Craft Spirits Packaging – What’s on the outside is just as important as what’s inside the bottle.
At first that statement might seem a bit bold but read on before you judge.
The US is leading the global growth of craft spirits. It’s fair to say that this trend is strongly reflected in Ireland. Instead of one or two options for Gin and Vodka you can now expect a wonderful selection of craft options in most bars and hotels around the country. Spirit drinkers are seeking brands with a quirky backstory and ideally brands their peers have not heard of. Local distilling meets a number of ideals; it supports local communities, has more natural ingredients and creates a more environmentally friendly product. In the US two in five millennials define themselves as creative and unique and it they have taken this ethos into their spirit – buying habits. In 2008 there were approximately 100 craft distilleries in the US but by 2014 this number had increased to nearly 600. It is forecast that craft-spirits share of the US spirits market could rise to as much as 8% by 2020.
Another trend that is set to grow is flavoured spirits. Traditionally craft distillers steered away from flavouring spirits as it was seen as less premium. However craft innovators are now using more premium, unusual and naturally flavourings and botanicals to help to differentiate their products. Research from Mintel’s Global New Products Database reveals that craft spirit launches increased by 265% between 2011 and 2015. This surge in craft spirits is backed globally by strong consumer demand for artisanal alcoholic beverages. But the surge also means more competition and so it’s more important than ever that your particular alcohol brand is strong and distinctive.
When you start a new distillery you will have a thousand things you need to think about. Making your craft Gin, Vodka or Whiskey will most likely be your main focus, however how your product will look should not be a last-minute thought. Your label design should tell your story. It should make your spirit stand out behind the bar and on the retail shelf. And most importantly it should help to sell bottles. If you take a look at the bottles on the shelves at present it’s clear which ones stand out as premium products. It can be the case that a small batch craft spirit that is distilled with love and care could be overlooked in favour of a different brand with more appealing packaging. It’s important not to let this happen to your craft product.
Producing and launching a new product is expensive and because bottling and packaging is almost the last step it’s likely the budget will be tight for this stage. However the cost of your alcohol package design isn’t just the finished artwork seen on your label – there is hours of research, sketching, refining, market testing, paper selection and print consultations. We put the same love and attention into our design work that you put into your distilling. All these things are what makes the difference between “ok” packaging and stunning packaging that will do justice to your craft spirit. A professionally designed label is vital to creating a look that will convince a new customer to buy it.
There are hundreds of different styles of spirits for a reason. Different people have different tastes and those people are looking for something specific. Part of our job is to find out the unique aspects of your product and to use your label to sell your story to the people who will be interested in it the minute they see your bottle. Creating a alcohol label to appeal to everyone is like trying to please all of the people all of the time, it’s not possible and it’s much more effective to focus on your brand story and personality to ensure that you do justice to your particular craft spirit.
In the end, our goal is to help distilleries sell spirits. We have years of experience in alcohol label design and work with specialist alcohol label printers who achieve amazing printed results. We firmly believe when it comes to craft spirits – what’s on the outside is just as important as what’s inside the bottle. Your alcohol label design and packaging is one of the main things that will encourage a customer to try your product for the first time, only after that will the quality of your spirit be experienced.
No matter what stage of your process you are at, whether you are ready to start bottling or you just have an idea, get in touch with us here in AKGraphics and we will work with you to create packaging that does your spirit justice.