Strategies & Insights

Front Panel: Creative beer and liquor packaging from around the world

Posted: September 8, 2014

Viktorija Gnatoka, a global packaging analyst at Mintel, shares some of her favorite beer and liquor packaging from around the world.

PRODUCT: Ikea beer
COMPANY: Ikea Food Services
Ikea chose a simple design for its bottle and label, which is consistent with its retail store environments and is in line with what the Ikea brand stands for—quality and simplicity at a fair price.

This strategy of extending beyond traditional categories where a particular brand is especially strong is trending in retail. We dub this, the “Extend My Brand” trend, and our research finds this trend across a variety of retail outlets from drugstores to mass merchandisers. Walgreen’s has created stores within stores; Target offers groceries; and mass merchandisers are partnering with banking, optical and fast food services.


PRODUCT: Skøll Tuborg
Skøll Tuborg comes dressed for the occasion. The thick blue textile jacket with silver graphics and text, is lined with faux fur, which, along with adding a bit of decoration panache, also helps protect the bottle. The result is an unusual and eye catching presentation in a category where standing out is often difficult.

The distinctive look is a great fit for this particular brand, which is a true mix of cultures. The design inspiration comes from Sweden; the brew is produced by Utenos a Utena in Lithuania; and the product is available in France. The beer is also a mash of flavors, with vodka and citrus added for effect.

The design’s color, textures and graphics combine for a fantastic presentation that pulls on the idea of contrasts. The 660-mL cobalt blue bottle is decorated with striking foil and heavy embossing and is screen printed. The bottle is topped with a crimp-on aluminum ring-pull. The Swedish brand name, ice-blue colors and masculine graphic overtures reminds me of Scandinavian Vikings—strong men who would drink beer. The jacket portrays warmth against the cold.


PRODUCT: Desperados
COMPANY: H Enterprise
An example of cross-category inspiration, Tequila-flavored beer Desperados is a result of a cross-fertilization of flavors and it borrows from the summer soft-drinks category with the idea of using a handled metal ice bucket as a dual-purpose multipack. Handles on the bucket afford ease of transport for the bottles and can be reused for parties and outdoor occasions long after the first purchase, thus reinforcing the Desperados brand equity.


PRODUCT: Suiyoubi No Neko
COMPANY: Crtrading
COUNTRY: South Korea
With a few low-calorie and low-carb exceptions, beer cans are typically masculine oriented. They tend to feature bold designs and colors. This Belgium white beer, launched in South Korea, has what would be considered by Westerners to be a more feminine design. The cat graphics, though, are not all that unusual in the bigger picture of packaging design in the Asia-Pacific region. But the pastel colors, cat-like graphics and thinly weighted type suggest lighter alcohol content to me and that the brand is targeting women.


The label on this Spanish chardonnay is a welcome break from the category norm of water-color perspectives of vineyards or single images of leaves and small forest creatures. The chance Aldi took on this complicated duo-tone patterned design works well to help it stand out on shelf.

To balance the complexity of the pattern, the only text on the label is “Chardonnay” and the name of the winery.


PRODUCT: Lady Lola
COMPANY: Enoitalia
From Italy, Lady Lola Pinot Grigio features a bottle shape more often associated with tequila. Even the cork is not fully embedded into the neck of the bottle, but sits high atop, thus even more so resembling a fine spirit.

This is a great example of a brand taking inspiration from another category, with the goal to target a specific consumer demographic group. The bottle features just one small front-panel label. Instead of a second label on the back of the bottle, additional product information, along with a QR code, is printed on the bottom of the bottle in gray type. Such a minimalistic approach puts the emphasis on product and allows the consumer to see as much of the product as possible.


Product: Flasq
Company: JT Wines
Country: USA
The use of a one-piece metal bottle for a California Chardonnay could be considered sacrilege among some wine connoisseurs, but would most likely resonate with eco-conscious shoppers, who understand the inherent recyclability of metal cans.

The sleek container is also easy to carry, reclosable and a value buy at half the size of the traditional 750- mL wine bottle. The convenience and value factor aside, Flasq demonstrates how forward-thinking brands that understand their target markets can have an impact with a bit of inspiration from outside the category.

The slender, one-piece metal can has become a staple among mass beer brands; it’s unusual, but not unheard of, for wine. Mintel data reveals that 30% of all U.S. consumers are interested in portable and on-the-go packaging for alcoholic beverages. Flasq definitely addresses this need.


Luxe Pack Monaco
A rich edition in the making.

Luxe Pack Monaco 2014 will be held from Monday, October 27 to 29, at the Grimaldi Forum. For its 27th edition, the show will bring together a panel of 400 exhibitors and leaders in their particular fields of expertise— selected according to the criteria of creativity, innovation, materials representativeness and design-execution expertise.

Expected to be a benchmark trade fair for all packaging professionals, the show company also believes the 27th edition will be a hot ticket for meeting and networking, providing a spark of inspiration and creativity for all markets that make packaging central to their strategies, including beauty products, fine wines, spirits, food, jewelry, tobacco and writing materials.

More than ever, manufacturers are choosing Luxe Pack Monaco to unveil their new products; dedicated spaces, roundtables and various events will highlight these new concepts and bring visitors inspiration. There will also be an area dedicated to package design trends. Along with Géraldine Bouchot from Carlin International and Daniela Walker, from LS: N Global, luxury packaging designer Marc Rosen will play as editor-in-chief of the Luxe Pack Essentials guide, to be given to visitors after the show; it will highlight the underlying trends in the world of creative packaging.

On Monday, October 27, the designer Patrick Jouin, whose creativity spans both industrial design and the world of luxury goods, will be 2014 Luxe Pack Monaco’s Guest of Honor. He will inaugurate a rich program of approximately 20 lectures featuring exclusive testimonials on responsible purchasing, smart packaging, luxury culture in China, digitalizing luxury packaging, and more.

Along with Anne-Marie Sargueil, president of the French Design Institute, Jouin will explore the experiential side of package design, at the session “Luxury is all about sensation. We are simply designing experience.”

For the first time ever, Package Design magazine will present its Makeover Challenge concepts at the show. The annual contest has four distinct agencies re-imagine an existing package design. This year’s brand is premium cosmetic brush and beauty purveyor Kelley Quan New York. Read more about the brand and the contest in our August issue.

Luxe Pack Monaco 2014 will also look at the revolutionizing potential of 3-D printing. Luxury professionals attending the roundtable, “3-D Print for the Packaging Industry: Assets and Stakes,” can get their questions answered about the technology. A 3-D printing demonstration will run all three days of the show in the 3-D Print Area that will illustrate, in the most interactive way, all possibilities for the packaged goods companies.

As part of its continuing expansion, Luxe Pack is inaugurating a new hall (Hall Gênois) dedicated to the formulation and full-service for perfumery-cosmetics.

Exhibitors’ space combined with a program of roundtables and plenary lectures, alternating with workshops offered by the exhibitors will give visitors a new perspective of this sector. For more information and to pre-register for the show, please visit


Winning Service
Foodservice cup wins over fans at the World Cup.

Package design was a major player at this year’s World Cup, thanks to food-service cups created by beer giant AmBev and marketing supplier-partner MatrixPlast ( The cups were decorated with labels made of synthetic paper from Yupo ( that provided a durable canvas for the bright, bold designs and a pebbled, nonslip surface that fans could easily grip if the cups were dripping over with beer.

“The main function of the cup at the World Cup was brand exposure, especially on television,” Alexandre Pomarico, commercial director for Matrix, says. “But the result was much bigger. People around the world took the cups to their countries of origin. There were no cups on the floors of the stadiums or in the garbage after the games. The expected sales volume was exceeded. For example, we made 90,000 cups for the final match between Germany and Argentina. this volume was sold out in the  first 15 minutes of the game.”