On PBS children’s show “Barney,” the song “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” featured lyrics and hand movements that ask “Can you tie 'em in a knot? Can you tie 'em in a bow?”
At the height of the holiday season, beverage packaging features more than festive bows to attract consumers. Not only do brands come out with new limited-edition flavors and a plethora of gift sets featuring unique packaging, holiday designs and more to entice consumers to get in the holiday spirit.
But beverage manufacturers aren’t thinking of aesthetics when designing packaging. As a result of the U.S. Plastics Pack and the “Every Bottle Back Initiative,” beverage companies are enacting sustainability initiatives and giving consumers lightweight bottle designs to help save our most important resource — planet earth.
When looking for the Best Packages of 2020, the editors of Beverage Industry carefully screened thousands of new packages before selecting the following Top 5 packages.
Founded in 1789 in the town of Évian-les-Bains, France, evian is taking hydration and environmental awareness to the next level. It took almost two years for the design of the label-free, fully recyclable bottle to be perfected, says Shweta Harit, global brand vice president for evian.
“evian is a pioneer in sustainable design solutions, with the bottle made from 100 percent recycled materials and label-free, acting as tangible proof of our commitment to becoming a fully circular brand by 2025,” Harit says. “It’s now more important than ever for us to bring consumers our natural mineral water in the more sustainable way as we owe everything to nature.
“Breaking through the white noise with action is at the core of all that we do at evian, which is why this bottle is a key advance in innovation for us,” she continues. “Stripped down to its truest form, the bottle is as pure as the water within it.”
As the brand looks at innovative ways to reduce its use of virgin plastic, evian’s label-free design is available on its 400-ml bottle with a pink bottle cap, both a first within the evian product rage.
“Whilst the innovation will start as limited in distribution now, evian is constantly looking to push boundaries in packaging design,” Harit says. “The new bottle could provide a solution globally for a sustainable future, especially for eCommerce where there is no need for barcode labeling.”
A brand of Nestlé Waters North America, Stamford, Conn., PERRIER is known for its distinctive, elegantly shaped green glass bottle and packaging designs featuring such distinguished artists as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí and Bernard Villemot over the course of 150 years.
This year, as a point of differentiation, PERRIER x MURAKAMI features a collaboration with contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami in his first-ever collaboration with a beverage brand, says Thomas Conquet, U.S. marketing director for Nestlé Waters.
“The vibrancy and delight of Murakami's work is the perfect match for Perrier, a brand that has invested for over a century in creativity to bring out a differentiating brand spirit, tinged with its unexpected and original personality,” Conquet says.
The premium limited-edition PERRIER x MURAKAMI 750-ml glass bottles as well as cans launched globally in the fall and will be available in the colors and motifs of Murakami in his signature smiling flowers. Other bottles contained screen-printed formats of Murakami’s beloved characters, Kaikai and Kiki, were distributed to retailers nationwide in 500-ml six-packs and on 330-ml glass bottles.
“The PERRIER x MURAKAMI collaboration continues the long-standing creative relationship between Perrier and great artists,” Conquet says.
The PERRIER bottle and Murakami’s characters are part of a 30-second animated film that premiered in mid-September on Perrier’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
As a mission-driven company, Emeryville, Calif.-based REBBL developed a Green Packaging Initiative utilizing 100 percent recycled and recyclable plastic for all of its plant-based, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages. The company operates under this mantra because creating a positive environmental impact through sustainable business practices and using ethically sourced ingredients is part of its ethos, says Chief Executive Officer Michele Kessler.
“REBBL crafts truly delicious, indulgent beverages made from real, organic ingredients — Roots, Extracts, Berries, Botanicals and Love,” Kessler says. “With each satisfying sip of REBBL, you know you’re doing the right thing because all the ingredients are ethically-sourced, supporting the communities that grow them, and ensuring we all do our part to help in a bigger way. REBBL beverages are always organic, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, with no artificial anything.”
Packed in BPA-free, 12-ounce bottles, REBBL’s most popular plant-based elixirs include Turmeric Golden Milk, Reishi Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Protein and Vanilla Protein, Kessler says.
“A core part of REBBL’s mission is to create a positive and environmental impact in conjunction with delivering truly delicious and nourishing plant-based beverages,” Kessler says. “We are thrilled to be one of the first in the food industry to transition to 100 percent post-consumer recycled and recyclable plastic bottles.
“Consumers love that REBBL is good for them and good for the planet,” she continues. “Our brand was founded on the principle of, and continues to be, a Business Doing Social Good. We are REBBL With A Cause.”
So Good So You
The idea behind the development of So Good So You’s new packaging occurred when Rita Katona, co-founder and Board Chair of So Good So You, was on vacation with husband Eric, now chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based company.
“We were on vacation in Mexico, and the idea of what is now So Good So You was still in the incubation phase,” Katona explains. “We were walking along a beautiful beach, and became horrified when trash started to wash ashore, which had likely been dumped from a landfill. We knew we wanted to build a product that did real good for people, and in that moment it clicked that fighting for the health of the planet needed to be part of that.”
While So Good So You has been packaging its functional beverage shots in 100 percent recycled plastic since Day One, the company spend two years formulating an even better solution designed to fight the landfill crisis. Enter BtrBtl’s rapid biodegration, which breaks down at an accelerated rate, Katona says.
So Good So You wellness shots are available in nine flavors, including Immunity, Longevity and Digestion, all of which support the immune system through 1 billion colony-forming units of probiotics, the company says.
“So Good So You’s packaging includes the BtrBtl symbol, which encourages everyone to do better, to do good, so we wanted to make sure it was easily conveyed on each bottle,” Katona says. “No other beverage brand big or small is using this technology so there was no blueprint for how to implement it. This technology is new to the beverage industry space.
“There is no other beverage brand, or wellness shot brand, with this type pf rapidly biodegrading bottle,” she says.
Virgil’s Summer Squad Party Pack
In the midst of the new normal of COVID-19, Virgil’s Summer Squad Party Pack with numbered Koozies marked 1-10 was designed to encourage responsibly fun gatherings, says Lindsay Martin, vice president of marketing for Reed’s Inc., Norwalk, Conn.
“Taking the brand’s mission to ‘soda smarter’ to the next level, Virgil's goal was to make it easier than ever to stay mindful (but still have fun) during summer socializing within the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 guidelines,” Martin says.
Available online nationwide, the limited-edition pack included a variety of 10 Virgil’s Zero Sugar cans and 10 colorful koozies and consumers were able to find their favorite flavors through the sample pack.
“Virgil’s is the only natural carbonated beverage out there with zero sugar and full classic flavor, giving consumers the taste they love with none of the guilt,” Martin says. “Consumers are asking for more, but sadly summer 2020 is over.
“This was Virgil’s first variety pack launch since the brand’s Zero Sugar launch in 2018,” she continues. “With COVID restrictions still in place and events and store demos hard to come by, mailed sampling continues to be a great way to taste and share Virgil’s.”
There most likely will be a “Virgil’s Sampler” available in 2021, she adds.