When you buy a gift, how it is wrapped matters. It’s one of the reasons I like to shop at Von Maur, as the retailer provides free gift wrapping and free shipping to anywhere in the United States.

Before I started writing for Beverage Industry, I never thought about the intricacies of beverage packaging, but now I take notice. For example, I recently received beautifully packaged samples of Carpatica Aqua, a nitrate-free mineral water available in sparkling and still varieties that is sourced from springs deep within the Carpathian Mountains. The plastic on the traditional-looking sparkling water bottle is rigid, while the natural spring water bottle is octagon-shaped, handsome-looking and sure to stand out on store shelves. 

Beverage manufacturers who want to stand out from the pack will have to choose the right material — glass, aluminum or plastic — that provides the best option and “wow” factor for their products. (See page 52).

Beyond packaging materials, beverage producers also need to ensure their final products are packaged to their specifications. Luckily for entrepreneurial brand owners, contract packers offer myriad services to alleviate packaging-related concerns. These supply chain managers know how crucial their services are to the packaging process. Efficiency is a top concern for 53 percent of contract packaging providers, according to an educational content survey from Nulogy. Additionally, 38 percent of contract packagers, manufacturers and suppliers listed quality control, compliance and inventory accuracy as top challenges. 

When it comes to attaining business goals, 61 percent of survey participants want to learn more about profitability and operational efficiency, while 41 percent are interested in how to grow their business, followed by quality and compliance (40 percent) and technology as a process enablement (39 percent).

Regardless of the way a beverage is packaged, those on the front line will continue to explore ways to improve their bottom line and production efficiency.