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Building brands through packaging design
Source：Food Bev Asia
Date Published：3/23/2017 02:03:13 PM
TRENDS and developments in alcoholic beverage packaging in Southeast Asia is as diverse as the region.
Achieving a premium look is a growing trend in Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, while a shift toward smaller sizes is gaining ground in Indonesia and Thailand.
Closure innovation is a value-added offer in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; convenience in packaging figures prominently in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
These market movements are being followed ever so-closely by industry players in the beverage packaging sector, among them metal packaging firm Crown.
“For us, the most significant trend we see is the proliferation of sleek style and slim style beverage cans,” says Robert Bourque, president of Crown Asia Pacific. “They are proving to be the go-to format for various beverage categories, including alcoholic beverages.”
One example is Heineken’s 250ml slim can range which Crown produces for the brand in Asia, Europe and South America.
“Crown customers choosing sleek style cans are also exploring how to make package graphics pop, whether in terms of design or the decoration technologies used,” says Mr. Bourque.
He adds that Crown’s abilities in this area, which include options like tactile inks, matte and novelty finishes and high quality printing, allows alcoholic beverage brands to create an impactful and eye-catching packaging.
“One advantage of beverage cans is their large printable surface area that serves as a 360-degree billboard for brands on shelves, which is typically not feasible with other packaging formats,” continues Mr. Bourque.
“In addition to its role of communicating a brand’s value to consumers and creating differentiation on shelf, packaging has a critical impact on product quality. The inherent properties of metal help protect product flavour and freshness.”
“Brands are placing as much emphasis on the experience consumers have while purchasing or consuming the product as on the beverage itself”
Mr. Robert Bourque, President, CROWN Asia Pacific
Connecting with consumers
“The alcoholic beverages sector, as a whole, is a fast-moving and dynamic market,” explains Mr Bourque. “Many brands are turning to packaging as a means to deepen connections with consumers and as a vehicle for greater engagement.”
And to highlight how brands can engage the market through packaging design, he cites their collaboration with beer brands Guinness and Tiger in Singapore to commemorate milestones.
“In Singapore, we recently partnered with Guinness to create limited edition packaging for its Foreign Extra Stout brand to celebrate the company’s 150-year history in the market,” he reveals. “Eye-catching graphics featuring iconic local references are set against Guinness’ signature black background and take on a photo-like quality thanks to Crown’s offset printing process.”
Crown also worked with Tiger Beer to develop a specialty can to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday.
“In general, limited edition packaging offers a powerful marketing platform for brand owners to mark important milestones, support special causes or create tie-ins to larger brand campaigns,” he says.
Metal cans are a popular choice for alcoholic beverages, especially in the beer and craft brew categories.
“However, we are seeing cans gain traction with other alcoholic beverage applications due to many of the format’s inherent properties. Beverage cans are convenient, lightweight and chill easily. They also provide a powerful barrier against light and oxygen – the two key adversaries of beer and other alcoholic beverages,” he says.
Crown has introduced several innovations to help brand owners convey a premium look and feel like the Global Vent™ - a distinctive beverage end that was specifically developed by the company for the beer segment
Brands are increasingly demanding “smart” technologically-advanced labels and packaging solutions (Photo: Videojet)
Design innovations for a premium look
Crown asserts that brands seek ways to elevate their packaging to appeal to consumers’ desires for luxury and quality.
“Brands are placing as much emphasis on the experience consumers have while purchasing or consuming the product as on the beverage itself,” says Mr Bourque. “And Crown has introduced several innovations to help brand owners convey a premium look and feel.”
An example highlighted by Crown is the proprietary Global Vent™ - a distinctive beverage end that was specifically developed by the company for the beer segment.
“The lid consists of dual aperture openings that allow air to flow more easily into the beverage can when the liquid is poured out. This design improves flow rate by 30-40% and also facilitates a smoother pour,” Mr Bourque explains.
“Crown also offers multiple design enhancement options and decorative technologies to brand owners, helping them express their distinct personalities to consumers and differentiate their products in a highly competitive market.”
Another ideal example of packaging design that’s thriving in the marketplace is Asahi Breweries’ Super Dry beer which was designed by Nippon Design Center (NDC).
NDC’s website1 describes at length the thinking behind the concept for Asahi Super Dry’s packaging.
According to NDC they applied the “Hard & Dry” concept that was decided as the product development idea to the package design.
The silver color of the aluminum can itself was used as the product’s defining element. “The reason should be easy to see when you look at the relationship with the drops of water. It produces an instinctive impression of refreshing coolness,” explains NDC. In addition to silver, red and black were also utilized creating a color combination unique to Super Dry beer.
“By their nature, colors are more easily recognizable than shapes, so despite many refinements, the package retains the same sense of presence even after 25 years,” says NDC.
Quoting from their book Design Polylogue, 50 Years of Nippon Design, NDC shares that “package design is not only about the effect when the product is lined up on the shelves; the feeling in the moment when you take the product in your hand is also very important, and a sense of story is also needed.”
“There has been a great leap in label and packaging technological advancement, and coding and marking is playing an integral role – particularly where smart, overt and covert coding solutions are concerned"
Arthur Smith, Global marketing manager, Videojet Technologies
Integrating new technology in packaging design to fight counterfeiting
According to Videojet Technologies, a coding and marking company, a major challenge being faced by brand owners in the alcoholic beverages sector nowadays, especially those selling high value wines and spirits, is that original packs are being refilled with counterfeit products.
“High quality fake packaging is now available at low cost; as such, counterfeit alcohol now looks increasingly authentic and is more difficult to detect from the packaging alone,” declares Arthur Smith, global marketing manager of Videojet Technologies. “Coding and marking technology can provide a whole new level of visibility and tracking to your distribution chain, empowering manufacturers to better fight the costly battle against counterfeiting and diversion.”
Mr Smith also reveals that a recent study estimates the premium wine market in China to be concentrated with counterfeit product in the range of 50-70%.
“There has been a great leap in label and packaging technological advancement, and coding and marking is playing an integral role – particularly where smart, overt and covert coding solutions are concerned,” he adds.
“Advanced coding and marking solutions enable brands to convey this important information to consumers in a way that does not interfere with packaging design, at the same time allowing them to keep a close eye on products as they travel through the distribution chain. -JONEL GUITTAP
1Asahi Beer / WORKS / Nippon Design Center - http://www.ndc.co.jp/works/asahibeer/?lang=en