The UK’s very hot today (up to 35°C!), so writing about ice-cold, refreshing beer packaging design will hopefully take my mind off the heat.

I saw today that Heineken have launched a new beer can design – it features ‘grooves’ around it’s edges and provides an appearance of a beer keg to provide shelf stand out and a tactile finish – one assumes to also aid with grip as the cold beer inside attracts condensation on the can.

The new beer packaging design looks thoroughly modern and is in keeping with Heineken’s innovative brand approach across in all their marketing activity – they recently earned the Creativ  e Marketer of the Year title at this year’s Cannes Lions.

With a very different approach, new limited edition 4-packs of Pilsner Urquel cans boast about the beer brand’s heritage with beer packaging design elements that draw on the company’s 172-year history while another promotion centers on the Czech National Hockey team. Cans are multi-packed in a textured paperboard carton stock that’s printed in a single green colour.

The cans and the carton have a rich aesthetic to them that leverages their heritage and provides a quality feel and appearance. It is comparable to the look that many of the new-wave craft beer companies use.

Beck’s has also created some new beer packaging design this month, with its new premium line of beer, you literally can “Taste the World,” as their slogan states, and travel to Australia, the UK, and Germany without ever leaving your living room. The Pale Ale, Amber Stock, and 1873 Pils needed to fall in line with Beck’s brand values but also appear independent. The bottles look great and have certainly achieved a premium look.

So, there you have it, three new beer packaging designs launched within one month, each with a very different approach.

However, with all this innovation in beer packaging design, one aspect that remains fairly constant is the use of materials – glass and metal.

PET is widely used for packaging in the non-alcoholic beverage and food industries, allowing brand owners and manufacturers to reduce production and transportation costs while taking advantage of this material’s greater design flexibility and increased sustainability, yet is very lacking in the beer category except in venues that have safety concerns e.g. festivals.

The PET material has the potential to provide further innovation in pack format that is not being taken advantage of. Perhaps consumers are still resistant when it comes to beer, yet they will happily consume most other types of drinks from plastic bottles.

If you’re looking for packaging design innovation, then please speak to us at The Behaviours Agency.

Adam Tregaskis

Head of Retail