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Premiumisation: Drinks Packaging

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In the late 1990’s the new term ‘premiumisation’ was used amongst the alcohol & beverage market and many people are still unsure as to what it really means and how it has affected the drinks packaging we see in stores today.

To help shed some light on the subject we have put together a brief overview covering (1) What is premiumisation? (2) How has it affected the drinks industry? (3) How can companies achieve premiumisation? and (4) What is the future for premiumisation?

(1) What is premiumisation?

Premiumisation is a term which came into use in the late 1990’s and has enabled brands (old and new) to increase engagement with their consumers. It has also created opportunity amongst drinks manufacturers who historically were not labelled as luxury and those who are new to the alcohol and beverage market place.

Milly Stilinovic states in her article for Forbes ‘Premiumisation: The Most Affluent Retail Trend of 2016’ that “premiumisation is ultimately to make luxury more exclusive or more affordable”.

Various packaging and print processes have facilitated this trend and have evolved offering a wide range of ways brands can ‘premiumise’ their products using luxury packaging methods.


(2) How has it affected the drinks industry?

With the new generation (labelled ‘Millennials’) coming into maturity, there has been a shift in purchasing behaviour amongst the alcohol and beverage market. This generation (born early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s) are more conscientious about what they are buying and are interested in products that are sustainable, environmentally responsible and that have individuality.

They care less about price of products and more about the aspirations that the brand stands for and their brand values; seeing this as an extension of their own.

There has also been an increase in competition especially amongst the craft beer market with 70% of typical craft beer buyers deciding which beer to purchase whilst at the shelf, rather than in advance. (Nielsen Audit)

Due to the varying factors the need for brands to stand out, appeal and communicate with their consumers is paramount. And packaging is fast becoming the key marketing tool for drinks manufacturers to achieve this.


(3) How can companies achieve premiumisation?

When thinking about premiumisation, brands need to start with good quality packaging material, they can then achieve a standout appearance by using a disruptive shape, eye catching graphics, high quality print (such as litho), print finishes and film lamination.

As well as consumers seeking appealing packaged products they are also looking for an emotional connection. The product itself can influence this, and graphics will draw the consumer in but the touch of the packaging will resonate.

Below is an image showcasing some of the recent litho printed packaging products we have manufactured here at Saxon Packaging along with various print finishes and film lamination:

drinks packaging

(4) What is the future of premiumisation?

With continued individuality, brands recognising and understanding their target audience is paramount, as luxury to some may not be luxury to others.

A further increase for customisation to allow for individuality is likely and with the takeover of Millennials it is important for brands to really focus on reflecting their personality, encouraging engagement, forging and building on their relationships with consumers.

For more information relating to drinks packaging solutions please call 01502 513112 or email info@saxonpackaging.co.uk.


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