Do consumers care about the morality of copycat wine brands?

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Sainsbury´s have replaced Chile’s number one brand `Casillero del Diablo´ with its own `Camino del Angel´. It’s a controversial move because they are clearly benefiting from the design similarities, and piggybacking on major investments done by Concha y Toro in the UK. But who cares? And what wine brand will suffer next.

Copycat wine brands put pressure on producers

Copycat store brands or (retailer copycat brands) are nothing new, they have been used to drive revenue and profits from wineries to retailers. By creating a copycat wine, the Supermarkets sends a clear signal to all wineries “if you raise prices, we will hit you back – hard”. To ensure quality retailers analyse the contents of a leading manufacturer brand. and then re-create the product step by step, a process called reverse engineering. Producers often prefer to think that there is something inherently unique with their wines, and maybe they are right. But consumers generally can’t tell the difference, as seen from data by Vivino.

Consumers can’t really tell the difference

The copycat brand Camino del Àngel Cabernet Sauvignon has an average rating of 3,3 stars out of 350 ratings. Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon has a rating of 3,5 stars out of 83214 ratings. Objectively speaking, Sainsbury seems to have done a hell of a good job with their private label.

The solution: wineries needs to work with their USP

Wineries needs to work with their unique selling points to stay relevant to supermarket wine buyers. The only way wineries can protect themselves is by creating strong unique selling points. The problem that Casillero del Diablo and so many wine brands face is that they are building their unique selling points with storytelling. There is nothing tangible with the Casillero del Diablo that deserves a price-price-premium, and the supermarkets can smell it. Combine this with the remarkable quality improvements made by bulk wine producers and you have a complicated future ahead for winery brands. One must remember that one of the reasons Casillero del Diablo is Chile’s number one brand is that it was one of the few wines that was well made some 20 years ago. Today well made wine is a commodity.

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