‘Craft’ goes family friendly
Senior Research Executive, New York
The ‘Craft’ movement has been one of our favorite topics lately, but it isn’t just for beer and spirits anymore. Non-alcholic beverages are beginning to embrace packaging characteristics that are most closely associated with craft beer & craft spirits — including stripped down aesthetics; unusual, considered, or highly designed fonts; and premium ingredient call-outs.
As consumers become more interested in heritage and origins at the brand level, we are seeing even big packaged goods brands getting in on the craft and artisan movements – or at least utilizing the packaging design cues by which those movements have come to be known.
While at first glance some of the following products might be taken for adults-only beverages, they are in fact all family friendly. These brands use storytelling (and a lot of chalkboards and reclaimed wood) to bolster their products, and they highlight specialized ingredients that differentiate the beverages from their competition.
1. Caleb’s Kola
One of the biggest brands testing out the craft landscape is PepsiCo, with their new Caleb’s Kola offering. Taking inspiration from both craft beer packaging and Millennial consumers’ fetishism of ‘real sugar’ in their soda (see also: Mexican Coke and Mountain Dew Throwback), Caleb’s Kola combines a short list of ingredients with an old-fashioned bottle shape and a minimalist font to differentiate itself in the crowded and brightly colored world of cola.
2. Mjólkursamsalan Milk
You’d be hard pressed to find a more family-friendly beverage than milk, but even this household staple is getting inspired by the hand-drawn aesthetics more commonly found on packs for much more adult beverages. Iceland’s Mjólkursamsalan Dairy has rolled out a milk carton featuring sophisticated chalk board graphics against a category-disrupting black background — as illustrated by the stark before & after comparison. Frankly, we’re just impressed that they managed to fit the brand name on the pack!
3. Legendary Sunshine
This energy drink stands out from its amped-up counterparts by employing a subdued color scheme and fonts that impart a hand-crafted feel. With more adult packaging that wouldn’t look out of place in a speak-easy (the product happens to be inspired by an Appalachian moonshiner), it’s no surprise that this beverage prides itself on natural ingredients like ginger and stevia, and boasts a unique ginger-berry flavor combination. Just by looking at the pack, it’s clear that Sunshine rises above other energy drinks, even ones that give you wings.
4. AriZona Oak Reserve Tea
Taking its cues from bourbon & wine rather than from beer, AriZona’s new iced tea offering plays up its oak-infused brewing process with wood-grain, barrel hoops, rivets, and a ‘wax seal.’ The whole concept responds to the growing consumer interest in how products are made and an increasing desire for more complex flavors.
5. Owl’s Brew
While AriZona’s tea is inspired by flavors usually found in liquor, Owl’s Brew tea is meant to be mixed with the strong stuff. As the brand explains it, “Our challenge was standing out both from the tea category, and from the mixer category. The approach of our designer, Renata Sviridova, was to create a very clean, stylish, matte black bottle and pitch-black label with sketched in whimsical elements and details.” In effect, this pack design allowed Owl’s Brew to create a category all their own — and you can’t get much craftier than that!