Delhaize, a supermarket chain in Belgium, issued its own private label brand of regional wines and commissioned Spanish design studio Lavernia & Cienfuegos to create a label that looked festive and fun and great for casual entertaining. Quirky characters carved out of cork represented the regional origin of each wine in a playful, unpretentious way. The label design positioned the house brand as a value product with personality.
Perhaps more than for many products, wine packaging involves understanding psychology. Research has shown that the average consumer chooses which wine to buy based on the look of the bottle and the label. “Too classy” implies expensive ultra-premium wine for special occasions. A gallon jug with a screw-top cap, on the other hand, seems too pathetically down market. But in the medium range, a design that conveys its own story, exudes its own kind of clever charm, stands out from the competition. It doesn’t oversell or undersell its value. It promises to meet expectations and then some.
The witty cork people, minimalist typography, and white caps give a distinctive shelf presence to the entire Delhaize “wines of the world” line. The only caricature that I take exception with is the Indian chief representing California. I don’t think that California native American tribal chiefs wore feathered head dresses.