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Craft Cider Packaging Design: Present and Future

Whose gluten free and rapidly stealing the spotlight? Cider, that’s who. These brands are the up and coming players in spirits, and they’re no exception when it comes to craft cider packaging design. Mint, jalapeno, basil, elderberry, cherry; these are just some of the flavors incorporated in new craft ciders that provide plenty of space for play both in packaging design and on your taste buds.

Current Craft Cider Packaging Design Trends

Cider packaging design has historically focused on apples, orchards, trees, or some combination thereof, which is a huge contributor to the perception of all ciders being extremely sweet. Although some brands still pay homage to the drink’s main ingredient and its roots, the incorporation of new, eccentric ingredients and flavors have opened up a new world of creative packaging design. For example, Seattle Cider CompanyNew Belgium, and Shacksbury all have their own takes on dry, semi-dry, and semi-sweet ciders. This evolution has allowed cider to become a drink to be enjoyed all year round, not just in the summer months, which opens up even more possibilities for the composition of the drink as well as its design. Demographic trends are impacting this industry too. Hard. Although ciders have always been incredibly popular amongst younger women, the results are in, and guys like cider too. Who knew? This has led to a large gravitation towards an outdoorsy, craftsman-like, vintage, and more gender neutral design aesthetic in the cider realm to appeal to all consumers. Perhaps this is cider’s way of sneaking in on beer packaging design territory… Whatever it is, it’s working.

The Future of Craft Cider Brands

As more consumers opt for a healthier, gluten free, and in some cases, organic drink option on Friday night, craft ciders are only going to grow from here. Not only is cider a top choice for the health-conscious and/or calorie-counting population (is cider really that much better? haha), but the spirit is quickly becoming on par with beer and wine as a drink menu staple for all occasions. Craft cider will only become more synonymous with beer as small batches, unique bottles and cans, and targeted packaging design continue to become the norm. The majority of craft cider drinkers are coming from the craft beer world (Perhaps they are also trying to reel in some wine drinkers? Some of the really dry ones are almost champagne-like, have you had?). Bottom line, the same level of quality from the overall brand is expected. They want to know where the ingredients that are in that bottle or can came from, what makes these ingredients special, and they want to know the story behind who made it and why. These are important elements to include in the essence of each craft cider’s packaging design to continue to capture that market and eventually position cider as a premium drink. (People shop with their eyes first, after all.) With a larger emphasis on quality and taste, the relationship that a craft cider brand can create between its product and its consumers is going to make a difference and build strong brand loyalty that will keep them coming back, similar to what has worked for craft beer packaging design. Will, then, brand loyalty shift to the smaller, lesser known, craft cider with a story?

August 03, 2016  |  BY Design Womb

Howlin Fair Isle

Howlin by Morrison is ringing in the fall in San Francisco at Unionmade Goods. Knitwear from Scotland for the boys, you can't go wrong. Okay, busted. Being a knitwear nut I secretly want all of this for myself. I love this line, and I love Todd & Buddy at the shop, double win.

October 03, 2011  |  BY Nicole LaFave

A Sexy Man

I die a little each time I see the new Tom Ford Ads. So yummy. The guy & the girl make me want to transplant myself to be in the Ads with them. I am a brunette and she has me thinking I want blonde in my hair and that I need to get tan quickly! I'm not kidding, I might even try to bronze myself just to try it out. Too hot to handle, love these glasses, but sad to find out that they were not on the eyewear page on his site. Help! I need them asap. If you haven't seen A Single Man yet, shame on you. It's excellent eye candy and a great film you must see.

March 05, 2010  |  BY Nicole LaFave

Branding & Packaging Design