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New Polar Ice vodka has cold-activated labels

Polar Ice 90°North is a new premium product line extension for the Polar Ice Vodka brand owned by Corby in Canada, which is a Pernod-Ricard entity.  

The glass bottles feature labels that use a thermochromic ink treatment on certain elements of the artwork that, when cooled, turn an icy blue colour indicating that the vodka is perfectly chilled and ready to consume.

Louis Bondy, manager new product development at the Hiram Walker & Sons distillery explains the labelling choice: “Essentially, this cold-activated design using colour changing ink technology was selected to leverage a key insight – that the vast majority of consumers put their vodka in the freezer."

He continues: “Our label supplier ASL Print FX along with CTI Inks introduced us to ‘temperature ink’, also known as thermochromic ink technology, which changes colour when exposed to set temperatures. In most cases, the colour starts out clear like a typical varnish used on labels but then becomes full colour at a lower temperature and then returns back to clear when exposed to warmer temperature. These thermochromic inks are also available in a variety of colour-to-colour options where the ink starts out as one colour and then once chilled turns to another colour. The ideal serving temperature for vodka is between 5 and 8 degC, this packaging turns icy blue when the vodka is 6 degC.

“The basic construction of the labels includes a crystal clear polypropylene substrate with transparent pressure sensitive adhesive for the face exposing the clear, pure nature of the vodka within. This label was printed with combinations of flexography, screen-printing, raised varnish and thermochromic ink techniques to simulate an iceberg and the iconic Polar Bear.

“There are also reverse printed longitude and latitude lines on the opaque white multilayer pressure sensitive back label that show through to the front of the bottle. This multilayer film back label construction allows for complete opacity of the label allowing printing on both sides without showing read-through to the opposite surface. These labels are also constructed to withstand multiple cycles between freezing and room temperatures as well as condensation.”

The brand name Polar Ice 90 Degrees North was inspired by the location of the North Pole (90°latitude) as one of the coldest places on the earth where polar bears live.

The vodka is quadruple distilled and chill-filtered at 6°C in small batches to improve its purity and smoothness and deliver a delicate crisp citrus taste and clean smooth finish.

Polar Ice 90 Degrees North (45%abv) will be distributed in all Canadian Provinces within the next year with a RRP of approximately US$25 dollars (the price varies by province).

23 June 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor