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Wine, Spirits, Beer Packaging In The Digital Age

In this article we write tips on wine packaging, beer packaging, spirits packaging.

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Packaging In The Digital Age

According to Pro Carton Packaging, the youthful consumers of today are being tagged as the “Digital Natives.” Branded items have taken on the function of mass media. Much of what we know about products – from ingredients to information about the manufacturer–, is derived from the packaging. And packaging also decides whether a brand matches our lifestyle and whether we would like to own the product. Here, packaging not only takes on the role of mass media, but also its reach: 89% of consumers regularly hold packaging in their hands and study it in depth. This not only happens in the store but also at home.

Whether a new wine or beer product is used quickly or slowly or is recommended, also depends on the packaging. Packaging is therefore more than an equal to the other mass media used in marketing communication – TV, radio, print media or Internet. In particular, the generation of people who grew up with the Internet (the ‘Digital Natives” are younger than 30 today) uses packaging for far more than just storing goods safely.


Orientation in a digital world

The “Digital Natives” have already learned to live with the Internet in their early years – among 14- to 20-year olds this is established practice. Their communication, dealing with media, and also their buying behavior is characterized by this. The study shows: packaging is often more important for them than for their older contemporaries.


Basically, packaging has two main tasks:

wine packaging1.) A signal function for orientation in a store and the communication function which brings the brand alive and provides information. The signal function of packaging does not lose its significance in the digital world. On the contrary: it is even more important for “Digital Natives” when they browse through the Internet.

2.) It provides orientation, not only on the store shelf, but also on e-commerce pages and Google search results. This is why the majority of consumers also place great value on seeing images of the packaging online.

The more consumers browse through the Internet, the more they appreciate images of the packaging as an orientation aid. Connecting the material features of packaging to the virtuality of the Internet offers new opportunities for wine and craft beer brand communication. This is exemplified by the high interest rate in QR codes. Even if usage is increasing slowly, the interest is very pronounced, particularly among the “Digital Natives.”

The communication function is also of great importance to “Digital Natives,” especially the brand message, as wine and craft beer brands are more important to them than for other age groups. For them, brands are the expression of individual personality and an important topic for discussion. It is therefore not surprising that they have greater wine and craft beer brand knowledge which is, for example, expressed in that they recognize brands easier by their logo.

Wine and craft beer brands stand for quality. “Digital Natives” are more pronounced in their assessment of quality through packaging. For wine and craft beer packaging companies, it is therefore an important element in generating brand awareness.


Spontaneous or planned

we all have different buying behaviors: sometimes we plan our wine and beer purchases and have a shopping list when we go to the supermarket. Sometimes we are inspired by price or promotional offers and make impulse purchases. But one thing is abundantly clear: no matter whether a spontaneous or planned shopper – a product needs to be held in the hand first to be evaluated properly. When designing wine or craft beer packaging it is therefore not sufficient to just focus on attention-getting features. Planned shoppers also pay attention to packaging.


beer packagingHowever, the entire spectrum of communication options on wine and craft beer packaging tends to be used more by impulse buyers. They rate wine and craft beer packaging higher in all its functions than planned shoppers. This also applies to many other consumer product categories. As spontaneous shoppers are always on the look-out for new things, their attention is guided by new packaging. New things are not only viewed but also touched – and from then on it is a small step to buying. That’s why unique-shaped bottles, new label technology (holographic or 3-D), different size cartons, unique variety packs, gift packaging, wax-dripped bottle necks, and unique closures make wine and craft beers stand out on the shelf—if it were all digital, you could “look but not touch!”


Artisan wine and craft beer shoppers view themselves as being competent consumers making rational decisions. Therefore they appreciate information which supplies reasons for the purchase – detailed information on the wine’s grapes, terroir, aging, winemaker’s skills and environmental aspects are all important in their final decision. Craft beer drinkers are becoming more informed on the types of hops, hop oils, aging, bottle conditioning, hop-backing and hop bursting processes, as well as the source of those hops and what cycle of fermentation they are added. These same consumers are also interested in the small print. This is where wine and craft beer packaging offers an opportunity for communication: it can provide additional sensible arguments and supportive information.

If you are a artisan wine maker or a craft brewer looking to break into today’s crowded consumer market, you had better understand what drives wine and craft beer purchases and/or take a refresher course on digital age marketing and packaging at your local technical college or University—it make the difference between success and failure of the integrated marketing campaign and bottom line profit of your wine or beer brand!


Source: Pro Carton Design

Beverage Trade Network

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