North American craft beer has always been the Wild West, pushing the mainstream envelope on ingredients, style, and flavor. However, even just a few years ago, few could have predicted just how “anything goes” the industry would become. Breweries of all sizes are strategizing about how to succeed in a market currently driven by changing consumer preferences, share-stealers such as ready-to-drink cocktails (RTDs), and plenty of competition.
There is no shortage of options for branching out in ways that make sense for your brewing business. Many of these options come down to branding, packaging, and label design.
How do you stand out on shelves in this environment? Is it time to ditch esoteric beer names in favor of straightforward information that every consumer can easily understand? Does that extend to producing and marketing one, two, or a few beverages that spotlight fruit flavor above all else? Should you make a light lager? Put it in 12- or 16-ounce cans? Do you put those cans in six-, 12-, or 15-packs? Decisions abound.
To help make sense of them, let’s look at some of the most relevant packaging and design trends now, focusing on why and when they’re effective.