Paper instead of plastic – design diary

Mumm, a sparkling wine brand from Rotkäppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien since 2002, has been redesigned. When it comes to the material of the label, the manufacturer uses paper instead of plastic in accordance with consumers’ wishes for sustainable packaging. The bottle neck will continue to be encased in aluminum foil in accordance with EU regulations.

The last comprehensive revision of the bottles of the variety “Mumm vintage sparkling wine” is now 24 years ago. In 1998, the label design was changed, with the brand name “Mumm & Co.” is placed above the variety designation contained in a relatively small label (“no-label look”).

The labels are now made of paper instead of plastic. According to a survey from March 2021 (Simon-Kucher & Partners), 73 percent of German consumers value sustainable packaging. “The Mumm brand took this change in values ​​as an opportunity to switch from plastic labels to more sustainable paper labels, thus responding to consumers’ ever-growing environmental awareness,” according to the official press release.

Excerpt from the press release

The eye-catching appearance of the bottle attracts the consumer’s attention. Furthermore, the new paper label with the embossed logo letter gives the bottle a unique character – the label’s silver edge also ensures a special shine and thus a high-quality appearance. At the same time, the high brand recognition value of the well-known brand logo is maintained.

Mumm Sekt Dry Redesign, image source: Rotkäppchen-Mumm, image montage: dt

With the design presented last December, the brand name moves back to the rectangular label. The variants “Mumm Dry”, “Mumm Rosé Dry” and “Mumm Extra Dry” are affected by the redesign. According to the results of market research, the new presentation generates “an increase in qualitative perception and a more valuable positioning”. The brand name used in embossing gives the product a new feel. The differentiation of the varieties based on different colors is still given. According to the manufacturer, the new design is “modern and minimalist”.

The new design has been on the market since January 2023

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Some people will surely ask themselves: the manufacturer changes the labels to a more sustainable solution, but sticks to the use of the metal (aluminum) foil capsule, which encloses the stopper and the bottle neck? That’s the way it is. Strictly according to EU regulations. Because EU regulation VO (EU) 2019/33 stipulates that the bottle neck of a sparkling wine must be completely or partially covered with foil.

Unfortunately, no satire: As part of the wine inspection, Saar winemaker Florian Lauer (VDP-Weingut Peter Lauer, Ayl) was banned from selling the sparkling wine bottles he had produced, as they were not encapsulated (without foil capsules) and therefore did so. does not meet the legal requirements. For the administrative court in Trier, Lauer wanted to ensure that he could also offer the sparkling wine bottles for sale without the prescribed equipment, because from an environmental protection point of view, such equipment, including the foil capsule, was a great burden in the winemaker’s opinion. Lauer calculated that one champagne capsule is responsible for CO₂ emissions of 48 grams. Abandoning the capsule for all sparkling wines produced in Germany could therefore lead to CO₂ savings of 16,800 tonnes of CO₂ for around 350 million bottles per year (source). The administrative court in Trier rejected the application. In the next instance, the higher administrative court in Koblenz will now decide.

In summary: a winegrower wants to avoid waste, but the state wine inspectors do not allow him to do so. If the foil cap is at best a “good feature” and the wire frame (Agraffe) is already sufficient to secure the stopper, then the use of such a foil cap should be questioned. In my opinion, the shiny metallic foil is not only not “pretty”, it also requires lousy fiddling, similar to blister packaging, one of the worst packaging inventions of all. It is possible that the manufacturer Mumm would also have liked to do without this tricky feature, which is also harmful to the environment. According to current case law, however, there is apparently little discretion in this regard.

It’s absurd. On the one hand, the state campaigns to save energy, use resources as sustainably as possible and avoid waste. On the other hand, government agencies implement regulations that de facto work against these goals. In Germany, the regulatory fixation is already very pronounced.

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