CASE STUDY: CRAFT WHISKY RETAIL PACKAGING DESIGN
Packaging design for companies in the food and beverage industry is one of the fastest growing areas in packaging. The landscape is always changing and customers constantly have new demands and interests in their food and beverage preferences when it comes to packaging and the end-user experience. Additionally, pressures from the environment and supply chain have influenced decisions that need to be made for food and beverage companies, particularly with their packaging.
A booming market in the industry is packaging for alcoholic beverages. In particular, the American whisky industry is on the rise. There are now more than 2,000 craft distillers in the US, according to Forbes in 2021: “Consumer interest in American whiskys, especially rare, ultra-aged, ultra-expensive expressions, is growing exponentially.”
Turning to an interesting case study in packaging, Virginia Distillery Company – an award winning, craft whisky company – was in need of packaging design that would allow them to stand out amongst the vastly growing competition in the whisky market.
Who is Virginia Distillery Company
As we already mentioned, whisky lovers are especially interested in rare and unique tasting whisky. They also seek out distilleries and small batch whisky. Virginia Distillery Company is located near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Their high quality whisky was designed to leverage the natural qualities that are home to Virginia:
Using the highest quality malted barley and fresh spring water fed from the Blue Ridge Mountains, our spirit was developed to leverage Virginia’s climate, allowing the broad temperature shifts to add depth to our whisky. Hand-hammered copper pot stills crafted in Scotland are used to distill our spirit using time-honored techniques. What makes us a distinctly American whisky, and defines our signature taste, is our unique combination of casks aged in Virginia’s climate.
Another thing we know about the whisky business is that quality is of high importance to customers. Style and expression are important for these whisky companies, and showing their brand identity (and history) goes beyond the taste.
Like other boutique whisky distilleries, Virginia Distillery Company embodies premium, signature quality. Here’s how we revolutionized their packaging design.
The Design Process
The Virginia Distillery Company packaging design project came about as they were starting a new product concept: sample kit of whisky bottles and glasses, a blending kit that would be sold in retail stores. Morrisette’s design team worked on the design and presented it to their corporate team – and they loved it!
As this was a brand new project for them – and us – the Virginia Distillery Company team did not have a concrete idea of what they wanted. They had a brief description of what the product’s purpose would be, but it was our task to learn about their brand and bring to life the exceptional quality and taste of the product through excellent packaging structure and graphic design.
Our design team mocked up 3 designs to get the concept rolling. The Virginia Distillery Company marketing department provided artwork for the box and we worked diligently to make the artwork fit properly on the box. We worked on graphics from the customer, fitted them to structure, made sure elements were set up to print correctly, and produced samples.
Their team quickly gave approval and we were off to the printer. Through this whole process, the Virginia Distillery Company team was impressed with the pricing and quick turnaround time for all of the parts involved.
The End Result
Overall, our focus was on high-end design details, structural setup, quick turnaround, and pricing. We created the packaging for the whisky blending kit, and succeeded in creating something intended for retail environments, yet still protective.
From a structural perspective, it was designed to fit 3 full bottles, 1 empty, 1 with a beaker, and a glencairn whisky drinking glass. The glass objects inside the package were protected with a divider system, which kept them separated. We left the visible divider edges raw when looking at the front of the package as the fluted medium tied in with the mountain themed graphics.
Here is the final result:
Since this order, we have received more purchase orders for different projects with Virginia Distillery Company and we can’t wait to share those designs with you in the future.
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Categories: Case Study, Packaging Design