Marking Tradition
McCormick Distilling Co., Weston, Mo., rolled out new holiday promotional packaging for McCormick Irish Cream. The dark bottle incorporates a classic design with images of the Irish countryside, and in addition to 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter sizes, the product is available in a new 750-ml. gift pack with two glasses etched with the McCormick logo.
“We thought a more traditional look would go hand in hand with the product’s very popular traditional taste,” said McCormick’s Vic Morrison, vice president of marketing.
The company also decorated its Sgt. Peppermint in a candy cane-inspired bottle. Bottles of the new peppermint cream liqueur feature peppermint swirls and will be distributed nationally.
Heaven Hill Distilleries, Bardstown, Ky., created gift sets for the holiday season for many of its brands, offering everything from martini glasses to tiki mugs as value-added additions. “Distilled spirits sales are always highest during the months of November and December, and retailers can take advantage of our value-added gift sets to build holiday gift-giving centers, and to encourage impulse purchases,” says Kate Latts, director of marketing for Heaven Hill Distilleries.
For its Hpnotiq brand, which is popular in martinis and cosmopolitans, the company offers a hand-blown aqua blue martini glass with the purchase of a 750-ml. bottle, and a metallic silver outer carton decorated with Hpnotiq logos. Also included on the top flap of the carton is a mail-in coupon to order additional martini glasses.
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon is paired with an engraved silver “tipping jigger” and logoed rocks glass. The tipping jigger is a traditional way to chill whiskey by suspending it over ice on the rim of the glass. The gift set is packaged in a black and gold outer carton that reprints reviews by international whiskey writers.
Give. Live. Love. Coke.
The Coca-Cola Co. brought back the Coca-Cola Polar Bears this season as part of the company’s “Give. Live. Love. Coke.” holiday theme, which has been incorporated into product packaging and merchandising. The holiday look can be found on all of the Coca-Cola branded products as well as Sprite packaging. Retail outlets will be able to merchandise products from specially designed Polar Bear and Sundblom Santa case stackers, as well as the 2-liter “Sprite Tree,” a merchandising rack filled with 2-liter bottles configured to look like a Christmas tree.
Reflecting unique attitudes
The Bailey Group, Plymouth Meeting, Pa., designed holiday promotional packages for Frangelico, Licor 43, and Glenfiddich, which are distributed in the United States by Wm. Grant & Sons.
“When developing distilled spirits holiday gift packaging we dig really deep to tap into the attitude of both the user and the gift giver to create packaging that leverages the unique elements of each brand and that speaks to each brand’s key audience,” says Dave Fiedler, creative director at The Bailey Group. “We also carefully examine product shelf placement and all competition.”
For Frangelico, the company designed a colorful holiday carton and gift pack, which includes a 375-ml. bottle and two glasses. Licor 43 features packaging intended to convey its flavor profile and ways to enjoy the product. The company used flavor-inspired colors and imagery to convey the vanilla and orange citrus flavor as well as varying sizes of snowflakes and four drink recipes.
Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky was packaged with two Scottish cut glass tumblers in a promotional carton designed to convey simplicity.
Stocking stuffers for tea-lovers
The Republic of Tea, Novato, Calif., rolled out the 2005 Holiday Collection, a limited-edition line of flavors and gift tins. The line includes Harvest Mood Tea — Herbs of Reflection; Comfort and Joy Tea — Holiday Spice Blend; the Comfort and Joy Tea Traveler’s Tin containing six tea bags; and Tea of Good Tidings — Winter Fruit Blend. The company also offers the Tea & Infuser Gift Set, a full-sized tea tin and stainless steel infuser; and the Fair Trade Tea Sampler Gift Cube.
Effen and the Rolling Stones
Effen Vodka, marketed by a joint venture between jstar Brands and Barton Brands, Chicago, features a limited-edition gift pack that pairs a bottle of Effen Vodka and the Rolling Stones’ latest album release, “A Bigger Bang.” The gift pack retails for $30, and is being distributed nationwide. The promotion is not the first star-studded campaign for the vodka brand — it was a sponsor of the Mercedes Benz L.A. Fashion Week and the Rock & Republic fashion show, it was the official spirit in the Oscar nominee gift bags for the past two years, and was featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Packaging and promotions
Pernod Ricard’s Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila have been given value-added packaging and in-store promotions for the holidays. Canadian Club continues the poker theme launched in May with a commemorative poker bottle and gift box, a bottle packaged with rocks glasses, or a traditional bottle in a gift box with Canadian Club gift wrap. Courvoisier has been packaged with two highball glasses, and VSOP with two rocks glasses. For the Asian market, Courvoisier XO Imperial has been marked with Chinese calligraphy.
Sauza Tres Generaciones Añejo has been packaged with two branded sipping glasses, and Tres Generaciones Plata with a 50-ml. bottle of Sauza Reposado and a 50-ml. bottle of Sauza Tres Generaciones Añejo. Sauza Hornitos also is packaged with two Sauza-branded shot glasses.

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