Team spirit

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is showing its school spirit for the University of Tennessee football team by showcasing the school’s colors on its packaging. Throughout the 2014 college football season, Ole Smoky will sell bottles of its Hunch Punch Lightnin’, White Lightnin’, Blackberry, Moonshine Cherries and Sweet Tea flavored moonshines with special-edition Tennessee orange labels, in addition to orange tailgating gear, at its Gatlinburg, Tenn., distillery. To launch the orange labels, Ole Smoky hosted a kick-off party Aug. 30 that featured University of Tennessee All-Pro Jamal Lewis, football trivia and moonshine.


A little push

New York Spring Water Inc. redesigned the dispensing caps for its VBlast beverages and introduced a push-down sports cap version that delivers a “blast” of fresh vitamins and flavors into pure mountain spring water. The new technology replaces the former twist-cap version and offers simplicity for on-the-go consumers, the company says. In addition, the company updated the top of the cap, which holds the liquid vitamins, with an airtight foil barrier that requires less plastic than similar caps, resulting in further cost reductions throughout the production cycle, it says. The new caps are accompanied by updated packaging designs on the company’s VBlast and VBee products, it adds.


Can-sized bottles

Unique Beverage Co. LLC designed a new bottle that is the same height as an average can of soda for its Cascade Ice sparkling waters. The new slim bottles hold 7 ounces of liquid and supplement the brand’s original 17.2-ounce bottles, the company says. “We’re thrilled to be pioneers in the zero-calorie, sparkling flavored water category by offering our popular Cascade Ice brand in a 7-ounce proprietary bottle,” said Mike Broadwell, president and chief executive officer of Unique Beverage Co., in a statement. “This will allow for opportunities to place our product in vending machines and in airline beverage carts. Our innovative, single-serving bottle also provides additional access for us in schools, where portion control and zero-calorie alternatives are more welcome than sugary drinks.” Cascade Ice’s Lemonade, Coconut, Black Raspberry, Orange Mango and Pink Grapefruit flavors became available in single 7-ounce bottles and six-packs of 7-ounce bottles in September.


The 99-pack

Six-, 12- and 24-packs of beer might not be enough anymore. Austin Beerworks partnered with Helms Workshop to release a 99-pack of beer for $99.99. The multi-pack was created to help celebrate the renaming of its Peacemaker craft beer as Peacemaker Anytime Ale and support the idea that anytime is a good time for a can of the beer. “This inspired us to create the world’s first and only 99-pack,” explained Michael Graham, co-founder of Austin Beerworks, in a statement. “What started out as a joke became very real when we realized how much people love the idea of 99 beers for $99.99.” To spread the word about Peacemaker Anytime Ale’s 99-pack, Helms Workshop and Austin Beerworks also launched a full outdoor and print campaign with social media and word-of-mouth components. For example, consumers can only find out where the 99-packs are sold by tagging online posts with the hashtag #AnytimeAle and following Austin Beerworks’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages or through word of mouth, the company says. 


Let there be light

Tuscan winery Ruffino is putting its secondary packaging to work in its upcoming Ruffino Modus Luminaria gift box. The limited-edition holiday gift box for the winery’s Modus wine includes a sapphire-colored varnished wood box for a base with a brushed gold metal sleeve depicting elaborate Florentine designs. These elements, designed by Milan design school, showcase the wine’s modern take on traditional Tuscan winemaking, the company says. After the wine is removed from the box, consumers can replace it with candles and place the metal sleeve over the wood box to create a decorative lantern, it adds. The Ruffino Modus Luminaria gift box will be available for purchase in November for $89 on


A new, national look

Although French Market Coffee, a part of Reily Foods Co., has previously been known for its signature red coffee can, which harkens back to the company’s original Coffee & Chicory label introduced in the late 19th century, the brand partnered with Crown Food Packaging North America, a division of Crown Holdings Inc., to refresh the packaging in line with its national expansion. After Reily Foods worked with its creative agency to come up with new designs for its Dark Roast and Dark Roast with Chicory blends, it turned to Crown to execute the designs, the company says. This included scaling and balancing elements like a reflective gold crown and a subtle fencing background for the rounded surface of a metal container, it explains. The new 12-ounce coffee cans, which feature an easy-open end and a plastic overcap, retain the look and feel of French Market Coffee’s original red tins but include an enhanced design that keeps them in alignment with the brand’s current image, it adds.


Beer after dark

After the successful launch of its Screamin’ Pumpkin Ale on tap last year, Griffin Claw Brewing Co. decided to help the craft beer reach more consumers by launching it in 16-ounce cans this year. To coincide with the beer’s fall theme, the craft brewer also decided to use the new packaging opportunity to launch its glow-in-the-dark cans. “We chose to make the glow-in-the-dark cans because of the incredible artwork on our Screamin’ Pumpkin can, the technology was new, and Halloween is the perfect application for a can that glows under a black light,” said Scott LePage, a spokesperson for Griffin Claw Brewing, in a statement. The craft brewer partnered with can manufacturer Rexam to order special glow-in-the-dark inks to bring the can’s pumpkin patch artwork to life. The mouth of the screaming pumpkin as well as the text on the can both glow in the dark, LePage says. Glow-in-the-dark cans of Screamin’ Pumpkin Ale are available at fine craft beer retailers in Michigan while supplies last. 


Back in black

 Black Bottle Scotch whisky is going back to its roots with a new black bottle. As its name suggests, Black Bottle was originally presented in a black bottle sourced from Germany when it was launched by the Graham brothers in 1879. When World War I interrupted supply, Graham and Co. was forced to switch to a green bottle, the company says. Now, a century later, Black Bottle is celebrating its origins by going back to black. The new design has been inspired by an archival black bottle dating back to 1906. At the same time, the company also tweaked its blend of single-malt and grain whiskies to reflect the recipe the Graham brothers created 135 years ago. The relaunch has been positively received in the United Kingdom, Russia and the Baltic states, and the company expects to launch in France and Germany this fall and in the United States by winter.