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International style for Bulgarian rakia

International design agency Blue Marlin has created new packaging for the Bulgarian rakia Yambolska Grozdova. The new livery makes its debut in March.

The brand dates back to the 1930s and rejoices in its authenticity as a rakia that uses only Bulgarian grapes from the Yambol region in the south east of the country. Yambolska is an every day drink with an every day price point.
In Bulgaria the rakia category is crowded and fiercely competitive with brands from other countries making inroads into the market. The challenge for Blue Marlin was to create a distinctive new look, whilst emphasising its tradition, heritage and quality.

Blue Marlin Bath creative director Chris Hart comments: “In the UK you instinctively know what a gin or a whisky bottle looks like, but in rakia anything goes – there are some truly weird and wonderful shapes out there.”

Yambolska’s previous bottle could have been confused with an olive oil pack by some consumers. “The new broad shouldered bottle is highly disruptive on shelf by virtue of its simplicity,” Hart continues. “We have used embossing on the bottle itself and metallic foil embossing on the label to underscore the brand’s quality and add a little more sophistication in the context of its market and the competition.”

Hart notes that consumers’ increasing exposure to international brands poses a challenge for many local brands, regardless of geography or category. “People are becoming more aware of how global brands look, which makes them see local brands differently. Regional brands have to embrace the challenge of improving their design because their consumers won’t just be judging them on the product next door, but on how they measure up to international brands.”

Vinprom brand manager Teodora Doncheva comments: “Rakia is a very traditional market and every design change poses a significant threat. Thanks to Blue Marlin’s great work we can now offer Yambolska consumers packaging that reflects the quality of the product. The new bottle really stands out and makes a proud statement of the brand’s attributes.



1 March 2011 - Felicity Murray