Did you recently buy a bottle of wine, and if so, did it happen to have an animal on the label? You may have noticed that over the last decade or so wine makers have increasingly “modernized” their labels to attract consumers, and a particularity to this wine label modernization is the presence of some kind or shape of an animal plastered across the face of the bottle. This is to maximize the possibility of your buying their wine. But why such an interesting and peculiar method? What is it about animal symbols or images that catch the eye and make the wine more appealing? We recommend reading the article below written in 2006 by Peter Renton entitled “null“.

It comes as no news to anyone that the American people love their animals. What did come as a surprise to me is that we also love animals on our wine labels. Yes, a study released earlier this year by ACNielsen confirms that wine labels with animal images are becoming increasingly popular in this country.

I felt compelled to do my own research on this topic so one evening I stopped by my local liquor store to check out the wine selection. Sure enough I was greeted with a veritable zoo of animals on labels. There were Dancing Bulls, Leaping Horses, Black Swans, Little Penguins, Kangaroos, even a hippopotamus courtesy of Fat Bastard Wines (which is French would you believe). This very informal research confirmed that there seems to be a much larger selection of wines with animal labels than ever before.

Critter Labels Rule

In the wine industry these animal labels are affectionately known as “critter labels”, and the trend began back in 2001 with the introduction of the Yellow Tail brand of wines into this country from Australia. Pictured on the label is what looks like a kangaroo (but which is in fact supposed to be the yellow-footed rock wallaby). These wines had labels that looked striking, were priced very reasonably and they tasted great – so they became a runaway success. So much so that they spawned an entire new “category” of wine.

The ACNielsen study has some hard data confirming the popularity of this new wine category. In the past three years there have been 438 new Table Wine brands that have been successfully introduced in the American market (those wines that sold more than $20,000 annually). Of these 438 new brands 77 of them featured an animal on their label, around 18 percent. Combined with existing “critter label” wines, sales reached $600 million in 2005 out of a total of just over $4 billion, based on ACNielsen sales data from supermarket point of sale purchases.

We highly recommend reading the full article which can be found by null. Below is a gallery of just a few of the thousands of different labels that feature animals on their labels.

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