truly believe that we have not yet found our own unique style of packaging, as say Californian, or Australia has. We do not need to make our labels into literal big five images, as enticing a solution as this may be. Especially in the American market, which is so literal. However the English and European market is far more interested in a new wine with a bit of heritage and a bit of a pedigree, as there is an emotional linkage to this country especially with countries like the Netherlands and Britain. But saying that there must be strong identity of where the wine is produced. Every pack must tell a story.

By Vanessa Fogel : Vanessa Fogel Design