Ukuva iAFrica presents the U-Tube

No newbies to the proudly South Africa theme, Ukuva iAfrica have been trading for more than 15 years creating various sauces and spices with a distinctive bit of design attached to their products: Namely the ‘African Neck’ wire feature, pictured below.

Now they have produced a new concept design for wine vessels called The U-Tube. The wine containing concept is described simply as “2 bottles, in a Tube, in a bag with a tap“. Created by Nigel Wood the concept has already won an international design award at the IFE exhibition in London.

If the international market responds similarly as they do towards Ukuva’s current product, then we suspect that this could be a hit. And I’ll tell you that a 1500ml wine vessel, priced well, with an African stamp of approval in a mass market situation, could go far.


Nigel Wood & Caroline Celliers

Ukuva iAfrica wins at Intenational Food and Drinks Exhibition, London

18 March 2011 by uKuva iAfrika Fairtrade Wines

After being judged by a panel of independent industry leaders, uKuva iAfrica Fairtrade Wines have won the prestigious award as one of the 10 category Winners of the “Fresh Ideas of 2011”.
The unique packaging design for the U-Tube, officially launched last week, has already earned uKuva iAfrica international wine industry appreciation and unprecedented retail market interest.

The final round will go through on 13 March 2011 to be voted the “Overall Winner New Product of the Year 2011”.


March 22, 2011

Design in wine packaging seems to have stagnated at a time when other products are bouncing through geometric shapes, sizes and colours from every conceivable angle. Ukuva iAfrica, however, have found an innovative way in which to present their latest wine collection.

The so-called “U-Tube” is a versatile wine vessel that can become a plant pot, a piñata or a piece of pop art. In fact, Ukuva iAfrica specifically wanted the design piece to be in a “constant state of flux” that their customers can enjoy along the way.

Since their unique packaging design for the U-Tube, officially launched this month, Ukuva iAfrica has earned appreciation from the international wine industry. They recently walked away with the prestigious “Fresh Ideas of 2011” award for “True Product Innovation within the Global Food and Drink Industry” at the International Food and Drinks Exhibition (IFE) in London.

We say cheers to great design!


March 16th 2011

It’s not often you see something genuinely refreshing and new that’s not only eye-catching but practical too. Well, that’s what happened when I sat down to join friends carbo-loading for the Argus cycle tour at a pasta place in Greenpoint last weekend.

I noticed this funky cardboard tube on the table – so picked it up and started reading it before spotting the wine tap sticking out of its base. The branding is straightforward –uKuva iAfrica – but is a cleverly simple idea. It’s called U-tube. Nigel Wood, the man behind this product admits that it’s to leverage as much humour as possible but also to highlight the fact that social media will be driving much of their marketing. His company – uKuva iAfrica – is all about ethical food products and doing the right thing, so this is a FairTrade wine to boot.

I was astounded that this product – which was only launched last week! – has already been recognised for its novelty value by being adjudged a category winner at the International Food and Drinks Exhibition (IFE) in London on Friday. It was rated in the Fresh Ideas of 2011 segment and has been put forward into the mix for the overall top award.

It’s two standard 750ml bottles of wines in a bag – with a tap, but instead of being in a box, it’s in a cardboard tube. “Tap in a tube,” as Wood said, “but it really works because it stands on a shelf with all the other bottles – and yet it isn’t a bottle. People can’t help themselves. They have to pick it up to have a look – and when they read the tube, they’re sold.”

But that’s not all… it hits that magic sweet spot of price, packaging and product intrinsic too. It isn’t just the packaging – which is seriously eye-catching with its funky red print – but the wine itself that makes this a winner. This is an eight-way red blend of Mourvèdre, Pinotage, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Shiraz, Malbec, Grenache and Cabernet Franc blend whipped up by Miles Mossop of Tokara. And it’s delicious! Succulent and fruity but with enough body and intensity to add interest. No hectic wood or tannin to send novice drinkers heading for the hills. It’s really tasty – and it only costs about R60!

There are three other wines in the range – a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and a Merlot.