From imaginative brews to eye-catching labels, craft beer has never been short on creativity. But as the industry heats up—75% of the new beer products hitting shelves in 2017 were craft beer—the competition for consumer buy-in has never been more contentious.
In a recent Food & Wine Magazine article, Goose Island’s Vice President of Marketing summed up the state of craft beer packaging like this: “A lot of what originally drew drinkers into craft beer was packaging that screamed personality. Now with nearly 7,000 breweries across the country, there’s a lot of personalities screaming at once.”
Where are craft beer brands turning to stand out from the pack? From minimalist designs to customized branded packaging elements, these craft beer design trends should be on every craft brewer’s radar.
Ultra-minimal craft beer packaging
Sometimes less really is more. Just ask brands like SingleCut, whose 18-Watt IPA comes in a silver and off-white can design that lets the craft brewery’s logo—and great-tasting brew—be the star of the show. While many craft beer brands are embracing minimalist white can designs, others are opting for all-black cans, black can lids and even all-black carriers that demand their brew be taken seriously.
No matter the color of your backdrop, ultra-minimal craft beer packaging designs are a fresh alternative to ornate craft beer labels of the past, making them a surprising addition to the shelf.
Vintage-inspired craft beer packaging
The 1960s beer scene might have been dominated by giants like Anheuser-Busch, but today’s craft breweries are making a lasting mark on the decade. How? By infusing their craft beer designs with 1960s and 1970s flair. From vintage-inspired characters and logos to 1960s fonts and color schemes, craft beer packaging designers are paying homage to the past with bold, throwback designs that evoke a simpler time.
Sloop Brewing puts the vibrant colors of the 1970s front and center on the can for its Juice Bomb IPA, and extends the vintage flair straight through to its mother carton design.
Color-coded SKUs for craft beer
IPA. Pale ale. German lager. Seasonal craft beers. As craft breweries expand the variety of beers in their taprooms and on shelves, more brands than ever are embracing color-coding on their craft beer labels. This is a good design choice to consider if you’re looking for a way to create visual consistency across your entire inventory but still give customers a quick way to identify their beer type of choice from your lineup.
Customized craft beer packaging
In a beer industry with new breweries perpetually appearing on the scene, brands are getting creative with every element of their craft beer packaging. In other words, it’s no longer just about your craft beer label. If you’re a craft brewery looking to stand out, consider working with a craft beer packaging expert who can help you maximize every piece of prime real estate. Think: cans that attract buyers, printed corrugated craft beer trays, colored can ends and more.
Is your craft beer brand using packaging to its full potential? Contact our craft beer packaging experts to discover how the right partner can take your shelf appeal, inventory and warehousing strategy to new heights.