Sainsbury’s lists Rioja label resembling Campo Viejo

Sainsbury’s appears to be targeting consumers of brand-leading Rioja by creating a label resembling Campo Viejo – and this isn’t the first time the UK grocer has designed something similar to a big player in the wine business.

Canto or Campo? These two were spotted side-by-side in Sainsbury’s on 2 December

As spotted by the drinks business on Sunday in the Streatham branch of Sainsbury’s, the supermarket has added what seems to be an exclusive-label Rioja to its range, which comes in a similar colour scheme to Rioja’s best-seller, Campo Viejo – a brand owned by Pernod Ricard.

Called Canto Valiente, the Rioja not only has a name that sounds similar to Campo Viejo, but also uses almost identical shades of yellow and red for the label, as well as a style of font that resembles that used by the Pernod brand.

Retailing for £7, the price charged for the Sainsbury’s label is £1 cheaper than the Campo Viejo Rioja Garnacha, although the supermarket label is currently on offer, with a £1 discount on its headline price.

In terms of the differences, Sainbury’s has opted for a Bordeaux style bottle and chosen to fill it with a Tempranillo-Garnacha blend, in contrast to Pernod Ricard’s use of a Burgundy bottle and just Garnacha for its entry-level offer from the Campo Viejo brand. (However, Campo Viejo’s Tempranillo comes in a Bordeaux bottle, but was not positioned next the grocer’s private label on the shelf).

As noted above, this isn’t the first time that the UK retailer has created an exclusive-label wine that bears a resemblance to an existing wine brand.

As reported by db last year, Sainsbury’s created a Chilean wine range with a striking resemblance to the world’s biggest South American wine brand – Casillero del Diablo.

The supermarket’s private-label range of Chilean wines was named Camino del Angel, comprising a Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in whites, and a Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon in reds.

There is a striking resemblance between the world’s biggest Chilean wine brand and Sainsbury’s private-label product. Picture source:

The name itself appears as though it was chosen to be similar to Chile’s largest wine brand Casillero del Diablo, even if the meaning of Sainsbury’s product references opposing biblical forces – the ‘angel’s road’ (Camino del Angel) versus the ‘devil’s castle’ (Casillero del Diablo).

However, it was the Sainsbury’s label design that caused the more intense controversy, incorporating almost identical features to the established Chilean brand, from the appearance of the capsule, to the font type, emblem design, and white, red and black colour scheme.

Then, in June 2017, db wrote about what seemed to be a look-a-like brand in another commercially important part of the wine business: Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Appearing to take respected and long-established New Zealand brand Villa Maria as inspiration, Sainsbury’s devised the Villetta Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which borrows the producer’s white label with gold surround, while employing a similar wing-like logo in almost the same shade of red (see picture above and bottom).

As we commented at the time, retailers are awash with private-label lookalikes of leading brands, while the discounters, such as Aldi and Lidl, which only stock exclusive lines, are littered with products that either appear like famous equivalents, or sound like them.

However, it is extremely galling for major wine brands who have invested heavily in raising awareness and engendering loyalty for their products to have something similar appear on the shelves that draws on the cues these brand owners have spent years promoting.

db has contacted both Pernod Ricard and Sainsbury’s for comment.

Bob Cambell MW was the first to write about the similarity between Sainsbury’s Villetta and Villa Maria. Picture credit: The Real Review

3 Responses to “Sainsbury’s lists Rioja label resembling Campo Viejo”

  1. Carl Mataya says:

    To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.

  2. Ivor Brand says:

    GSCOP Should take an independent view on this and fine the big retailers for this. The brands themselves in a lot of cases, won’t challenge them, out of fear of being de-listed. If complaints are made to GSCOP they should investigate it independently. Large supermarkets only respond to legislation and do what they want in the meantime. The above copied labels are a joke and Sainsbury’s are not the only ones guilty of it.

  3. Tony Enoch says:

    It’s basically corporate and IP theft. As a designer, I can copy a brand in an afternoon that has taken years of building and huge investment to create. It is not necessary, own brand design can be so much better! Shameful.

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