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The power of packaging in the alcohol industry

Breaking into the competitive alcohol industry can be challenging, particularly for small businesses. New brands entering the market must make sure they present their products effectively to capture consumers’ attention. Whether you’re selling alcohol online or in-store, the impact of packaging on alcohol brand perception cannot be understated. Packaging is not just a container; it’s a key factor influencing consumer buying decisions. Your product packaging plays an important role in determining your brand’s success.

So, ask yourself, what does your packaging say about your product? Does it stand out from competitors? Is it good enough to get your product noticed and clearly communicate with consumers what your brand is all about?

At Create8, our packaging designers have worked with several alcohol brands, contributing to their success stories by designing packaging that tells their stories and resonates with their target audiences. In this article, we’ll explore the latest trends in alcohol packaging design and explain why your brand’s success is intrinsically linked to its packaging design.

What are the latest trends in alcohol packaging design?

Although eCommerce alcohol sales experienced a surge during the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent shift back towards physical store purchases has made many alcohol brands rethink their packaging strategies to help them stand out from competing brands on the shelves.

In 2024, alcohol packaging design trends are driven by consumer values, environmental concerns, health consciousness, and a desire for convenience and luxury. Let’s find out more:

Strong brand values 

All consumers, including you and I, are drawn to brands that reflect their personal values. Alcohol brands should use their packaging to communicate what their values are. Providing transparent information about how your ingredients are sourced and the production methods used can help your brand to stand out and connect with its target audience.

Sustainable packaging

As a society, we are becoming more concerned about looking after our environment, particularly the younger generations. Using eco-friendly packaging helps your brand to appeal to a broader market whilst also contributing to a more sustainable future. Alcohol brands that use recyclable materials or zero-waste processes should also ensure this information is communicated prominently on their packaging.


If there was ever a trend I can get behind, it’s looking after your health. Yes, that’s right, being health-conscious is trendy. If your alcohol product is organic, vegan, low-calorie, gluten-free, or even alcohol-free ensure that this information features prominently on its packaging design to help capture this growing market segment.

Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits packaging designPremium products

Many consumers are reducing their overall alcohol intake, so when they do drink, they’re more likely to indulge in premium products. Alcohol products with luxurious or exclusive packaging designs are becoming more sought after for those special occasions.

Fresh over traditional

Fresh and fruity-flavoured alcohol has grown in popularity, with many consumers choosing fruity flavours over classic ones. Vibrant, colourful, and engaging packaging designs that reflect consumers’ fruity flavour choices are expected to perform well in 2024. 


Over recent years, pre-mixed cocktails have significantly increased in popularity, reshaping consumer expectations regarding convenience. Alcohol packaging that caters to the modern lifestyle, is easy to carry, and is simple and convenient to open and drink whilst on the move is set to do well in 2024.

Innovative packaging shapes and designs

Consumers want to be delighted by alcohol brands. They are attracted to unique packaging, so using innovative shapes and designs can help to make your brand stand out, attract more attention, and enhance the overall brand experience.

How can packaging design influence the success of alcohol brands?

The bottle, can, box, or Tetra Pak your alcohol product is packaged in is an invaluable tool for attracting consumer attention and communicating your brand identity and positioning. Never underestimate the importance of packaging design in the alcohol industry. How your product looks from the outside can make or break it. 

Here are the top five ways effective packaging design influences the success of alcohol brands.

  1. Standing out from competitors – In a highly competitive market, distinctive packaging can help you grab attention and stand out.
  2. Captivating consumers – Standout packaging can help your brand to make a good first impression. An effective packaging design will create an emotional connection with consumers, encouraging them to buy into your brand and the image it is selling.
  3. Fostering brand identity – Successful packaging design ties in with a brand’s identity and conveys the brand’s message and ethos, helping to create a stronger and more consistent brand image and making the brand more memorable and attractive to its target audience. 
  4. Elevating market presence – An exceptional packaging design can turn your product into a talking point. An eye-catching design can help to create a buzz and encourage word-of-mouth recommendations. 
  5. Boosting perceived value – Have you considered that the design and quality of your packaging can significantly influence your product’s perceived value, allowing for a higher price point? Consumers are often willing to pay more for products they perceive to be superior, unique, or luxurious, and packaging plays a key role in shaping this perception.

As you can see, your alcohol packaging design should do more than look pretty. A snazzy design can help your brand connect with consumers, differentiate your product from competitors, build a strong brand identity, and increase your product’s perceived value.

Brew Dog IPA beer can packaging

What materials are best suited for sustainable alcohol packaging?

With Nielson reporting that 72% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products with sustainable attributes or features, alcohol brands have a significant incentive to adopt eco-friendly packaging and sustainable processes. Let’s take a look at some of the best sustainable materials for alcohol packaging.

Glass, recycled plastic, cardboard, and Tetra Paks are popular options when designing sustainable alcohol packaging. While glass is recyclable, producing and recycling it requires a lot of energy, so it isn’t always the most environmentally friendly choice. Recycled plastic is a good option as it reduces the need for virgin materials, conserving energy and resources. Tetra Paks are also gaining popularity as they are predominantly made from cardboard, making them compact and lightweight to store and transport. They are also made from renewable resources, making them a popular alternative to glass.

Alcohol brands looking to become more eco-conscious should eliminate all plastic from their packaging. Moving away from plastic rings for can multipacks is a significant step towards sustainability. Mexican beer brand Corona removed plastic rings from all its exported cans, innovated a twist-together stackable design for cans, and introduced cardboard carrying devices. As a result, in 2021, it became the first global beverage brand to achieve a net-zero plastic footprint, meaning it recovers or recycles as much or more plastic than it uses globally.

Another alcohol brand championing eco packaging is Audemus Spirits. The brand created a gift box for its bottles of Pink Pepper Gin made entirely from sustainably sourced materials, down to the vegetable-based ink used to print on the boxes. Once the gin has been unboxed, the recipient can follow instructions to transform the box into a cocktail book using origami. The result is sustainable, multi-use packaging; the clever idea will no doubt delight consumers, especially those who are conscious of waste and its environmental impact.

Are there legal requirements to consider in alcohol packaging design?

Before you get stuck in with designing your product’s packaging, there are a few alcohol packaging legal requirements that you should ensure you’re well-versed in. These regulations are in place to ensure consumer safety and allow them to make informed purchasing decisions.

UK law states that alcohol packaging must display the following information: The volume of the container, the drink’s alcohol by volume (ABV), and information on allergens.

It is also very important to ensure that alcohol is marketed responsibly. Packaging should not promote excessive consumption, claim to contribute to personal success, or appeal to underage drinkers. An age restriction notice should also feature somewhere on the packaging design. 

Three alcohol brands with killer packaging

Want to learn how to get it right from the best of the best? Be inspired by these three alcohol brands that are head and shoulders above the rest.

Kraken Rum bottle design

Kraken Rum

A striking monochrome image of the mythical Kraken beast dominates the packaging design for this popular rum. The rum is contained within a glass replica of a Victorian rum bottle, featuring two handles, enhancing the product’s uniqueness, appeal, and collectability. 

D’Arenberg Daddy Long Legs Extremely Rare

If you’re catering to the luxury market and selling a limited edition wine that retails at $500 for a 100ml bottle, then you need to offer something a little different – and that’s just what Australian brand d’Arenberg did. Its Daddy Long Legs Extremely Rare fortified wine has a custom-made spider-shaped stand to hold and display the 100ml bottle. The stand’s design reflects the wine’s name and the creepy crawlies living in the barrel shed where the wine is stored. The small dome-shaped bottle is packaged in an octagonal black box adorned with spider webs, transforming it into a prized possession and curiosity among wine connoisseurs.

Dead Man’s Finger Rum

Known for its edgy packaging, this rum brand’s design perfectly reflects its tagline, ‘Give tradition the finger’. Its packaging design uses vibrant, almost fluorescent, contrasting colours, making it impossible to miss on the shelves. The design features a prominent skull and bold, quirky typography. The brand is known for both its popular fruity flavours, and its more unconventional, limited edition flavours like KFC, Cornish saffron cake, and hemp; its daring product line is reflected in its bold and colourful packaging design.

Choose Create8 for alcohol packaging design


Need help getting your alcohol brand noticed?

Partner with Create8 to design packaging that captures the essence of your brand, resonates with your target audience, and stands out from the competition.

Several successful alcohol brands, including Morpheus Gin, The Public Spirit, Stockport Gin, and Libations Rum have used our design services for alcohol packaging. Here are some highlights of our work:

Morpheus Gin: Our packaging design for Morpheus Gin blends modern sophistication with classic elegance. We created a minimal yet striking design that reflects the gin’s refined taste and attracts consumers seeking a contemporary yet timeless aesthetic.

The Public Spirit Rum: For The Public Spirit, we focused on creating an eye-catching graphic design that appeals to a modern, young, and hip demographic. Our design emphasises the brand’s commitment to sustainability and ethics, reflecting its tagline’ liquor with a conscience’.

Stockport Gin: When we designed Stockport Gin’s packaging, we aimed to create an elegant and contemporary feel. We incorporated gold details to add a touch of luxury. We used a different colour for each flavour, making each variation distinct yet part of a cohesive collection. This design strategy enhances the brand’s visibility on the shelves.

Stockport Gin bottle label designs

Libations Rum: We took a different approach when designing the packaging for Libations Rum. We opted for classic, earthy, and aged colours that reflect the rich history and quality of the rum. The design evokes a sense of tradition and authenticity, aligning with the brand’s image.

At Create8, our packaging design services combine creative aesthetics with brand strategy to give your brand the boost it needs to succeed in the competitive alcohol industry.

For more information about what to expect from our design services for alcohol packaging, or to request a proposal, give our team a call on 0161 820 9686. We can’t wait to learn more about your brand.