Whatâ€™s hot in cosmetics? Is â€œanti-packagingâ€ the new definition of â€œluxury?â€Â Â How are retailer and consumer demographics trends shaping a spirits bottle?
We were grappling with these questions — along with thousands of designers, suppliers and marketers of every stripe who descended on New Yorkâ€™s Pier 92 for LuxePack NYC on May 14, 2015.
Jeremy Benson moderated the conferenceâ€™s only wine and spirits panel, along with Umberto Luchini (CMO, Campari America); Elwyn Gladstone (founder of his new firm, Biggar & Leath, and former SVP of Proximo Spirits); and Jean-Charles Forster, director of sales and marketing for SGP Packaging by Verallia. Here are some key takeaways, in our opinion:
- There is a rich world of creativity in the bottle shapes, treatments, colors and add-ons in cosmetics that are increasingly inspiring spirits packaging (â€œA-sortâ€ glass, anyone? Itâ€™s the clearest glass often used in high-end cosmetics).
- Sweeping definitions of â€œluxuryâ€ are invariably useless â€“ one personâ€™s authentic micro-brew package is another personâ€™s Avery label on an overpriced $9 bottle of beer.
- Wine packaging is boring as compared to many high-end consumer consumable products (but yes, we knew that).
- For every trend in packaging, there is a counter-trend, so predictions are dangerous.
- Where to find inspiration? For â€œplaceâ€ products, the culture of the people, other categories like olive oil. For easy ideas, cruise eBay.
- The bottom line for spirits packaging: brand differentiation needs to be crystal clear to consumers in about 3 seconds.
- Ok, some predictions, from a variety of sources at the event.Â Â â€œLow tech/hyper localâ€ still has legs.Â Â There is excess demand for craft spirits, but ubiquity will dilute the trend.Â Â Hyper narrow consumer segmentation. Beer will soon have its own “Patron:” a high-price, high-style package. Wine packaging and secondary packaging is ripe for innovation, if it can work around legal and distribution obstacles and prejudices.