Unified Wine & Grape Symposium Sacramento

26th January 2019
7:30am - 8:00pm
California, United States, North America

More than 14,000 people from around the globe attended the 25th annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, one of the largest wine and grape trade shows in the world. Creative Design Manager Alex Kidd of Avery Dennison’s Concept Lab was there to take in the trends and promote newly released label materials.

“It was a refreshing opportunity to be immersed in the industry, specifically from a label perspective. The show provided an end-to-end perspective on how our materials and design work with the vine-to-table process. Everyone at the show—from the bottle manufacturers to the growers—is trying to push the industry forward for a new generation of consumers. It’s always interesting to see how Avery Dennison materials play a part in that,” Alex says.

Attendees could purchase everything from crop-protecting birds of prey to specialty vines. They could also browse and learn more about the latest agricultural equipment. Of course, label and packaging designers and manufacturers were also represented, including Avery Dennison.

Booth #614
“Label and packaging materials were a hot topic at the symposium, with much of the talk about creating wine branding that goes beyond the plain white label,” says Alex. “Whether it’s a subtle detail, a heavy tactility, or even a super shiny or sparkly iridescence, visitors were interested in seeing a canvas that truly elevated the brand.”

Visitors to the Avery Dennison booth were the first to experience five new materials from the Avery Dennison wine and spirits portfolio for North America.

The new Sensorial™ collection for North America, featuring Ruby Velvet™ and Black Velvet™ facestocks, plays on the consumer’s senses of touch, sound, and smell.

The new Black™ collection, also for North America, features Laid Epic Black™ and Night Skye™ facestocks. “This collection went over particularly well with converters,” said Alex. “They immediately saw the value of having a black material versus printing black, where the process sometimes requires multiple prints to get the right depth of color.”

The new Luminous™ collection includes a facestock called Snowbound White™, as well as a collection of labeling materials that features sparkle, glitter, and shine—all bound to create elements of surprise and delight.

“Our materials are the canvas for these brands. We brought prototypes to show what’s possible with foil, embossing, and special finishings. The power of materials combined with strong design undeniably elevates a brand to new heights,” says Alex.

Insights from the symposium
While the label goes a long way in helping a bottle stand out from the competition, Alex says there were also can and glass manufacturers who are creating new ways to make their products stop the consumer in their tracks. One wine packaging manufacturer is working with North American wineries to make cans more widely available—a design we recently noted is popular in the European market.

The company has a months-long waiting list because demand is high in the North American market, but few manufacturers offer a solution to this growing trend of smaller wine packaging. Alex says, “Most companies using canned wines are choosing pressure sensitive labeling because of the availability of materials, quality control in such high quantity production, and of course, cost.”

Alex says he was impressed across the show by the “attention to detail and the precision that goes into all aspects of production.” He points to an in-depth conversation he had with a barrel manufacturer where he learned about the aging process. “It takes into account the type of wood and its place of origin, as well as the aging process and all of its intricacies. It was fascinating.” He says, “With sensorial materials like FassonⓇ Cherry Wood, it’s easy to translate the care taken throughout production to the consumer, with a label that tells the story.”

Attendees at the 2019 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium also got a pre-launch sneak peek of M_use, as well as a first-look at the 2019 wine swatchbook, which designer attendees noted “resembles a Pantone® chip book” in its size and portability.