Hello Kitty, the kitsch cartoon cat from Japan, is being used to market Italian wine, Decanter reports.
Winemaker Tenimenti Castelrotto in Lombardy has joined forces with Italian luxury goods company Camomilla to market four wines featuring the melon-headed feline in its packaging.
Camomilla and Tenimenti Castelrotto believe the brand is both sophisticated and grown-up enough to sell wine.
“Hello Kitty is not just for children. She is a recognized cult fashion icon among teenagers and adults around the world,” said winemaker Patrizia Torti, whose family owns Castelrotto.
“She has been trendy for years. You see her on everything from bags and clothing to Porsches and Smart cars. We’re very proud for our wine to be associated with her.”
The range — all made from 100% Pinot Noir from the Oltrepo Pavese area — includes a red wine called Devil, a white named Angel, and two spumantes… a Brut Rose and a demi-sec dubbed Sweet Pink.
All bottles carry the Hello Kitty logo on labels or neck pendants, as well as the Italian flag.
“Hello Kitty is one of the most recognized characters in the world and continues to be very popular in Italy,” said Nicolas Belloni, Camomilla’s export manager.
When Disney released “Ratatouille,” an animated film about an epicurean mouse, it had plans to market a wine featuring the mouse on the label. But before the wine’s launch, the plan was scrapped as Disney officials sought to avoid possible critcism from parents.
Does a similar fate await Hello Kitty in the United States? As always, the marketplace will provide the ultimate answer.