by Maika Collado, Operational Marketing, Derprosa Specialty Films USA
Package design is a critical element in establishing brand identity and differentiating a company from its competition. In the world of food and beverage today, the message that sells is one of luxury, premium quality and craftsmanship. This can be seen in the massive market growth of craft beers in recent years and a return to a preference for top-shelf spirits and the highest quality wines and champagnes. The phenomenon is even making its way into non-alcoholic beverages, where products like soda, iced tea, lemonade and flavored or sparkling water are getting a high-end makeover, complete with beverage packaging designed to appeal to consumers who are interested in high-end products.
The wine and spirits sector, as a whole, is still experimenting with the ways in which packaging design can elevate brand image, but we already have seen how premium spirit brands with bold and unique packaging design are more effective at attracting consumer attention and claiming stake in a crowded market. Long-established premium beverage brands are expected to meet a certain level of quality in their products, and this must be reflected in the beverage packaging to retain loyal customers and attract new ones.
Creating well-designed, distinctive premium beverage packaging is perhaps even more important for new craft beer brands that are trying to break into a competitive market as a lesser-known name. The product’s packaging is the primary tool to attract consumers’ attention and persuade them to take a chance with a new beverage instead of the old standby.
Luxury films for beverage packaging
Many elements go into an effective and impactful beverage packaging design, including the format of the bottle packaging itself, and, of course, the artwork and typography employed in the design. Often overlooked, however, is the importance of the finish on the label or carton. This can sometimes be the element that sets the beverage or other product apart.
One type of finishing technique that can create an element of elegance and also works to protect the carton or label is the use of luxury Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) films, which includes premium finishes and effects that can set a brand apart from the competition.
Specific applications for beverage packaging
Beverage packaging applications continue to evolve with brand owners wanting to find the best and most attractive way to display their product. The following are a few popular applications where luxury BOPP films are commonly used:
- Premium carton cylinder/tube bottle packaging. Cardboard tube or cylinder packaging for bottles is one of the most classic designs used in premium beverage bottle packaging, and one that instantly sends cues of luxury and exclusivity to potential customers. This format of beverage packaging makes any bottled beverage feel special, which is why it has been used by the highest quality wine, champagne, scotch, bourbon, vodka and rum manufacturers for many years. It often is employed for special limited-edition releases for brand milestone anniversaries, holidays and other special events. Since this type of premium beverage packaging usually is intended to be kept and displayed, it is important to take measures to ensure they are resistant to common sources of damage, such as scratching, moisture, oils, etc. An overlay with high-quality polypropylene films provides superior protection in this regard, while contributing to the feeling of luxury and exclusivity through a variety of high-quality finishes and visual and tactile effects.
- Window gift boxes in premium beverage packaging. Special edition gift sets are another popular format for premium beverage packaging. These sets typically include a standard or special edition bottle of champagne or spirits along with an added value accessory, such as branded drinking glasses. The paperboard boxes usually include a transparent window to display the items inside, with the brand’s iconic artwork styled in a slightly different way to emphasize the limited-edition nature of the product. Premium BOPP films provide a protective coating in a variety of finishes that can enhance the original artwork with visual effects (metallic, mirror, pearlescent, etc.) or tactile effects, such as soft-touch.
- Premium malt beverage carriers. Beer and malt beverages have developed their own consumer culture, and certain brands have elevated themselves to be truly premium quality beverages. Naturally, they need premium beverage packaging to match. Most high-end craft beers or malt beverages are sold in beverage carriers in sets of four or six, and the design of these carriers must be consistent with the luxury image that the brand is trying to convey. High-quality polypropylene films are an excellent tool that can be used, in conjunction with distinctive artwork and package design, to provide a premium finish, complement and enhance the artwork, and provide a high level of moisture resistance – a property of BOPP films that is particularly important in these beverages, which often are refrigerated in their carriers.
Innovative films for the most demanding lamination jobs
Polypropylene has been widely used in lamination and other packaging applications due to its resistance against damage from moisture, oils, odors, scratches and scuffs. An improvement on the original PP films, biaxial orientation of the polymer has resulted in BOPP (biaxially-oriented polypropylene) films, which retain the protective properties of polypropylene while also boasting superior optical clarity. This has made it a suitable and desirable material for use in the laminating of graphic arts and high-end packaging design, allowing the design to shine through in ways that once were not possible.
BOPP films are manufactured by orienting the film in two directions, creating an improved laminating film product for many applications. Benefits of BOPP films include being lightweight and resistant to UV rays, having exceptional clarity and providing ultimate protection from scratching and weathering.
From a decorative finish standpoint, there are many choices with films beyond the standard gloss. Matte finishes have become popular and provide an elegant look, and many types of metallic laminating films are available in silver, gold and brush effects. In addition, opaque, white and even black films have become popular.
Probably the area of highest growth of late for laminating films is the use of DL SoFT TOUcH® BOPP films. Although there are soft-touch varnishes and UV coatings on the market, high-quality soft-touch films still provide the most elegant and softest feel of all the techniques in the marketplace.
In addition, there are other specialty BOPP films in the marketplace, including anti-scratch films that provide even more resistance than conventional films to scuffs and scratches. There also are bacteria-resistant films available today that help eliminate bacteria that comes into contact with the film surface. The antibacterial properties make it uniquely suited to applications in the medical field, personal care product packaging, food service, childcare, etc.
With over 28 years of experience, DERPROSA™ is the graphic arts brand of the worldwide BOPP leader: Taghleef Industries (TI). DERPROSA™ specializes in the development, manufacture and marketing of biaxially-oriented polypropylene film for graphic arts, food packaging, labels and other industrial products. The company’s innovation centers, production sites, logistics hubs and sales offices reach more than 70 countries across five continents. For more information, visit www.derprosa.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.