With a plethora of alcohol and non-alcohol brands in the beverage landscape, packaging is paramount to attracting consumers. In the case of Wild Ginger Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, a new craft beer, Dan Matauch, founder of Northville, Mich.-based Flowdesign, the firm that designed the new beer’s packaging, says the name itself immediately sparked his imagination.
The Wild Ginger name emulated from Jamey Grosser, founder and chief executive officer of Nashville, Tenn.-based Wild Ginger Brewing Co. Grosser has “a couple of red-headed friends who are some of the craziest people he hangs out with,” Matauch says.
“I’ve always loved ginger beer but could never find an authentic alcoholic version, so I decided to make one myself,” Grosser says. “The formulation was inspired by lots of home brewing trial and error. I think I’ve nailed the right combination of ginger spice and fresh citrus that is great on its own or as a mixologist’s dream in cocktails.”
Wild Ginger’s target audience is “people who are adventurous and looking for different flavors and experiences in beer,” Grosser says.
Developing a packaging design that would market the brand effectively was a team process that required knowledge of the brand’s target audience and solid communication to translate ideas into reality, Matauch says. “We had several meetings, and Jamey conveyed that he was tired of looking at beers and having no idea what was inside the can,” he explains. “We wanted to make it blatantly obvious that Wild Ginger was ginger beer.”
Matauch notes that they went through several different concept directions before the group settled on the final design. They looked at multiple female icons, brand logos, text positioning and colors, he says. Their goal was to create a can design that jumped off the shelf and immediately enticed the consumer to pick it up, he adds. The creative process took about two months.
The can’s packaging design predominately uses the color red and pictures a red-haired woman inspired by fictional character the voluptuous Jessica Rabbit from the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ movie, Matauch says.
“Jessica Rabbit is wearing a long sequined red dress and her long red hair and red lips speak volumes,” Matauch says. “Wild Ginger entices with a subtle sweetness that climaxes in a spicy finish, without the beer aftertaste.”
In addition to partnering with Wild Ginger Brewing Co. on the can’s signature design, Matauch created an overall look for the brand that included a logo for stationery, sell sheets and point of purchase items such as bar wall metal tackers, coasters and in-store case stackers. Flowdesign also developed branding for the company’s Facebook, Twitter and online web pages (wgbrewing.com) and created typography for the company’s tagline, “putting the beer back in ginger beer.”
Although Wild Ginger launched just last month in retail test markets including Ohio and Florida, its early success is exceeding Grosser’s wildest expectations.
The 4 percent alcohol by volume beer is available in 12-ounce cans in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and north Florida, with national availability expected by early 2016. A six-pack retails for approximately $8.99 - $9.99.
Grosser says that the brand’s design has contributed to consumer interest. “It cleanly and precisely conveys what’s in the can,” he explains. “It’s a classic design with a strong, recognizable brand that grabs your attention while clearly defining what the product is.”
Grosser adds that another new product currently is in the works with Flowdesign playing a pivotal role in completing designs for the new flavor extension under the Wild brand name that is planned for release in the fall.
“Alcoholic ginger beer has seen explosive growth in Europe and is following the same pattern that hard cider has seen as consumers seek out new beer experiences,” Grosser says. “We feel strongly that alcoholic ginger beer will become a category on its own and that Wild Ginger Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer is the brand to lead the way. This would not have been possible without great collaboration from Flowdesign. If you say the name ‘Wild Ginger,’ we’ve nailed it to a T.”