10.06.2014 Pod3 - Judging a book by its cover

Are the label preferences of the UK wine consumer evolving?

So the dust has finally settled on what was hectic week for the UK wine industry with the London Wine Fair relocating back to its traditional home of London Olympia and playing host to around 11,000 visitors.

Wine Intelligence held two seminar sessions at this year‘s show, the second of which: First Principles: Building on trends for successful brands & innovation in wine, looked at trends in the alcoholic beverage industry and how these can be successfully adopted by the wine industry. Following on from this and the growing Visualisation trend (creating instant visual impact through design elements) we looked at label design in the UK market.

In a recent online survey we tested 10 label designs in terms of attractiveness, quality perception, price expectations, likelihood to buy and imagery associations. The label designs were created by design agency Amphora and are indicative of label types most commonly found in the UK marketplace. Examples of the labels tested can be seen here.

So what did we find? First of all the UK market, to some degree, behaves in a reassuringly predictable manner. The traditional and upmarket “Prestigious” design scores top marks across most measures. The exception to this was for likelihood to buy for informal occasions where it dropped down the rankings to 8th place, indicating that this type of label design has a very clear occasion in the UK consumer’s mind.

What was more surprising however, was that some other traditional label designs such as “Vibrant Classic” and “Stately” (which was one of the best performers in the 2011 report) are losing favour and are being seen as increasingly outdated. Their crown, so to speak, is being stolen by some of the more modern designs such as “Themed” and “Contemporary” which draw a universal appeal, being seen as both modern and exciting but with enough traditional cues to elicit the reassurance of strong quality perceptions.

So does this represent a seismic shift in the UK consumer’s preferences? Not really, as some of the more edgy modern designs such as “Eclectic” and “Text Impact” have a limited appeal, and designs such as “Classic” and “Stately” may be dropping down the rankings but still remain popular. What can be said is that tastes do change over time and keeping abreast of these developments can be a key factor of a successful brand.

The full UK Label Design Report 2014 is available now for GBP £1,000 (+VAT), or 2 report credits. For further details about the report, or to order your copy please contact stephen.lacey@wineintelligence.com.