German dairy Weihenstephan also is using the carton bottle, for its Alpenmilch milk products. Additional processors in Western Europe are in various stages of deploying the package.
Tetra Pak has not yet set a date for launching the carton bottle in the U.S., but it reports strong interest from markets in Eastern Europe and South America.
Toppers — molded high-impact polystyrene figures — are attached to the closures to add an element of fun to the packaging. The toppers depict licensed characters such as Superman and Strawberry Shortcake. The bottles and toppers can be washed in the dishwasher and reused.
Wine bottle brings its own glass
A clever single-serving bottle design for Vino Solo wines offers functional benefits for outward-bound drinkers and for concessionaires at venues where glass packaging is discouraged, such as ball parks. The two Vino Solo varietals, merlot and chardonnay, are positioned as premium-quality wines.
Vino Solo's 187-ml, polyethylene terephthalate bottle incorporates a polystyrene wine flute attached to the closure and inverted over the bottle. The configuration minimizes the package's size, providing shipping and storage efficiencies.
Philadelphia-based wine importer and producer KDM Global Partners LLC (www.kdmglobalpartners.com) collaborated with Singlz International Ltd. (www.singlz.com), of Auckland, New Zealand, to bring the bottle-and-flute combo to North America, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Vino Solo launched in the U.S. several months ago.
KDM plans to make the package available for custom-label wines as well as the Vino Solo brand, and Singlz reportedly is developing versions of the bottle-and-flute package for non-alcoholic drinks and non-wine alcoholic beverages.
The U.S. launch of Vino Solo initially targeted on-premise customers such as hotels, theaters, convention centers and cruise ships and sports venues. The brand currently is served at three Major League Baseball parks.
By combining the flute with the bottle, Vino Solo simplifies operations for concessionaires and foodservice operators. "For on-premise accounts, Vino Solo offers unprecedented service efficiencies and margin-generating capabilities: cash control, inventory control and quicker, more profitable beverage service," says Jonathan Gelula, KDM's president.
KDM also is rolling out a three-pack retail version of Vino Solo. For retail consumers, the primary package's resistance to breakage and incorporation of drinkware make it an appealing choice for away-from-home and outdoor sipping. "The Vino Solo three-packs are very handy products for home barbecues, boating, camping or any other 'on-the-go' purpose," Gelula says.
Stylish and functional
Effen Vodka, a super-premium brand owned by Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. (www.beamglobal.com), Deerfield, Ill., uses a bottle design that combines good looks with practical benefits, such as ease of use.
The tall, slender, 750-ml glass bottle is decorated with a rubber sleeve that covers the bottom two-thirds of the bottle. In addition to providing an eye-catching finish for the package, the sleeve also makes the bottle easier to grip, wet or dry.
Effen Vodka comes in several flavors, including Black Cherry, Dutch Raspberry and, most recently, Cucumber. The rubber sleeve is color-coordinated to the flavor — for example, green for Cucumber and white for unflavored Effen.
The brand owner consulted with professional bartenders to create the package design. Because it "was created by bartenders for bartenders, we were able to gain valuable insights into creating a bottle that is not only stylish, but also functional," says Kim Washington, senior director, rums and vodkas, at Beam Global. "The rubber sleeve is a perfect example of this collaboration."
The sleeve "makes pouring cocktails easier for both those behind the bar and at home," Washington adds. "Not only does the rubber sleeve ensure that the bottle never slips out of your hand while pouring, it also acts as an insulator. Once chilled, the rubber sleeve will not only prevent the bartender's hand from becoming cold but also protect the liquid from getting warm."