Since the beginning of the 2010s, the “craft” trend has been developing rapidly all over the world on the spirits market. Beyond the simple translation of “artisanal product”, the term designates a whole consumer movement that is oriented towards taste quality with a thoughtful choice of raw materials and pleasure. The United States originates and markets the majority of products of this type. Europe comes in 2nd place. A trend that brings out new, ever more innovative and original products.
Consumers, tired of mass-produced products that are identical from one country to another, are turning to more authentic products. They are looking for short circuits, local ingredients, products where the human, who participated in the design and manufacture, is valued, where the roughness is accepted or even highlighted. People’s changing lifestyles and stricter regulations have accentuated this trend.
As part of this dynamic, the spirits market plays on proximity and know-how:
• the spirits are numbered,
• the “local” side is highlighted,
• products for which the terroir or even the plots are highlighted,
• the bottles indicate the barrel from which they come, the master distiller who validated the quality of the liquid, the raw materials.
A majority of customers also believe that “craft” spirits are often synonymous to better quality and they say they are ready to pay the price for a product that they consider more qualitative.
Generation Y (the Millennials), born between the 80s and the mid-90s, is driving the growth of “craft” products.
For this generation, the consumption of niche products, which they are “the only ones” to know, allows them to affirm their difference compared to a more traditional consumption of mass market products. In their eyes, “craft” spirits are synonymous to quality. They prefer to drink less, but better.
These consumers are all the more involved in this growth as they spend a lot of time on social networks talking about the products they consume and sharing their feelings.
This booming market leads to the launch of new products.
Many distilleries are created around the world and enthusiasts embark on the production of spirits. In order to meet the demand for differentiation from end customers and in search of often original recipes, these new brands are making bold packaging choices. They do not hesitate to break the codes, to mark their difference, and opt for powerful designs, which often recall old bottles. But always with one objective: the search for premium quality, in order to stick to the quality of the spirits they produce. At the first glance, they stand out and tell a story.
The values of craft spirits are graphically available in several ways, from the ultra-sophistication of packaging, the precious French-style pack, the jewelry label to the more natural side for brands that follow a sustainable policy, through the more vintage trend that plays on nostalgic marketing and what it can evoke in our childhood memories.
Classic and elegant typefaces will evoke a sense of tradition and reassurance. The more modern and daring fonts will reinforce the innovative approach of the brand.
Dark, deep colors are often used on aged spirit labels while brighter hues can be selected for younger or more exotic spirits. Colors can also be chosen to represent the brand’s commitment, for example more natural shades reflecting the brand’s environmental values or the consumer’s desire for well-being.
The illustrations or designs used on the labels can either represent the natural ingredients used in making the spirit or tell the story of the brand, so as to generate brand interest.
The supports and finishings used will make it possible to sublimate the initial design of the label. Textured papers or real materials with a more rustic look, embossiing, debossing, the combination of matte-gloss-relief varnish will add a tactile and luxurious dimension.
Specific formats, surrounding cutouts or perforations in the labels arouse the interest of consumers and are a strong sign of recognition.
In this trend, we also note the resurgence of limited editions highly prized by enthusiasts. These special editions offer consumers the opportunity to discover unique flavors (Cask Strength, special blends, specific maturation) and exclusive packaging.
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