1. Labels are at the core of successful packaging. The material really matters for consumers’ attitudes towards brand and perception of quality.
2. There is a big difference between the gin and whisky categories and how consumers perceive label materials. This made the study even more interesting – to find one material that applies throughout the categories.
Think about famous spirits brands – do you know what is common among them all? They all have products from just one category, whether brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whisky. There are a lot of differences between these categories, which may be one reason many brands focus on only one. Kyrö Distillery, a Finnish company, produces both gin and whisky and they are ready to do things differently by breaking the “silly dogmas.”
The company wanted to use the same label material across the categories and have the Kyrö-feeling. As nobody had done it before, we decided to set up a study together. As a premium supplier of label materials and provider of industry-leading expertise, UPM Raflatac understood the needs and challenges. With the combination of Kyrö Distillery’s entrepreneurial ambition and learnings from the study, we could find the best solutions for Kyrö to express themselves and stand out.
A collaborative study to find the perfect label material for gin and whisky
The study was conducted by a package testing and research company Sense N Insight. The study was a way of understanding how different label materials affect consumers’ attitudes towards a brand. In the study, we applied our plain label materials in both whisky and gin packaged in Kyrö design bottles with wooden caps. We asked consumers to touch and feel the different labels and rank them according to quality and authenticity.
According to the study, there is a big difference between the categories of how consumers perceive gin and whisky label materials. For example, the colour of the liquid inside the bottle has a great impact on how the label material looks and feels. It was found that people associate cold-toned colors and shiny label material with high-quality gin, as in whisky cold-toned labels were associated with low-quality. When the products were evaluated according to authenticity, warm-toned labels were preferred both for gin and whisky. Label design is often a compromise, especially if you have several product attributes to communicate.
The material picked to indicate the highest quality gin was UPM Raflatac Opalux Ice Premium and the material chosen to indicate the highest quality whisky was UPM Raflatac Soft Touch Black. The material picked to indicate the most authentic gin and whisky was UPM Raflatac Rustrel WSA PCR.
Based on the study, we made two suggestions to Kyrö Distillery: UPM Raflatac Antique White and Sabrage Ice Premium. Both materials have a natural white color, which gives the label a premium vintage appearance. In the study, these materials were described as “the label that communicates authentic roots and expert impressions” and “natural, yet stylish.” Antique White is a multifaceted, versatile material that gives an ability to express elegance, authenticity and a certain environmental awareness through its warm white. While Sabrage Ice Premium is the refinement of a material that shows itself to you little by little: pure white, cloudy, and cottony.
The study was a way of understanding how different label materials affect consumers attitude towards a brand. As we aim to be the partner of collaborating throughout the value chain, this was a perfect example of exactly that.