Beverage Packaging Premiumisation: Shape and Visual Impact

Beverage packaging premiumisation has become more of a ‘must-have’, rather than ‘nice-to-have’ element of new product development, to properly address the demands of the modern beverage sector in line with consumer trends.

Premiumisation is not a new concept, but it is increasingly making a difference when consumers make their decisions at the shelf. Consumers are choosing more premium beverage offerings on a regular basis which makes it critical that the package communicates the premium brand promise.

Additionally, shelf-standout and brand presence are often enhanced through innovative features that resonate with the eco-conscious millennial consumer and respond to global megatrends such as sustainability, environmental responsibility, and individuality.

When it comes to creating a premium package, selecting a premium material is just the start. Creating a premium package can be achieved by shape, graphics or decoration enhancements. Craft beer, for example, has experienced an unprecedented amount of growth in sales in both the UK and US in the last five years and often relies upon packaging for premium positioning and also serves as their primary marketing tool.

The craft beer sector is currently the fastest growing sub-sector in the wider beverage market. A Nielson audit reports that ‘70% of typical craft beer buyers decide which beer to purchase while at the shelf, rather than in advance’.

Of many examples, a recent graphic update for Devils Backbone Brewing Company featured silver metallic ink, embossing and a matte-gloss contrast for shelf impact. The design also included soft-touch coating for an element of surprise and luxury.  So, while a striking finish draws the consumer in, touch can actually be more important in suggesting a pack is of superior quality and exclusive and therefore, premium.

In addition to graphic enhancements and decorations, new pack shapes can also convey a premium effect. Unique, sophisticated shapes stand out as a disruptive feature in an otherwise linear retail space and demonstrate that a subtle, less-is-more approach often holds more perceived value with today’s consumer than numerous additional features.

Advanced innovation must of course be supported by operational excellence to deliver packaging of the high standard that consumers expect.

At drinktec 2017, Graphic Packaging International (GPI) will be demonstrating a ‘world of possibilities’ –  its advanced machinery and packaging solutions to customers. GPI’s ReShapeTM machine will be featured on the stand and is a revolutionary technology capable of creating virtually any pack configuration seamlessly with one piece of packaging equipment. Championing smart added-value pack premiumisation, ReShape allows beverage manufacturers to reinvent, reimagine and reshape their beverage packaging for increased shelf standout.

From the company’s AutoMaxxTM, the company will display a range of wrap and basket solutions to create on-shelf differentiation from robust handle options to full-coverage designs.

Often, consumers’ interest in premium products coincides with a desire for a variety of brands and flavors. GPI’s robotic integration capability simplifies and automates variety packing operations so brands can offer an array of options in one pack at the shelf.

GPI will exhibit how the company’s vertically integrated business can supply the board, cartons, machinery and enhancements to deliver premium packaging that consumers demand today, as well as the designs of the future.

GPI will be at drinktec 2017 on stand #325 in hall A5. The event takes place in Munich between 11 and 15 September. For more information, please visit or follow the team on Twitter or LinkedIn for updates.

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May Norman or

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