Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging and design launches:

  • Amarula’s R25m, 25-year celebration
  • Pick n Pay supports WDC2014 with design deal
  • Barista Chardonnay 2013 launches, and
  • Melrose Arch has a designer Man Cave!

Amarula celebrates 25 years

Amarula pack shot with fruit and glassThere’s a bit of a media bonus looming next month as marula-based cream liqueur Amarula turns 25 years and spends a whopping R25 million to celebrate with an integrated national birthday campaign, in-store cash back promotions and giveaways.

From October through to December 2014, advertising will include TV, radio, print and digital, as well as retail, on-consumption and online promotions and competitions.

There’s a unique R25 consumer cashback reward at all major supermarkets and independents, too: consumers will get R25 per bottle back in cash every time they buy two bottles of Amarula Cream at one time. That’s R50 a time, and consumers will be able to claim their money back in cash from any local Absa ATM, using a digital code released on purchase. Well, that’s my Christmas-present list sorted for this year.

Independent retailers and wholesalers are also offering additional retro-style prizes to customers, including fedora hats and ottomans fitted out with speakers and an MP3 player.

Then, patrons who buy the Amarula Cream special birthday drink at any of the 400 participating bars, clubs and restaurants nationwide can also win a R25 000 cash prize. Selected clubs around the country will also be holding birthday party celebrations.

The truly South African brand was launched in 1989 and sells in over 100 countries, making the “world’s top 100 premium spirits brands” list and one of the world’s “hottest” bar brands. This year alone, it has been awarded gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and in Europe at Concours Mondial in Brussels. It also recently won gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London.

“We are very proud of our heritage as an African original and an authentic marula liqueur,” says marketing manager, Christelle Bester.

Designer goods for R100

WDC2014 Hands Design CollectiveWDC2014 Bokke & Blomme (centre) with Useful Pretty ThingsWDC2014 Litha Flora and Hula Honey

Inspired by Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014, a selection of limited-edition designer goods from the non-profit Cape Craft + Design Institute will retail for R100 each, including VAT, at Pick n Pay’s V&A Waterfront store from October 2014 through to January 2015.

The deal has been facilitated by the Cape Town Design NPC, the WDC Cape Town 2014 implementation company. All the items — ranging from packaged bath salts to décor and homeware — incorporate the yellow-and-black theme colours of #WDC2014.

“The project developed after a series of conversations with Pick n Pay and it was decided to pilot the concept in the V&A Waterfront store because of its profile,” says Nicky Swartz, Cape Town Design programme director. “While the majority of this store’s customers are locals, it also attracts many tourists. The CCDI was a natural partner when it came to choosing products.”

This is an excellent example of design as a tool for social and economic development, adds Doreen Hendricks, CCDI market support coordinator: domestic & local markets. “This is an income-generating opportunity for the producers, who are able to reach a new market.”

The CCDI was set up in 2001 to support the needs of creative businesses in the Western Cape, and to grow the region’s craft and design sector. The CCDI is an NGO and a joint initiative of the Western Cape Government and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Its mission is to support craft, design and creative enterprises, trading within local and international markets.

‘Zippy’ Chardonnay launches

Barista Chardonnay 2013The Barista brand has extended its range to include the Barista Chardonnay 2013, following upon the launch of the Barista Pinotage in2009 by Vinimark The Wine Company, in conjunction with Bertus ‘Starbucks’ Fourie.

Fourie got his Starbucks moniker from having pioneered and refined the coffee-style pinotage wines in South Africa, using a specific yeast strain, specific toasting and specific oak type to deliver the coffee flavours of pinotage wines.

Described as having a “zippy citrusy flavour” (who writes this?!) the grapes for this “lightly-wooded” Chardonnay come from Elgin. The wine has been partially fermented and matured in mostly second-fill oak barrels. One third of the wine has been fermented in stainless steel and blended in.

The packaging is minimalist, with a screw-cap design.

A further descriptor gives the tasting notes as follows: “A splash of citrus and ripe peach aromas greet you followed by hints of gooseberries and tangy tangerine with a subtle vanilla oak finish.”

(Personally, I’ve always thought people who write wine descriptions had to have had a few too many samples to deliver on such richly textured prose!)

Melrose Arch man cave for rugby ‘guys’

African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel Man CaveHoo-ha! Joburg has a MAN CAVE! Cue sweaty okes and manly things. For the manne! No broads allowed!

Okay, it’s a bit more upmarket than that, but it’s still for rugby fans, five-star or not. There’s wood-panelling and leather sofas and a personal butler for you and your ‘mates’ to watch rugby in ‘style’ at the Man Cave at African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel.

Don’t worry; it’s sound proof, too. But, really, a butler?! Somehow I just don’t see that kind of refinement at a rugby match. Also, it’s only for six people, plus the butler. But it does have an HD-wide screen with surround sound.

And, you can have all of this at R490 per match, plus biltong and nuts and a free beer each.

What’s next, a ‘Chicks Coterie’ decorated with shoes and handbags, and with free manis and pedis and massages on offer? Mmmm, that does sound quite nice…

Louise MarslandShelf Life is a weekly column by Louise Marsland on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 19 of her more-than-25-year career as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. Until its cancellation, she edited the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper. She is currently the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA,for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa.

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