The rapidly growing number of wines from both new and traditional vintners, and from different countries of origin, has made for fierce competition at the shelf, with brand owners trying to capture consumers’ attention and influence their in-store purchasing decisions. As a result, vintners have turned to quality labeling to express brand personality and promote products as an object of desire, as well as to stand out on a crowded shelf.
Founded in 1868 by husband and wife Victor Canard and Léonie Duchêne, the Canard-Duchêne champagne house is situated in Ludes, France, amid the pristine Montagne de Reims National Park. A plateau overlooking the Marne Valley, the Montagne de Reims provides the vineyard with a unique mixture of chalk, sand, clay, and limestone soils that impact the champagne’s character.
Family-focused and independent from the outset, Canard-Duchêne is dedicated to the winemaking process, producing two different lines of champagne: Authentic and Grandes Cuvées Charles VII. Granted the right by the Russian Imperial Family to adopt its coat of arms as the Canard-Duchêne family emblem, the regal, crowned two-headed eagle has been a prominent element of the brand’s graphic identity, being displayed on every bottle of champagne since the end of the 19th century.
In 2011, Canard-Duchêne set out on a package redesign, with the goal of enhancing the positioning of its four varietals of Grandes Cuvées Charles VII—Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rosé, Blanc de Blancs, and Brut—as super-premium champagnes. “Our goal was to create a new label and package design that exemplifies luxury and reinforces the rich winemaking heritage of Canard-Duchêne,” says Alexis Petit-Gats, marketing and communication director, Canard-Duchêne champagne. “We wanted the label to deliver a tactile feel combined with visual depth. But it was also essential that the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII brand identity be protected. Ice-bucket conditions are an extremely harsh environment. It’s vital the label look pristine on the shelf and every time it emerges from an ice bucket.”
Stock raises brand position, profile
Canard-Duchêne turned to converter Imprimerie Billet (www.imprimerie-billet.fr), located in Damery, France, for a labeling solution that would drive differentiation and brand preference at the shelf. Founded in 1910, Imprimerie Billet is well experienced in wine and champagne labeling. To achieve the required look and feel for the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII application, they proposed the new pressure-sensitive, pearlescent Fasson® Frozen Astra Diamond PLUS facestock with Fasson S2047N hot-melt adhesive, both from Avery Dennison.
“During a commercial/technical meeting with Avery Dennison, Fasson Frozen Astra Diamond PLUS was presented to us, which I kept aside with a portfolio of other substrates to share with my clients,” says Juan Lopez, commercial director for Imprimerie Billet. “A few months later, Canard-Duchêne was interested in testing the substrate for its Grandes Cuvées Charles VII champagne. After various trials, we found the look of the facestock to be a perfect fit for Canard-Duchêne to raise the profile and position of its brand.”
A wood-free paper with a silver pearlescent textured look, Fasson Frozen Astra Diamond PLUS facestock offers a woven, silky tactile feel that conveys a strong sense of luxury. In addition, the facestock offers superior water-resistance and is treated with a fungicide. Fasson S2047N is a permanent, rubber-based adhesive that has high-tack performance and aggressive adhesion that performs well in ice-bucket applications.
“Our hot-melt adhesive, when coupled with the PET underlaminated construction, called PLUS, gives the champagne label a complete and strong resistance when immersed in an ice bucket,” says Gwenaëlle Le Garrec, European segment manager wine and spirit, Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials-Europe. “The label must remain intact throughout the life and use of the product. It’s important to enhance, as well as protect, the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII brand identity.”
Color schemes complement varietals
To help differentiate the labels in the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII champagne line, Canard-Duchêne chose distinctive color schemes to reflect the visual and flavor profiles of each of the four varietals. Each label is printed using three colors, which vary depending on the varietal.
For example, the primary label for the Blanc de Noirs features a solid, rich purple background. The color palette signifies the variety of black grapes that make up the champagne, as well as visually captures the spicy notes that give the champagne its powerful, warm, and intense flavor.
Positioned in the center of the primary label is the Canard-Duchêne emblem, which is printed using a gold hot-foil stamp. The Canard-Duchêne name is superimposed across the emblem, adding a strong sense of visual depth. The “Charles VII” brand name is positioned directly below the emblem and is printed using an embossing technique that combines visual intrigue with a tactile feel. A gold rule line and series of adjacent dots border the label and are printed using a hot-foil stamp. The neck of the bottle is encased with a foil wrap of deep purple that includes a smaller version of the family crest in gold, positioned between the shoulder and the neck of the bottle.
The Brut Rosé prime label is printed using a light pink color to reflect the delicate fruit and cherry notes, as well as the subtle pink color of the champagne itself. The bottle includes a matching rosy pink neck foil. The Blanc de Blancs displays a wintery blue prime label with a silver neck foil. Additionally, the Brut prime label is printed using a dark regal green to depict the complexity and elegance of the refined champagne. The product also features a gold neck foil. Each of the champagnes comes packaged in a matching tin canister at retail.
Each prime label in the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII line displays an intricate die-cut shield-like pattern. The S2047N adhesive allows for smoother and faster die-cutting performance and easily copes with intricate designs and thicker papers. In addition, the performance characteristics of the adhesive allow for virtually invisible label edge lines.
The back label uses a modified die-cut shield-like pattern. The label is printed in both French and English and provides a brief history of Charles VII, crowned the King of France in 1429, to whom the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII champagne line pays tribute. Additional copy elements include the champagne varietal, alcohol by volume, Canard-Duchêne Web site, champagne bottle size in milliliters, UPC bar code, and legal requirements.
“The new labels bring a strong and innovative personality to the Grandes Cuvées Charles VII champagne line, corresponding perfectly to the exclusive image which Canard-Duchêne wanted to achieve—quality and sophistication,” says Lopez. “In particular, the gold hot-foil stamping and the embossed Canard-Duchêne family emblem, are well emphasized on the Frozen Astra Diamond PLUS material.”
Notes Petit-Gats, “Given the quality and history of our champagnes, we wanted our Grande Cuvées Charles VII to simply receive the most creative design, packaging, and printing solutions. Thanks to this new project, we have already received sales projections from major clients in the French retail segment that are 40-percent above our initial 2011 forecasts.”