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Opportunistic theft is rife throughout the wine supply chain. Temptation is natural, with easily recognisable bottles costing upwards of USD 100 per bottle. Moreover, it is just too easy with existing packaging, generally sealed with a piece of tape, nails or a sticker.


The deflating feeling from a customer when there is something missing translates into an erosion of trust. If it was a special bottle for a gift it can escalate to anger and embarrassment. Beyond this, there is an administrative charge to find and send a replacement, deal with the insurance and placate a customer. A drain on time, resources and customer satisfaction.


But all this can be avoided. Pharmaceutical companies protect their goods with tamper proof packaging. Why can’t wine packaging companies look to do likewise?


They can and we have.


Our Citadel Anti-Fraud case operates a simple pinch and push© analogue lock which secures the bottles at source. Once sealed, bottles can only be removed from the case by ripping the lock. A visible, immediate sign that the case has been opened. When the lock is in tact, is it a visible clear sign that this case is original and unopened.


This is a completely new approach to wine packaging, the first of its kind; A permanent closure which does not impact the branding and presentation of the bottles.


This simple fastening mechanism ensures customers trust their delivery and no unwanted hands tampered with their precious bottles. The value of a truly “original case” is not to be understated - just look at auction results. When asked to vote on whether customers would were in favour of a lock on their case, if they did not need to pay more, the result was a unanimous YES.


Peace of mind is valuable. If it comes at no added cost, then why not take advantage of that value and deliver more to your customers.



  • dougrumsam


You have 1-2 seconds to capture consumer attention. Those famous words drove branding agents to deliver kaleidoscopic whirls of colourful print. But being noticed was the first packaging challenge. We are shifting phases in the packaging world. Standing out from the crowd is now less relevant in an increasingly online driven marketplace. Being remembered is now the most powerful proposition. The question is how?

Attention to detail and understanding the interaction with product and packaging allows designers to create lasting customer experiences. Examine how you can go one step further and delight your customers. What can you do to deliver the message that you care and go the extra mile? Some ideas to look at: texture, shape, movement, material, personalisation and hidden elements.


We applied this philosophy to Citadel. We spent years observing, asking and learning how the industry moves wine, handles wine, inspects wine, bottles and unboxes wine.


Our customer moment centres upon the feel of our case. From afar, a natural kraft-coloured case does not stand out. But when it is in your hands everything changes. Our paper is significantly heavier weighted compared to normal corrugated packaging. The feel of the paper is crisp, sturdy and solid to the touch. The individual fibres decorate the paper’s surface, lending a lovely natural mottled effect. This fibrous texture and mottled brown colour, speak to the roots of wine itself. Goodbye cheap cardboard case, hello to an appropriate case for fine wine. These details translate to memorable experiences formed when handling our cases. The lasting impression is one of something natural, premium and built specifically for purpose.


We looked beyond anti-breakage packaging, with a focus on keeping the wine as the hero. We wanted to frame the bottles and present them in celebration of the passionate work of the winemaker. We looked at over 200 different prototypes, curving edges, adding or removing materials, playing with shapes, locks, bottles and reinforced panelling. Packaging evolves to meet the requirements of the market and the consumers. The result of our testing is the most complete solution in wine packaging available today.



  • Citadel Casing

Updated: Feb 19



The wine market has evolved. Wine distribution in the last decade has exploded. Never before has the quality of wine been so exceptional. Never before have there been so many impassioned wine makers across the world championing their terroir. We wine drinkers are fortunate.


The good fortune of wine drinkers has, however, presented challenges to the industry.


Styrofoam is used the world over in packaging to protect wines from the perils of transport. Tremendously harmful to the environment, hard to recycle and bulky, this is an unnecessary source of waste and pollution. Even plastic sleeves, inflated to cover bottles tend to be single use only. Bubble wrap is ripped off and rarely re-used. These are not materials which celebrate the nature of wine.


Beyond sustainability wine makers have had to contend with disastrous market conditions in 2020. Prized restaurant clients were sadly forced to close doors and sales of wine dropped through the floor. The result has been an increase in online-adaptation. By November 2020 online sales had exploded to 10% of total wine sales, up from 2% pre-covid.


The job-to-be-done for packaging has broadened. The need for a multi-purpose solution which is aligned with a brands aesthetics and philosophy and can also be depended upon for total protection with courier services is urgent. The industry is changing and Citadel is facilitating seamless adaptation.