Our Webinar

A huge thank you to everyone that attended our webinar! We hope you all learned something new and were entertained.

To those that couldn’t make it this morning, we’ve attached the recording within this post. Feel free to ask any questions!

Interview with an Industry Consultant

Sofia, a member of our research team, reached out to a friend and former employee of TC Transcontinental, Tony S. We chose to have a question and answer type interview. So keep reading if you want to know more about the packaging industry!

Q1: What is/was your title?
A: I held senior positions in the printing industry, like Executive Vice President and President.

Q2: What is a typical day in your position?
A: I am currently in an industry consulting capacity so my day typically involves meetings and project initiation, planning and analysis.

Q3: Do you use digital or traditional printing methods for most alcohol packaging?
A: I have seen both digital and traditional methods used in alcohol packaging and I have been involved in both. However, it is mostly conventional/traditional printing applications for this sector, from my experience.

Q4: What type of printing is most common for printing alcohol packaging?
A: Lithographic printing is the most prevalent, however, flexographic printing is growing in market share.

Q5: What packaging features does your company offer? And which feature does your customer often choose/use?
A: The previous companies I have worked with have used mainly foil, embossing, and specialty colours to enhance the impact of the packaging.

Q6: Which clients have you worked with that specialize in alcoholic beverages?
A: I have worked with Bacardi, Mark Anthony, Diageo, Sleeman, Geloso, and Great Western Breweries

Q7: How do higher-end alcohol brands differentiate their products from their lower-end competitors?
A: It involves the use of higher-end board substrates, foil application, and embossing and debossing.

Q8: Are there any processes that go into alcohol packaging that are not included in other products?
A: Not necessarily. The pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors also use unique processes for product appearance enhancement.

Q9: What have been the most challenging things when you are working on a packaging project?
A: The biggest challenge is packaging structure integrity. Having unique folds and features while maintaining the integrity. It’s a disaster and a costly situation when the carton, container, or label malfunctions.

Q10: Are there any trends in alcohol packaging at the moment?
A: The major trends are the use of foil, lamination, and UV coatings to enhance the shelf appeal.

Q11: What are some key points to creating successful packaging?
A: A main one is the use of quality boards and the image and design depth. As well as package surface texture.

Q12: What has been your most challenging project so far?
A: A big challenge is shrink film application on a new bottle launch in the market. Holiday packaging with lots of special effects and folds is also difficult.

Q13: Since sustainability is a huge topic right now, how does your team come up with premium packaging while keeping it environmentally friendly?
A: The main solutions are the use of recycled boards and biodegradable materials.

Q14: How do you make a packaging unique in terms of its structure?
A: We typically highlight the non-boxy dimensions and structure in order to gain shelf or display attention.

An Interview with JohnsByrne

On the 27th of October, Haiying, a member of our research team, conducted an interview with Ken Bertrand, an account executive at JohnsByrne. Please, continue to scroll to see the video.

A little background…

JohnsByrne was founded in 1959 on Printer’s Row in Chicago. They have diligently maintained their founder’s vision of providing superior packaging and print solutions in a client-driven company future. The company utilizes a unique end-to-end production process and one-vendor accountability to meet all of their customers’ print and packaging needs. They develop innovative solutions that drive results without compromising quality or aesthetics for the project. They are fully committed to conducting their ongoing operations in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner. JohnsByrne creates custom product package and print solutions for a variety of industries, including: entertainment-media, health and beauty, advertising agencies, food and beverage, wine and spirits, and many more.

The Interview…

Poppin’ Perceptions

Sparkling wine and Champagne are two very different alcoholic beverages. Champagne is a luxurious and delicious alcoholic beverage that only comes from the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine is carbonated wine made in Ontario, Canada. It is easy to differentiate the two based on the label and overall aesthetic. 

For some, luxury is a way to enhance the quality of life. This idea of wealth prominently stems from celebrity and social media influence on these types of products. Being that these celebrities showcase these experiences online for everyone to see creates a shared experience in itself for everyone viewing it. This is the same desire that causes consumers to feel the need to purchase luxury alcoholic beverages. Which is the need to appear wealthier and of a higher social class. 

How does luxury champagne help consumers achieve this? You may have noticed that luxury brands don’t really feel the need to run ads or television commercials. This is because their advertising is done for them though celebrity influencers who post about their parties that were sponsored by Dom Perignon or Veuve Clicquot, for example. This then sells products to the average consumer who might be willing to spend the extra money for champagne as opposed to sparkling wine in order to appear trendy and wealthy. The packaging is also far more eye-catching than the average bottle of wine, which makes it easier for consumers to remember the bottle they saw on the Instagram post and quickly spot it at the local liquor store. When looking at the images below, it is very evident which bottle is more expensive. The Ace of Spades costs $499 CAD at the LCBO, and is sold with a varnish-finish wooden case to store it. As opposed to the bottle of Bella, a sparkling rose wine, which costs $18.95.

What to learn from Bubbly and Ace of Spades? Packaging is the first time customers interact with a brand, therefore, many elements are specifically chosen to produce the best physical and visual quality. Utilizing different materials, printing methods, and glass-making methods help position a product in the luxury market. For example, the Ace of Spades bottle uses high quality and customized materials in order for their products to have unique colors and stand out. The combination of metallization spray and hot foil stamping are effective in communicating the luxury experience. The metallic aspect produces the unique pink outer coat which protects the content from UV light and differentiates itself from other bottles. By staying on trend, Ace of Spades is able to maintain their high-end status and loyal customers. 

What are the popular trends in the industry and how to follow them? Millennials and GenZ are the prime customer base so products have to orient towards their desire for high-end alcohol. In order to convince a customer, their preferences (sustainability, experientiality, and personalization) have to be addressed. At the same time, customers are not buying the actual product but rather the experience and status it brings. The Ace of Spades bottle doesn’t reveal the alcohol, indicating that you are buying an experience. Customers also enjoy discovering new products and the exclusivity they offer. The stand alone product will sell more if a company is able to combine effective marketing strategies in order to generate interest. Some examples of successful strategies are: limited time engagement, pop ups, or social media engagement.


An Intoxicating Mix of Designs

The shelves of liquor stores are a highly competitive space. The more aesthetically pleasing packaging always receives the most attention and those items tend to get purchased first. As a young person just entering the drinking scene, I can guarantee that my friends and I always gravitate towards the drinks that look the nicest. But we can also sense which bottles will have a higher price tag even before looking beneath the shelf and finding the astounding cost. 

Typically, alcohol is more popular with the middle and upper classes. Packaging and design are one of the top decision-makers when it comes to wine and spirits purchases. Furthermore, recent trends have actually shown that customers are increasingly looking for convenience in their packaging. For example, packaging shot glasses or mixers and measuring tools with their products.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label – Diageo’s Artist Series 2017

When designing packaging for luxury bottles, creators consider convenience, size, text, and brand statements. It’s important that the packaging is unique, but also convenient so it’s able to stand out from its competitors. Sizing and shape can help capture the attention of consumers by making sure it is different from the items sitting next to them. Elements like large and easy to read text can also increase convenience for consumers. Brand statements (a “personality” design) can also help target certain audiences.

Another important consideration is ensuring that the packaging of the item is giving customers a sense that the spirit is a luxury. Luxury packaging can make the product more aesthetically pleasing and more giftable. To achieve this premium look, the design needs to go above and beyond the standard. Unique substrates can give the package a more high-end look and feel. Wood-inspired elements, metallic foils, or other special effects can make your packaging design truly stand out.

Glenrothes Extraordinary Cask, bottled by Berr Bros. & Rudd.

 Nowadays, spirits are actually being packaged more like fragrances in order to portray uniqueness and luxury. This includes usage of high-end bottles, premium & luxurious packaging, and one-of-a-kind labels.

Whether it be a fun and illustrated design or an interesting packaging concept, a company needs to do something different to succeed and stand out. Even a hefty price tag is a unique feature and may succeed as it creates a feeling of exclusivity that people want to experience.



Welcome to BoujeeBooze! We specialize in determining how high-end alcohol packaging and marketing initiatives impact everyday consumer buying decisions. We focus on domestic and imported liquor as well as champagne.

Our team hopes to inform you by deriving statistical analytics and presenting webinar content.