Packaged Beverages: Judging the Beverage by its Package

Packaging innovation ups product visibility, cachet in the cold vault

Warning: There are some unusual words in this story. You may not understand what they mean. You may need a dictionary to help you get it.

Sure, in context “standard extruded aluminum package” might make sense to you. But what about EVOH, LLDPE, LDPE, PET or HDPE? And certainly main barrier polymer, aseptic pouch and Blippar might leave you scratching your head.

What will make perfect sense, however, is how new, innovative packages are sprucing up your cold vault, marketing to your customers, helping the planet and, really, selling themselves.

Let’s start easy and consider marketing. Packaging is a billboard, and The Coca-Cola Co. makes a good example. Marketers of the iconic Atlanta-based brand realized way back in 1916 that they had a good thing going. Bottlers decided they needed a standard vessel across the board, something consistent that would make the brand instantly recognizable. Today, Coca-Cola’s distinctive contoured bottle can be recognized in the dark. And that says nothing of the red and white logo: It is recognized by 94% of the world’s population, evident in the 1.7 billion servings of Coke products sold every day, all over the world.

And the company isn’t resting on its red and white laurels. Coca-Cola’s summer campaign, “Share a Coke,” personalized each bottle by swapping the iconic logos on 20-ounce bottles with 250 of the nation’s most popular names among teens and millennials. Got a friend named David? Did you happen to see his name in the c-store cold vault while picking up your own Diet Coke? I bet Dave would like that Coke with his name on it a lot. Coca-Cola is making that same bet—only they bet you buy it for Dave.

Now for something you’ve probably never heard of. Imagine a bottle for a healthy beverage marketed to children and their parents. Now imagine that bottle is shaped like a building block. That block can fi t only with other bottle blocks of the same brand—you have to purchase all three to have the full building and thirst-quenching experience. To boot, the Ladera Ranch, Calif.-based Drink Blocks beverages feature the popular kids’ brand Chuggington. This triple threat combines a healthy beverage with popular brand merchandising in a fun, imaginative shape.