6 Tips for Designing Packaging for Alcoholic Beverages

Packaging sells a product more effectively than any other element, and if you’ve got an alcoholic beverage to market to thirsty customers, it can be the making of your up and coming brand.

Of course there are some tried and tested techniques for optimizing the design of packaging in this context, as well as some must-include aspects that are required by law.

Let’s look at what these are and how you can leverage them to your advantage.

Consider materials chosen from a sustainability perspective

Today, consumers care about sustainability more than ever, and that means you’ve got to think about this as a business and brand.

A good example is the choice you face between packaging materials, and how this impacts the carbon footprint of your products. Glass bottles are more carbon-intensive to produce and to ship than metal cans, for example, so picking the latter where possible is definitely sensible.

Think about your brand identity

There are lots of ways to create your brand identity, and it’s important to express this clearly and consistently with your packaging design.

Whether you’re aiming for high class or everyman appeal, reflecting this in the look and feel of how your alcoholic beverages are presented on store shelves must be a priority. And most importantly it has to be the same approach as customers will find elsewhere, or else it can be hard for them to pin down what values your brand represents.

Meeting requirements set by the TTB (Alcohol Tax and Tobacco Trade Bureau)

There are many aspects of the packaging of alcohol from a branding and design perspective that you need to encompass, but you must also stick to rules and regulations with regards to what your label looks like and what information it must contain.

These are set down by the TTB, and you’ll need to attain a Certificate of Label Approval (COAL), which you can apply for online without needing to pay a fee.

A total of eight requirements are in place for beer packaging specifically. These include that the label must display the name of the brand, the address of the company, the volume of the container, the proportion of the alcohol it contains, the ingredients used, the country that it was produced in, and the standard warning statement relating to the health risks of alcoholic beverages.

Explore the convenience factor

Another element you need to think about is how convenient a particular type of packaging will be for your target audience to buy, transport, store and use.

For example, there’s a reason that cans of beer are usually sold in multipacks with each can attached to the other, or collectively housed in a cardboard sleeve. This makes life easier for consumers, as well as for the retailers that stock your products.

Be aware of the robustness

If your packaging looks good, but is fragile, you’ll get a lot of wastage when products are damaged during delivery or while in storage.

This is another area in which metal cans are preferable to glass bottles, because they are far more robust and resilient to the wear and tear that they will inevitably face once they leave the factory.

Remember to stand out from the crowd

At some point your alcoholic beverages will be sharing shelf space with a raft of rivals. Because of this, you need to make your packaging design unique without being inconsistent with your brand.

It helps to review the competition and try to tweak the aesthetics of your labeling in a way that gives it the edge in a crowded marketplace.


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