Lockdown leads to explosion in wine ‘Quitter labels’

Graphic: Rob 'Y-fronts' Johnson

Forget critter labels. In 2021 wine labels are swapping gophers for loafers according to the latest research from drinks research body Boozalysis.

The company’s report, released yesterday, titled “Quitter Labels – How Pictures of People Who’ve Given Up On Life Are The Biggest Thing in 2021” contains some striking findings.

Critters out

‘Wine label design reflects the zeitgeist,’ declared the report’s author, Penny Dreadful. ‘So majestic chateaux, beautiful vineyards and amusing cartoon animals are all out. They just remind people of all the places they won’t be going any time soon.’

According to the report, wine labels in 2020 saw a massive increase in the use of sweatpants, dressing gowns, and unmade beds.

Back labels have also become simpler. Over half the bottles tested in the report suggested their wine went best with ‘pesto pasta’, ‘daytime TV’ or ‘more alcohol’.

‘It doesn’t really pay to try and be too clever at the moment,’ said Dreadful. ‘We found one back label that said the wine had ‘a finish as long as your hair’.

‘But we don’t think a wine label should actually make people cry.’

Pants not pints

Star ‘Quitter’ label was the ‘At Home In My Pants’ red, white and rosé range.

‘Pitching it as a wine to slug back in your underwear extended the drinking occasion to 24 hours, which really increased sales,’ said Dreadful.

The ‘breakfast to bedtime and beyond’ strategy has been used by Champagne houses for 100 years. But Dreadful believes there is a big difference between the latter’s elegant loucheness and the ‘curated fecklessness’ of Quitter Labels.

‘These brands target the burgeoning ‘given-up’ class who have long lost any pretence that what they are doing is aspirational,’ she told Fake Booze.

‘The fact that ‘Pants’ drinkers can get six bottles of the rosé for the price of one bottle of Moet is really all that matters. Nowadays, it’s more about oblivion than sophistication.’

Knitty gritty

Quitter labels are just the latest in a line of conveniently-rhyming packaging trends.

Critter labels were big around the noughties, Knitter labels had a moment of mindfulness five years ago, and Glitter labels were hastily removed from shops in 2015.

‘I guess the big question is what’s next,’ said brand consultant, ideator and general irritant Mark Eting-Spend. ‘We thought it could be Gritter labels – but they’re very seasonal. And while Bitter labels seem to go down well with journalists, the public don’t like the sarcasm.’

RT if you like this wine

Eting-Spend is putting his money on Twitter labels.

‘Few things are more 2021 than middle-aged men and self-righteous tossers having a pointless online argument,’ he told Fake Booze.

‘And frankly, I can’t see that changing whatever happens with Covid.’

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