The first wine in the world with an official smiley is released

Wednesday February 19 2020 by Vitisphere

 Mathias Icard smiles as he presents two reds (a Cabernet-Sauvignon and a Merlot), two whites (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) and a rosé at Vinexpo Paris. Mathias Icard smiles as he presents two reds (a Cabernet-Sauvignon and a Merlot), two whites (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) and a rosé at Vinexpo Paris. - Photo credit : Alexandre Abellan (Vitisphere)

It's simple, it's cheerful and it's eye-catching”, sums up Mathias Icard, sales manager for Icard Châteaux & Vignobles. At Vinexpo Paris, the Bordeaux wine merchant launched five wines with a smiley face on their labels. Or rather the Smiley®, registered in 1971 by Frenchman Franklin Loufrani, and managed by England-based the Smiley Company. After two years of negotiations and arrangement of a fee, Mathias Icard secured exclusive use of the smiley on his wine labels worldwide for a three-year period during which he will pay royalties.

Targeting non-EU markets, the range certainly has shelf stand-out with its vibrant embossed, resin label, foil cap and stopper stamped with the smiley and its rounded bottle shape, midway between a Burgundy and a Champagne style. The five 2019 vintage wines are labelled as Vin de France and are designed to be easily understood by consumers using three key cues: the grape variety, the French origin and the smiley. “The aim is to attract Millennials who drink beers and cocktails, draw them into the world of French wine and then direct them towards Bordeaux”, explains Icard.

To achieve this, the wine merchant chose to downgrade his wines to the lesser Vin de France designation - originally, the two whites were produced as IGP Côtes de Gascogne and the two reds and rosé as AOP Bordeaux.  “My aim is that consumers feel comfortable with the wine and that I don’t make it harder for them to understand it by adding AOC and IGP designations”, adds Icard. The sales target for the first year has been set at 200,000 bottles and the range has an ex-cellar price of 4-5 euros, rising to 15-20 dollars at retail level.

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