RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:

Guest Columns

Realising the possibilities in drinks packaging

Chris Schofield, head of design at Colourform, shares his thoughts on the future of drinks packaging and the trade-off between luxury and sustainability

Chris Schofield Colourform

Sustainability has been a buzzword banded around in design for some time; but now it is top of the agenda for businesses across all sectors, including the drinks industry. 

For luxury brands, there has always been a question mark over whether being sustainable jeopardises a truly luxurious experience. However, as the manufacturer behind the ‘Second Skin’ packaging, which revolutionised the champagne market with Maison Ruinart, we know first-hand that it doesn’t.

Today, the limitless design possibilities of materials which offer luxury and environmental credentials, means brands can have it all. There is no need to compromise; and looking to the future, brands cannot afford to ignore the need for eco-friendly efforts. In today’s world, consumers want to do better and want to buy more sustainably.

This shift was illustrated by the Footprint Drinks Industry ESG Trends Report 2022 which revealed that more than half (53 per cent) of consumers check packaging labels for eco credentials and 56 per cent consider a drink brand’s green credentials when choosing what drink to buy.

What these findings, and other reports, tell us is that it’s no longer acceptable or smart to ignore sustainability in business. The responsibility to do better is driving businesses to develop and embed sustainable practices to ensure they survive and prosper. 

In the drinks industry, beyond the manufacturing process and the ingredients of the products themselves, brands have an opportunity to bring their environmental consciousness into the fold through the packaging they present their products in. Material selection is key. 

Whilst paper-based packaging delivers on sustainability, it can mistakenly, sometimes, be overlooked in this space.

The secondary packaging that a bottle is presented in is expected to amplify the luxurious brand experience by conveying quality and uniqueness; features which can’t be compromised.  The buyer, or the recipient of the product, must feel treated before they even get to the beverage they’re opening; and that’s where striking the balance between luxury and sustainability becomes the perfect cocktail.

In direct response to the increased focus on sustainability we created a concept that challenges traditional approaches to packaging design, across multiple luxury sectors, including drink. The concept blends technological solutions and innovative design with a growing eco-conscious consumer mind-set at the core. Made entirely from moulded fibre, the design demonstrates the limitless possibilities which mono-material packaging can offer. Being made from paper, moulded packaging designs are 100% recyclable and often made from recycled paper sources. 

The concept includes a particular texture and the use of fibre from James Cropper’s unique CupCycling facility – the world’s first technology to upcycle take-away coffee cups – which can be incorporated into packaging design.

Our Topper concept explores how drinks businesses could channel brand essence and heritage into primary packaging with stunning shelf appeal. The Topper follows the success of the Maison Ruinart collaboration, which saw a beautiful and functional redesign of the traditional champagne box come to life. The Second Skin replicated the richness, depth and finesse of the walls in the historic Ruinart chalk-pit cellars in a mono-material form which was nine times lighter than the previous box. Topper further illustrates how moulded fibre could transform the traditional alcohol gift box into a much more premium offering. 

The purpose of this concept is to demonstrate that market-leading design and sustainability do not need to be mutually exclusive when it comes to drinks packaging. Brands can marry the two considerations to meet the demands of today’s consumers. 

Find out more on the Colourform website.

27 May 2022