Nov 21

Wine in bag-in-box

Posted by Packaging Sense in Design | Trends | Uncategorized

During a recent travel through the South of Sweden, I visited a few ‘Systembolag’, that is to say the special shops where you buy hard liquor, wine and beer. I was very impressed to see the creativity in the category of wines in bag-in-box and was not surprised to learn that 50% of all wines sold in Sweden are now distributed in this type of pack. This is no doubt a proof of what great package design can do! The creativity lies in graphic design, as well as in shape design and material.

In Switzerland, my attention had already been drawn to the category as we quite often drink “Château Carton” from a wine dealer in Geneva. The other day, I even found, on the other side of the lake, a bag-in-box in wood from the big French J.P. Chenet wine company.

So what is the learning? It is obvious that we should think more ‘out-of-the-box’, i.e. ask ourselves every time we get a briefing if there could be another material or shape and not think only graphic design. This is why we are called package designers!

Back to Sweden. In today’s Dieline I see that the 2011 Award was given to “STEVE’S LEAVES” which brings one more proof why the Swedish bag-in-box category is so creative. Interesting denominations are also created such as “Wildboar’s Rock”, “30 Miles”, “Drop in”, “Vernissage”, etc.

Great package design is a matter of

• material (Douglas Green);

• shape (Vernissage);

• graphics (Le Bistro);

• name (Wildboar’s Rock);

• RTB (still missing on most of them!);
• convenience (Manifesto);

• ecology (Douglas Green as plastic burns well in incinerators!);

• efficiency on pallets (most bag-in-box).

Package design no doubt helps products to

• look contemporary;
• be interesting (promoting impulse buying);
• be unique (which means that trade and media like to speak about the new product/pack, i.e. we receive free advertising);
• be different (creative packaging helps to make similar products different).

As seen above, the bag-in-box wine sector has become very creative and we may therefore be inspired by looking at it.

Other creative packaging design categories are

• breakfast cereals (mainly in UK)
• cheese (mainly in France)
• energy drinks (Red Bull started a whole new category!)

To summarize: Packaging is about where, when and how. It goes without saying that I prefer my wine in the restaurant to be served from a glass bottle with a real cork. But I can very well drink my ‘vin du jour’ at home from a convenient bag-in-box from which I can pour one or two glasses, keeping the remaining wine in a better condition than in an opened bottle. Bag-in-box is a great invention! Ask those who work in the catering business! But this is a subject for another article as it is more about convenience than attractive design.

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