Packaging that will Help Your Beer Stand Out on the Shelf

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With so many choices out there, how do you make your product stand out?

In 2017, more than 17,000 SKUs were sold in the beer category, making the beer aisle more challenging for retailersand consumers. For instance, 49% of consumers said they were “relaxed” when shopping for beer, compared with 89% when shopping for wine. Retail sales are directly tied to the experience you create for your customer. So how can you make your product stand out from the rest?

The key to getting your beer to stand out in a retail environment is to have creative packaging that represents your brand and speaks to shoppers. When developing the packaging for your beer, it is important to consider the audience, the shipping process, the trends in the industry, and how your product will be displayed.

Consider the case

It is important to consider the case or carton your product will be packaged in. There are several packaging options based on your brand, beer, and target audience. How a product is packaged and presented to consumers plays a significant role in consumer sales.

One of the most popular options is a corrugated container. Corrugate offers several benefits including the ability to accommodate heavy weight, being recyclable, withstanding environmental changes, and allowing for creative freedom by being easy to print on. Once your product has left the brewery, it becomes subject to various elements such as temperature and humidity variances; therefore, it’s important that your packaging can hold up against the elements. A corrugated container will keep its integrity through tough environments. By printing directly onto corrugate, brands have the opportunity to tell a story through the packaging and remain efficient.

Creating custom corrugated packaging is a great way to drive sales in retail stores and catch the eye of consumers. Here are some of the most popular packaging options.

  • Mother Carton: This provides a simple and safe way for bottles to be carried. This option can be generic or designed to be eye-catching. Printing on such a standard carton allows for maximum creative freedom and the heightened ability to tell a great story.
  • 4-Pack: This is used for higher-value beers, craft brews, and high ABV beers. A smaller pack keeps the price down and allows users to try the beer without the commitment of a 6 or 12-pack. These smaller packs can show the bottles or hide them completely allowing for printing to connect with the product directly, maximizing connectivity.

  • 6-Pack: This is used for frontline volume beers. This popular package is comparable in price to the 4-Pack but offers more volume but slightly less quality. Similarly to the 4-pack this packaging allows connectivity to the product and several printing options.

  • 12-Pack: This is used for higher volume products. Offered when demand for a product is high enough and consumers are looking to purchase in bulk. As a larger packaging option, this allows for more surface space to be used for imagery and larger variety of printing options.

  • Mix/Variety Pack: This is most commonly offered in the 12-Pack carrier. It allows a brewery to offer a variety of their product, typically for seasonal or special release products. With this option, it is important to make sure the printing helps the product to appear special and highlight key product details.

Another benefit of custom packaging is the opportunity to mirror the print on the bottles or cans onto the outside carton. Creating and sticking to a brand identity can help your product stand out and show consumers the thought behind the design. Tell a story, choose stand-out colors, and provide eye-catching imagery, this is what your target audience is looking for to make their purchase.

Who are you talking to?

Displaying your product in a busy retail aisle includes considering the experience you want your audience to have. The packaging of your beer will stand out more productively if you know your target customer and what they are looking for. Identifying your ideal audience can help you to target your packaging to create the greatest impact on your consumer.

This article from Packing Digest talks about how target audiences are ever-changing, and how to direct the message of your packaging towards that direction. It is important to choose a specific audience so that you can narrow down ideas to connect directly with consumers.

Quote: The Secret: to speak to and to be in sync with this audience.

The most successful products have packaging that is focused and direct. Targeting your product towards a specific audience creates a special impact that is personal as well as successful. Doing research on your target audience will help you come up with concepts they will respond to. You can then use keywords and imagery to grab their attention.

For example, if your preferred customer is the fast-paced shopper, using terms like “limited edition” or “exclusive” gives off the impression they need to act fast. Whereas, terms like “craft” and “specialty” are directed at consumers who want to spend time valuing the product.

Consumers respond to packaging that feels personal and inspires them. It is important to create packaging that will connect with them. Researching trends, location, and most popular beverage options can help you direct consumers to your packaging. A custom corrugate display is a great way to reach your audience and drive sales by standing out from the pack.

Be different

Your product is unique; make sure your packaging is, too. The brand should guide your product style and remain consistent throughout—from product and package to the website and beyond. Once you have established your brand identity, see how you can incorporate fresh ideas to stand out on the shelf. How can you include elements in your design, and how can you differentiate between products?

According to Virginia Craft Beer, consumers who buy Budweiser or Miller spend, on average, only 30 seconds in the beer aisle. They walk down the aisle and make their choice out of habit. Meanwhile, the average craft beer consumer spends an average of 4½ minutes in the aisle. These are the customers that are searching for something to stand out to them.

In this period of exploring, catching their attention with impactful packaging can sway their decision. Customers shop with their eyes first so make sure your product is appealing and stands out from the competition. According to Nielsen’s “Craft Beer Category Design Audit,” 70% of craft beer buyers decide which beer to purchase while they’re at the shelf, and often choose based on packaging. Nielsen also did a survey on what attracted consumers to a product and urged them to make a purchase, see results below:

Beer Packaging Chart

Survey source: Nielsen's "Craft Beer Category Design Audit"

Standing out can be tough for a product in a busy aisle, but 85% of people that pick up a product will end up putting it in their cart. How can you make sure your brand has a unique personality? Does that include humor or sophistication? If the ultimate goal is to sell your product, then researching innovative ways to present it is key.

Consider coupling your package with a retail display

Once your beer is packed in custom printed corrugate carton, ensure your product is presented in the retail space appropriately. Get the most engagement possible and stand out from the competition with a custom corrugated display as unique as your product.

Like with the carton, corrugate is the perfect material for a temporary retail display. It is recyclable, it can be printed on to mirror and compliment the packaging and tell a bigger story about the brand. Corrugate can accommodate the weight of the product at a lower price than more permanent materials. Whether a floor display or a shelf display, consumers are sure to take notice of your product and ultimately, sales will increase.

You can appeal to your target consumers with consistent branding, strong packaging, and an eye-catching display. Leave a lasting impression with a temporary display that compliments your product packaging and helps your beverage stand out from the rest.

Check Out Our Wine, Beer, & Liquor Packaging Gallery


Bennett is more than a vendor. We’re your partner.

Bennett is a premier packaging and retail displays manufacturing company striving to protect and promote our clients' products with customized corrugated solutions. With our fully-integrated design-to-delivery process, we can be the single supplier source. We are an award-winning manufacturer of virtually anything corrugate. We offer everything from plain brown shipping boxes to sophisticated, high-graphic printed point-of-purchase displays, and everything in between.

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