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The Drinks Forum at Packaging Innovations 2019

Sam Coyne, editor of The Drinks Report and host of Packaging Innovations' The Drinks Forum rounds up this year's discussion

Sam Coyne The Drinks Report

Packaging Innovations London is always one of the highlights of the year for the team at The Drinks Report and for 2019 it was our pleasure to host the Drinks Forum, sponsored by Charpak. 

The opening panel, consisting of Nick Brown (head of sustainability for Coca-Cola European Partners, Great Britain), Trewin Restorick (founder and CEO of Hubbub UK) and Santiago Navarro (CEO and co-founder of Garçon Wines), discussed plastics and deciphering sustainable packaging solutions for the drinks market.

It won’t have escaped anybody’s notice that this is a major global issue and understandably each of our panellists ensured the audience that coming up with solutions is simply a given in their businesses. For me, the take away message listening to our speakers was that while each producer and manufacturer can make strides themselves, a collaborative approach between many different players is needed to make the greatest impact. It’s an issue that won’t go away and a challenge to all attendees and exhibitors at Packaging Innovations to explore and deal with in the months ahead.

The forum’s first keynote speaker was James O’Connor, global marketing manager for William Grant & Sons Brands ltd. Exploring the balance between mavericks and madness, James explored the thinking and the process behind Glenfiddich’s recent bottle design update. With input from Craig Ferguson, senior project manager at William Grant & Sons and Mark Paton, creative partner and co-founder of Here Design, the bottle has been redesigned, still with enough classic cues. There was also a reveal of the latest expression Glenfiddich Grand Cru, which is presented in a stunning premium bottle.

Jonathan Pearson new business development manager from Charpak presented about their mission to furnish organisations with complete packaging solutions that address the circular design challenge to minimise environmental impact, to design sustainability into NPD and packaging innovation through collaborative partnerships. Charpak discussed the launch of the UK's first Localised Circular Economy, proving commitment to delivering exceptional products and services that solve business needs sustainably. All in all, they have a 29-day-process that involves five days for design, four on prototypes, 10 on tooling and a final 10 on production.

The final speakers were from BrewDog and LOVE, discussing the importance of partnerships, pace and personality. David Gates, MD BrewDog explained that in an intentionally disruptive brand like BrewDog, pace of change is everything. This naturally leads to challenges when it comes to finding design and creative partners, but it seems like they’ve found on in LOVE. Dave Palmer, found and ECD of LOVE demonstrated recent work that they have done with BrewDog, including their move into spirits including gin. Each design truly captures the brand’s identity and will surely be a stand-out on backbars and shop shelves in no time.

Another good Drinks Forum and while sustainability is duly the word on everybody’s lips, the innovation in both manufacturing, product design and packaging design is also driving at a pace that even BrewDog might struggle to keep up with. Roll on Birmingham 2020. 

25 September 2019