When it comes to beer, it seems that many breweries put as much work into the design of the bottle as they do brewing the liquid within. Recently, several brewing companies gave their beer bottles a makeover – not just the labels, but the bottles themselves.
Fuller’s London Pride
When Fuller’s decided to redesign its flagship ale, it drew upon wine bottles as inspiration. Though it isn’t much taller than the bottle that it is replacing, the slimmer shape and shorter neck give the impression of height. It’s label has also been moved up on the bottle to make it easier to read. That wasn’t the only change to the label.
“…[W]e tried to make it more modern – we’ve pulled the ‘L’ and the ‘N’ outside of the shield for a bit more modernity, and moved the whole label up the bottle so that it stands proud,” Ian Bray, the managing director of The Fuller’s Beer Company, told Beverage Daily.
The new bottles are also nearly 3 ounces lighter than the old ones, clocking in at just over 10.5 ounces. The design changes to the bottles didn’t come lightly, as Bray explained.
“We spent the last year designing this bottle,” he told Beverage Daily. “The brief that we gave the agency is that we wanted it to be elegant and tableworthy, and really give us an opportunity to take London Pride back to its premium position in the marketplace.”
Fuller’s also turned to embossing companies for a tribute to London’s most famous river. The bottom of the bottle features an embossed figure.
“That’s a representation of the River Thames,” he explained to Beverage Daily. “We sit by the Thames. We’ve been here since 1845 and we’re very proud of our association with London.”
Kona Brewing Co.’s Longboard Island Lager
The Hawaii-based brewery was recently awarded with a Clear Choice Award for excellence in glass packaging presented by the Glass Packaging Institute at the 2013 Pack Expo in Las Vegas, reported Big Island Now.
The award was given based on the new bottle design for its Longboard Island Lager, as well as its Wave Golden Ale, Fire Rock Pale Ale and other beers brewed by Kona.
One of the main changes in the bottle design is its use of embossment on the neck of the bottle, which features an outline of the Hawaiian Islands as well as the words “Liquid Aloha.”
Not only does the bottle have an award-winning new look, but it is 11 percent lighter than its predecessor. According to Big Island Now, it’s also slimmer and stronger, making it more efficient and less expensive to ship.
Heineken’s Star Bottle
Back in 2011, Heineken rolled out an updated bottle shape in just about every market around the world, with the notable exception of the United States. According to Advertising Age, Heineken wanted to avoid abandoning its highly recognizable short-necked bottle – which stood in visual contrast to other domestic beers – to take up the long-necked look of the Heinekens around the world.
The brewery also took advantage of embossing.
There is an “embossed thumb groove that improves grip and encourages people to hold the bottle at a lower point, keeping the beer colder,” the company announced. The paper label around the neck has also been abandoned, replaced by an embossed red star, making it stand out even more on the shelves.
And the changes aren’t just making the product look nicer in stores. According to Lesya Lysyj, the chief marketing officer of Heineken USA, the new bottle is improving sales.
“We’ve done a bunch of testing on it, [and] particularly with the younger consumer, we saw tangible positive results on things like ‘modern’ and ‘progressive,” she told Advertising Age.
Updated packaging remains popular
Heineken, Kona and Fuller’s are by no means the only beer companies that are using updated packaging as a way to boost sales. As Advertising Age points out, these tactics have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. Miller Lite debuted its so-called “Vortex Bottle,” a “punch-top can,” and, most recently, a redesigned bottle that is sold exclusively in bars and restaurants. Budweiser, meanwhile, is getting ready to launch a “bow-tie” shaped can and a new “vented can” for Bud Light.