The South African government’s stated intention to further regulate the marketing and consumption of alcohol still remains unclear as to the extent and timeframe. With this as a background, wine commentator Neil Pendock makes an interesting observation in his Sunday Times blog.
“Should Fanakalo, hottest wine label designers in town, be worried by the news that cigarettes may have to be sold in plain packages in the UK? England already has a law which requires all large shops and supermarkets to hide tobacco products from public view. The thinking is that bling packaging tempts people to smoke, which if true, could be extended to wine.
“Given the extreme anti-alcohol stance of the SA Minister of Health, the department will be watching the UK plain packaging initiative with interest. Already wine labels carry warning labels which was the thin end of the wedge government used to shaft cigarette producers. While producers may be thankful for the saving on label design costs, in the long run it will be difficult to sustain a premium price for a bottle with a plain label.”