Jul 2, 2008

Pour yourself a drink from a tetrapack

Suvi Dogra / New Delhi July 02, 2008, 0:42 IST
TRENDS: Liquor firms introduce innovative packaging to push sales and save costs.
You have probably always taken home your favourite whiskey in a glass bottle, though you have seen some mass-market brands in PET bottles and would know that country liquor sells in polythene pouches.
However, the future carrying case for your favourite brand may well be a tetrapack. Vijay Mallya's United Spirits has started selling four of its most popular brands — Bagpiper, Director's Special, Gilbey's Green Label and McDowell's No 1 Celebration — in this new format.
Deprived of promoting their products directly, companies had for long taken recourse to surrogate advertising — commercials on soda, packaged water or playing cards with the same brand names. Of late, the government has tightened the screws on this form of advertising as well.
As a result, companies like United Spirits, Diageo and Bacardi have designed innovative packaging to push sales. United Spirits has decided to roll out 180 ml tetrapacks and 60 ml miniature bottles.
Vijay Rekhi, president and managing director, United Spirits, said: "We are looking at building the franchise of the pack, by leveraging the ‘anytime, anywhere' benefit and infusing it with a young and trendy image." A tetrapack is unbreakable and is easy to carry and dispose, he added.
The new packs have been designed by packaging major TetraPak of Sweden. The pack is 50 per cent lighter than the 180 ml bottle and is tamper proof. United Spirits saves 20 per cent on cost as compared to glass bottles. The new packs reduce breakage costs and use 50 per cent less space on shelves and godowns.
Manufacturers are also bullish on promoting high-end brands through premium packaging or limited-edition gift packs. Besides introducing limited-edition and special gift packs for its Johnnie Walker brand, Diageo has introduced a range of products to go with each brand's segment.
For example, it has introduced Red Label in an ice tray pack. Its Black Label VMM pack is inspired by the shape of the MP422 Formula 1 car. The design is aimed to convey the stylish and discerning world of Formula 1 as well as the Johnnie Walker Black Label.
Asif Adil, managing director, Diageo India, said: "Our products are premium and are increasingly appealing to the sensibilities of the Indian consumers. Innovative packaging thus becomes important to market a premium offering."
Bacardi's high-end premium gin brand, Bombay Sapphire, has been introduced in a giant gemstone -shaped bottle. Named ‘Revelation', it is available as five handmade crystal bottles individually decorated with sapphires and diamonds, priced at $200,000 (Rs 86 lakh) each.

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