'Juice' box wine causes a stir

2012-06-27 22:36

Cape Town - A local wine company has altered the packaging of its "Mal Piet" wine cartons after it was criticised for looking like children's cooldrink.

The 250ml juice boxes are brightly coloured and feature a large cartoon-like grinning goat.

On Monday, Western Cape Economic Development MEC Alan Winde criticised the packaging and said though it was not illegal, it was certainly irresponsible.

"We want responsible liquor traders in the Western Cape, not this... This is not a responsible way of selling liquor," he told reporters in Milnerton, Cape Town.

"The way the marketing and packaging is done, it does not look like wine. It looks like cooldrink or kiddies' juice."

He said if his daughter was walking past the carton, she would mistake it for fruit juice and put it in her lunchbox.

Cape Wine Works, which manufactures the product, had a meeting with Winde and said it would change its packaging.

Managing director Michael Kovensky told Sapa the new cartons would display a logo with a wine glass to make it less misleading.

He believed the responsibility remained with parents to ensure alcohol products were not within easy reach, and that children were educated about the effects of liquor.

It was still doubtful though whether educational initiatives would overcome the perception created by the easy availability of alcohol in supermarkets and stores, he said.

"Liquor has always been the scapegoat of many initiatives that pop out... over the five years the product has been on the shelf you will get random complaints, but you deal with it.

"The colours [of the cartons] have nothing to do with children. If you look at the design of wine labels now... you get all kinds of innovative, creative labelling."

He said the product was packaged in a small carton with a straw as it was aimed at those wanting to drink while in the bush, specifically campers and game rangers.

It was also aimed at those with a limited disposable income. An individual carton sold for about R5, and a six-pack about R30.

"We shouldn't hold ourselves so aloof that those with a disposable income living in warm surrounds should look askance at people who can't afford to buy other products," Kovensky said.

The altered packaging would likely be on the shelves within four months.

Winde said on Wednesday he was pleased Cape Wine Works had heeded his call.

"I commend Kovensky for doing the right thing. In the coming months we will be vigorously monitoring other liquor outlets and distributors to ensure that they are operating responsibly."

  • Roulon du Toit - 2012-06-27 23:58

    So a child walks past, puts it in the shopping basket, gets to the counter and then what? Surely there are still controls in place at the point of sale?

      Ken Jay May - 2012-06-28 00:18

      What's a child doing in the bottle store in the first place?

      faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-06-28 06:54

      Yah but the children were sent to the store by their parents in the first place.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-06-28 08:51

      Uuuuhm what would a child be doing in a liquor store?! It's not like they're going to put the wine in the kiddies juice section. Jeez...

  • reon.dereuck - 2012-06-28 06:43

    Who wants to drink wine through a straw in the bush? It sounds like papsak in disguise.

  • henri.laurie.7 - 2012-06-28 06:54

    What did you expect... this stuff is called "Mal Piet".. really?

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-06-28 06:58

    Surely an anc conspiracy - lets get the nation totally drunk with cheap wine, then no one can remember what they were promised!

  • - 2012-06-28 07:00

    If it is wine, then package it as such. The advertising and packaging companies too have a responsibility. As it is, we have to accept the advertising that is rammed down out throats on a hourly basis, none of which has any truth in it.

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-06-28 11:34

      Then you should still be drinking your wine from either a clay pot or leather pouch or bladder. Times change....

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-06-28 07:11

    Classy i can just hear people requesting a box of Mal Piet at their fav restaurant

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-06-28 07:19

    Oh my hat.... Alan Winde from Milnerton.... drinking MAL PIET and his daughter can't read.....what is happening in Milnerton.. :-)

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-06-28 07:26

    Dat mense oor sulke K*K kan MOAN!!

  • Erna - 2012-06-28 07:29

    A quality product by the sounds of it. Who do they think they're fooling - aimed at campers and game rangers! The latter shouldn't be drinking at work in the first place!

      Karen - 2012-06-28 08:10

      "the latter" do get time off work you know! They aren't on duty 24/7!

  • dave.prinsloo - 2012-06-28 07:49

    R5/250ml??? That must be some gawdawful wine

      tony.delucchi - 2012-06-28 13:01

      ..pure bergie-juice!

  • warren.mudge.5 - 2012-06-28 08:55

    Nail them Alan. We cannot have a picture of a goat been made the scapeGOAT here. These bloody parents, leaving 250ml lookalike cartons lying all around for their children to consume willy-nilly. What is the world/W Cape coming to. Maybe the game rangers can give it to the Rhino poachers as refreshment.

  • john.loveland.9 - 2012-06-28 11:38

    A storm in a wine box

  • tyrone.hunt85 - 2012-06-28 12:21

    Why package wine which resembles "children's juice box" in the first place? What appeals to children, doesn't necessarily appeal to adults. Is it just me?

      christopher.pool - 2012-06-28 12:26

      Perhaps so you can drink it in Kirstenbosch Gardens, the beach, whatever and no-one knows you are drinking wine?

      tyrone.hunt85 - 2012-06-28 14:31

      Haha, ok, didnt think about that one....

      teresita.cuniberticillie - 2012-06-28 15:39

      Mal piet - is very bad wine and the cartoon goat is on all their classy products.

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