By Clare Goggin Sivits On January 25, 2023

5 Alcohol Packaging Design Trends to Watch in 2023

Every year, craft distilleries face new challenges when standing out on a crowded retailer shelf. Bottle, label and overall packaging design shift swiftly in response as alcohol branding companies constantly seek new ways to outshine their clients’ competitors. To do that, it’s essential to understand what’s in the rearview as well as what’s just up ahead on the horizon. And we’ve got our eyes peeled!

Any distilleries or spirits producers looking to update their look this year may need to grapple with a quickly changing design landscape. Enlisting liquor marketing help from agencies like ours is often a good idea. We live and breathe liquor packaging design!

In 2023, we’ve got our eye on a number of trends that craft distillers need to keep their eyes on this year. From bright pops of color and minimalist styles to earth-friendly and sustainable materials, we’re tracking these trends.

Pop That Color

Colorful hues and bright bursts of color emerged in label and packaging design in 2022. The style appeared on several award-winning spirits and packages last year as well. It’s a solid sign that this trend has some staying power and potential for taking over the bottling lines nationwide.

A few solid examples of this trend include Bowl Grabber, an approachable wine brand that employs a bright yellow label and colorful artwork. The style imbues a sense of celebration, something the brand hopes to encourage among its customers. It also lightens to mood around wine, a product that typically feels very serious. In 2023, we expect to see many spirits brands continue to lighten the mood around products.

Another good case study comes from the world of energy bars. The bright wrappers draw the eye and infuse a bit of life into the product. It’s a catchy style that is bound to see a lot more adoption as we see the next few months pass.

Get Zen with Your Design

This year, brands are getting right to the point with their packaging. Keeping it simple and straightforward means that labels only feature the absolute necessities. It puts a laser focus on messaging and allows consumers to see exactly what they’re supposed to understand about the product.

Kadoya Citrus Juice applies this concept so well that the brand won an award for its packaging design. It’s clear to see why they did too. One look at the bottle an you know immediately what’s inside. There’s no guessing what to expect and it makes consumers feel comfortable — maybe even zen — about their purchase choices.

The trend has already started to drip over into craft beverage with this entry from MIOK, a milk beer brand. A simple font option highlighted by a few simple pops of color instills a bit of ease into the branding. It relieves the customer of the responsibility of understanding any big messages or even discerning a ton of copy. It’s just an attractive brand that attracts attention.

Be Kind to The Planet

Earth-friendly solutions in packaging have been gaining steam for years. Innovation in this space stagnated for a while but now it’s on a roll. A variety of sustainable bottles, label materials and more are becoming available every day and CPG brands are taking advantage. For example, Labeltronix has a line of eco-friendly paper. This is a trend that will spread like wildfire and gain popularity with a growing swath of consumers who care about the environment.

The epitome of this trend shows up in a groundbreaking waste-free body wash. This dry soap comes in a fully dissolvable package that completely disappears, eliminating any concerns about whether the consumer needs to recycle the container or how long it might sit in a landfill. It’s clear that this concept is about to catch fire given the continued concern about climate change and other environmental issues.

Champagne company Ruinart adopted fully recyclable packaging as well. With a legacy brand taking notice of this trend, it’s a strong indicator of a practice that’s going to stick around for a good long while.

Posh Printing for Less

Get the look of high-end printing with affordable digital printing. With advances in digital label printing, brands can achieve more high-end printing with the look of gold foils. Expect to see this style available at an approachable price for a distillery. With that comes more embellished and “foiled” labels on the shelf whereas in the past it was reserved for high-end or high-producing brands due to overall cost of traditional plate printing methods.

Check out Mother Earth Spirits Carolina Rye Whiskey to see the digital foil capabilities (printed by Blue Label). Custom artwork combined with embellished gold gives a high-end look to this craft spirit label.

Outside of the beverage world, popcorn has already ventured down this road. The Perfect Pop, a popcorn brand that calls itself gourmet, emblazons its name across the tubular packaging in shimmering gold. To really send home the message, the rest of the box is covered in gold and black designs against a white background. It certainly offers the popcorn company a way to stand out on the shelf.

Make Your Customers Feel Something

Textures have slipped into the world of packaging design of late. Those tactile materials that feel soft or rough or bumpy make consumers reach out and touch bottles and even labels. It’s a surefire way to get someone to pick up a product from the shelf. The right combination of fabrics and feels gives any item a more inviting sense. And it’s something that will likely take hold of craft beverage packaging very soon too.

Dancing Goat Distillery adds texture to its glass bottles by imprinting its logo down the sides and front of the bottle.

Viva Mineral Water also sees promise in textures. By etching patterns into the bottle itself, the brand communicates messages about each individual product. Each pattern represents a different element: earth, wind, fire or water.

We’re more than an alcohol branding agency that offers design services. At High-Proof Creative, we offer built-in consulting on achieving these design trends. Contact us today to discuss our alcohol packaging design.

Clare Goggin Sivits

As a marketer with a strong writing background, Clare Goggin Sivits has worked in the beer, spirits, and wine industries for nearly a decade. She oversaw digital marketing for a small wine startup as well as a craft brewery and distillery with a nationwide footprint. A Florida ex-pat, Clare now lives in Portland, Oregon, and continues to write about craft beverage marketing and the industry as a whole.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *