Michelangelo on par with global trends as sales of award stickers rocket

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019
Michelangelo International Awards
More than ever, wine and spirits producers are understanding and valuing the relevance of serious competitions – a factor underscored by drinks competitions globally reporting not just an increase in entries, but a sharp escalation in the demand from successful producers for winners’ stickers.

According to Lorraine Immelman, CEO and founder of the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, the largest competition of its kind in Africa, the drastic increase in the demand for award stickers from Michelangelo winners appears to be a universal trend.

“The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, one of the world’s largest international wine competitions, recently reported a 20% rise in orders of medal sticker rolls in 2018 compared to the previous year,” says Immelman. “At the same time, Michelangelo is still receiving calls from producers wishing to order stickers for their 2018 winning wines and spirits - almost six months after last year’s results were announced. Initially we thought this had to do with the competition receiving its highest amount of entries ever in 2018 – over 2 250. But doing the recon we found that the 28% increase in entries from 2017 to 2018, brought about a 42% increase in sticker orders for the same period.

This clearly shows a significant growth in medal sticker orders in real terms, which is on a par with the global trend.”

[Michelangelo saw a 28% increase in entries from 2017 to 2018, while award sticker orders increased by 42% for the same period. This substantial growth is clearly on a par with the global trend.]

According to Immelman, this vindicates her belief that the consumer is becoming more discerning at her or his wine choices, believing that bottles adorned with a shiny medal sticker won at a reputable competition offers a better proposition in terms of wine quality.

“The 42% increase in orders for Michelangelo stickers underscores the credibility the competition has built in its 22 year-long history,” says Immelman. “I believe this is largely the result of the reputation of the Michelangelo has evoked in the eyes of the producer due to Michelangelo’s insistence that its judging panels primarily consist of foreign-based wine experts with international palates, who select wines with universal appeal.”

Market research has also shown that a gold or double gold (Grand’Or) medal sticker primarily catches the eye of consumers which are in a hurry, and they are more inclined to grab such a bottle off the shelf. (Source: Neuninger, R., Mather, D., and Duncan, T. 2017. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 35.) Incidentally, Michelangelo sold seven times more gold and Grand’Or award stickers in 2018 than all other medal stickers combined, which underscores the above finding.

Customized Michelangelo technology gives winners the edge

Immelman further ascribes the escalation in the demand for stickers to the fact that Michelangelo is the first wine competition in the world to include a QR code on its winners’ stickers, allowing consumers to scan the decal and instantly obtaining background information on the relevant producer.

“This technological break-through has attracted huge interest from produces as well as the international market-place,” says Immelman. “Last year’s Michelangelo winning wines have been scanned by consumers in over 50 countries around the world, not only providing wine-buyers with more information on the wines, but also for the first time introducing global consumers to the South African wine culture. And that’s why we remain proud to say that Michelangelo is the country’s only true international wine competition.”

Lorraine Immelmann
Lorraine Immelmann

more news