Boisset Family Estates gave its Mommessin Beaujolais a hip and flirty look with an aluminum bottle, which not only is a brand new package for wine, but one that meets the company’s green goals as well. Boisset has developed a reputation in the wine world for alternative packaging. In addition to the new aluminum bottle, the company offers French Rabbit (and the soon-to-be-released organic Green Rabbit) in Tetra Pak, and its Yellow Jersey and Louis Bernard Côtes du Rhône wines are packaged in PET.
“All of these innovations have helped us to transcend our traditional thinking of wine â€” how to market wine, how to talk about wine â€” and have really helped us bring another dimension as far as how we look at wine itself and how we convey how to drink wine at the consumer level,” says Jean-Charles Boisset, president of the company.
Boisset says the company’s sustainable thinking began with its growing practices, and has expanded to include everything from packaging to distribution and recycling. The company points out that aluminum is endlessly recyclable and the bottle has a screw-cap, which makes it resealable. It also is half the weight of a traditional 750-ml. wine bottle. In addition, the Beaujolais bottle has a Cooldot sticker that changes color when the bottle is chilled, telling consumers when the wine is ready to be consumed. The chill factor is educational as well as practical since many consumers don’t think to chill red wine.
“It’s such a unique red wine,” says Boisset’s Patrick Egan. “It really is traditionally, and has been historically, for a long time, served chilled. So it’s as much an environmental piece as it is an educational piece about the wine itself.”
Coca-Cola 2-Liter Contour Bottle
Coca-Cola’s contour shape is known throughout the world as the symbol of the iconic brand. That shape can be found in glass and every size of single-serve plastic bottle, from 12 ounces on up. But until this year, the 2-liter size was the ugly duckling of the family, sitting in a generic straight-walled style. In June, The Coca-Cola Co. and bottler Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Birmingham, Ala., changed that, giving the 2-liter size a beauty makeover with a new contour shape.
“The contour shape is recognizable around the world to Coca-Cola, so for us to be able to put that 2-liter bottle, which is a big portion of our bottle and can packaging, into that contour shape was very important,” says Mike Suco, director of community leadership at Coca-Cola United.
The bottle rolled out in Birmingham and Chattanooga, Tenn., after a bit of tweaking on the retail side to accommodate the bottle’s taller stature.
“That was a really well thought-out plan,” Suco says. “We went and surveyed the stores and found out which ones were going to be an issue, that were going to require resets … we blitzed the market, got everything ready for the launch, and then when we launched, we were just ready to put product on the shelf.”
The contour of the bottle provides easier handling than the straight-walled style with a more gripable shape. The company promoted the “Easy to Pour, Easy to Love” message with outdoor and radio advertising, as well as messaging on its trucks and at retail. Coca-Cola North America also partnered with the bottler on a recycling initiative that used contour-shaped recycling bins as part of the launch.
Most consumers first got to know pomegranate juice when it showed up on store shelves in ruby red colored Pom Wonderful bottles that were shaped like pomegranates stacked on top of each other. Ever since then, Pom Wonderful- maker Roll International, Los Angeles, has been innovating with the legendary fruit, and this year it took both pomegranate and packaging in another new direction. PomX Iced Coffees contain, not pomegranate juice itself, but PomX, a highly concentrated antioxidant supplement made from pomegranates that is equivalent to an 8-ounce serving of Pom Wonderful juice in each 10.5-ounce round bottle.
Roll International co-owner Lynda Resnick says she knew the introduction of the product required a distinctive package, and the company considered all types of materials before deciding on plastic for its light weight and the round shape for its impact. The grenade shape of the bottle takes its inspiration from pomegranate’s French name la grenade.
“We just thought it would bring people into the power of the brand and communicate that power very, very directly, and that’s why we designed it that way,” Resnick says.
All packaging development is accomplished in-house at Roll International, which made the unique round bottle shape easier to incorporate into production. “We try to work from the bottom up so we get all of those issues ironed out during the design process,” Resnick says. “It’s no good to just come up with an idea if you can’t manufacture it.”
Resnick says she puts a strong emphasis on packaging because it is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing for a new product launch. “One tries so hard to develop a great package so that you can capture the interest of people at the point of sale,” she says. “People spend a lot of money on marketing often, and they don’t ever consider that, which is kind of a shame.”
Ethos Water from Starbucks and Pepsi-Cola Co. is a water with a cause â€” five cents from every bottle sold goes toward humanitarian water programs around the world. Thanks to a sleek new redesign, it also is a stylish product with a proprietary package design.
“We embarked upon a program and said, ‘Let’s really give this a more proprietary, premium look through package design,” says Shriram Venkataraman, senior manager of packaging innovation at Pepsi-Cola North America. “We wanted it to be more ergonomic … and we also wanted a design that differentiated the package and also spoke to its brand essence in the water aisle.”
The new shape curves in the middle for better handling, and the brand’s message, “Helping children get clean water,” takes a prominent position right under the Ethos logo. The graphic of a world map moved from the front of the bottle in blue to the back panel in a frosted white color on a pressure-sensitive label that can be seen through both sides. The new bottle was a key element in taking the Ethos brand from Starbucks stores to broader retail distribution through Pepsi’s distribution system. The product is available in 500-ml., 700-ml., and 1-liter sizes, with the 700-ml. size exclusive to the coffee chain. So far, Starbucks has committed $6.2 million to the brand’s humanitarian mission, with a goal of $10 million by 2010.
“There was a lot of time spent up front on the design and positioning aspect to really bring to life the right union of the brand, the essence of what it stands for, because it’s really for a great cause,” Venkataraman says. “You wanted the total package to represent that and speak to it.”
Rising Beverage Co., Los Angeles, introduced new functional waters earlier this year with a unique twist â€” a cap that releases ingredients into the water when it is twisted by the consumer.
“We knew it was fresher, more potent keeping things in the cap,” says Patrick Gill, chief marketing officer for Activate. “So we did a study, which showed that vitamins deteriorate sitting in water and that the deterioration over 30 days is pretty extreme. Most ready-to-drink beverages sit on the shelf that long, if not 60 days, before a consumer picks them up. And they are exposed to heat, light, liquid, which are all factors that deteriorate ingredients.”
Ingredients in the Activate product are sealed inside the cap until it is twisted and a small plastic blade cuts through the seal to release them into the water. The product is available in four varieties: Vitamin (in a Fruit Punch flavor); Immunity (Orange flavored), Antioxidant (Berry flavored) and Energy (Lemon Lime flavored). The 16-ounce bottles feature flavor-coded labeling as well.
Gill says the company tries to get consumers to experience the product firsthand through sampling to explain the new packaging concept.
“Our whole strategy is getting the product in people’s hands and being able to talk to them, show them how it works and explain the benefits of it,” he says.
Beverage Industry’s October issue features a cover story on our 2019 Executive of the Year, Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Co. This issue also features a category focus on bottled water and the innovations that abound in flavored, functional and sparkling waters. The issue also includes an ingredient spotlight on the beloved chocolate ingredient as well as voice-picking solutions aimed at streamlining beverage warehouses. As usual, we rounded up the latest trends in products, packaging and ingredients.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.