Eight ways that wine producers can optimize carton package design

Carton packages offer exciting design opportunities for enterprising wine producers. We asked Tetra Pak design specialist Jonas Eklund for some expert tips on how to optimize your packages to grab consumer interest and sell more wine.

Decide your style – and run with it

When designing for wine in cartons, one key decision is whether to stick with tradition – or challenge it. Once you’ve decided, you can open up to a lot of exciting design work. Whatever your choice, you can exploit the carton’s benefits through innovative design and graphical touches to convey your brand message and the quality of the wine inside.

Know your octagons from your rectangles

Package shape is key to attracting consumer attention on the shelf. For wine, high and slender outlines tend to play best with consumers: an elongated look conveys the elegance expected of a wine container. One wine producer chose Tetra Prisma® Aseptic because it is tall and graceful, while presenting a modern feel with its octagonal surface. Smaller portion packs, meanwhile, are perfect for occasions like concerts and picnics. Events organizers often prohibit glass bottles but permit drinks in carton packages. Wine cartons are not only safer than glass, they’re also easy to flatten and dispose for recycling – with no mess or spillage.

Bold colours make your wine stand out on the shelf

Vivid and bold colours make a statement and will help you stand out from the crowd. Funky colour combinations and presentations attract the eye and arouse interest. That said, consumers tend to be rather traditional when it comes to categories and colours. Typically, they associate red wine with dark and reddish colours, white with yellow and paler tones, and rosé (not surprisingly) with pinks and light reds. It’s a good idea to have these colour cues somewhere on the package as they act as anchoring colours in the store, guiding the consumer to the right part of the store.

Go full metallic jacket!

Choosing a metallized finish for your wine package offers unique opportunities for a sophisticated look. Metallized board is a type of paperboard with a shiny silver surface, and colour printing on it enables you to produce eye-catching effects with metallic sheen and shimmer, and to explore the contrast between reflection and matt. The metallic finish conveys luxury and exclusivity. It also creates impact and, depending on the in-store lighting, can literally catch the consumer’s eye as he or she passes the shelf.

Use the 360° surface to tell your story

One of the beauties of wine cartons is their large surface area. Unlike bottles, where you are restricted to small labels, you can use the entire surface for an attractive design and to tell your story. This gives you more control and greater scope for product positioning and attractive design. As a modern package for wine, carton allows you to be a little more adventurous and to make more of the communication and story around your product than you can with traditional labels.

Utilize potential of secondary packaging

Carton packages lend themselves perfectly to multipacks. Carton allows you to break a litre of wine down into four 250 ml packs or to offer different combinations – say red and white wine – in the same multipack. From a design perspective, the secondary packaging surrounding the wine packages can be highly creative. One client devised a multipack shaped as a bottle, with Tetra Prisma® Aseptic cartons inside. Once you explore the possibilities, you’ll find plenty of interesting options to create more buzz around your wine.

A climate smart carton package is great for wine

If you produce wine and especially organic wine, why not pack it in a climate-smart carton package produced primarily from renewable, plant-based resources? Cartons, once emptied, are also easy to flatten and recycle. The symbiosis between an organic product and a climate-smart carton is a perfect starting point for communicating credibility and enhancing brand value. Depending on your target group, you could go for a trendy organic look, or choose a more natural look with a brown or beige background with design cues that communicate an organic message. Or you could use the carton’s surface to tell the story of your commitment to organic or biodynamic production and your care for grape and terrain. Whatever design you choose, a recyclable, environmentally smart wine carton made of primarily renewable material, will only strengthen your environmental credentials.

Cap off a great design

Even the caps on a carton wine package can support innovative design. Caps are often used to distinguish the wine – dark for red wine, light colours for white and rosé. More interestingly, if you have a range or wines that are, say, organic or from a certain country, you can create different families by using cap colour combinations to separate them. You can also integrate the cap into the design, perhaps by printing a brand message close to the cap, where it stands out as consumers tend to look at this part of the package when opening it.