Beverage Startups

Berlin Packaging – Over 120 Years Of Professional Solutions

Berlin Packaging - Over 120 Years Of Professional SolutionsBecoming a successful beverage brand depends on many factors. One of the most important is product packaging. Berlin Packaging is Chicago based company offering high quality packaging solutions all over the globe. Today, I am extremely happy to speak with Toni Galabova at Berlin Packaging.

1. Let’s start from the very beginning. What is the story behind Berlin Packaging?

We are a 120-year-old packaging supplier heading into our 32nd consecutive year of record earnings growth. As part of our suite of professional services we have a design and innovation division named Studio One Eleven. That’s where I work alongside 22 designers, engineers and marketing strategists.

2. Recently, you have worked with Five Wives offering 6 different options for vodka packaging. Can you tell us more about the project?

Ogden’s Own Distillery wanted to launch a high-end vodka that appeals to the premium spirits drinkers. We helped them create a new look that related to their existing product line, while placing more emphasis on the clarity, purity and smoothness of the new premium product. We moved toward a fully-frosted bottle with silk-screened graphics that wrap the entire structure and prominently showcase the snow-covered Wasatch Mountain range, which is located close to the distillery. Our goal was to create fresh elegance and bring the Five Wives character, personality and story to life.

3. Can you share your biggest successful partnerships with beverage brands?

We have great partnerships with hundreds of beverage firms on the larger end to niche firms such as Deutsch Family, Daou Vineyards and VPX. In some instances, our customers are returning to us a second, third or even fourth time because our design leads have worked on the brand through the tenure of multiple brand managers. These are our strongest partnerships, as they allow us to be co-stewards of the brand.

4. Product packaging is extremely important for becoming a successful beverage brand. What are the main mistakes brands tend to make regarding packaging solutions?

Berlin Packaging - Over 120 Years Of Professional SolutionsStriking a careful balance between package functionality, understandable positioning and impactful design is a necessity. Leaving any of these three elements out or over-weighing any of them to the detriment of the others is a sure way to fail.

5. Choosing eco-friendly packaging is one way to contribute to reducing your overall impact on global warming. What innovative solutions you can offer to a beverage brand who is looking for eco-friendly packaging?

A few of things come to mind.

1) From regulatory issues and retailer preferences to the latest available green material or processing platforms, we keep our clients ahead of the curve when it comes to the ins and outs of sustainability options.

2) We don’t just focus on materials, we look at the entire product life cycle. For example, while an untested expensive new bio-resin may get headlines, designing a package to maximize packout density can result in less breakage and waste, more products on a given pallet and more product on a truck, which in turn results in fewer trucks on the road burning less fuel, fewer tires being made and so on. Finally,

3) We are material and process agnostic. Because we haven’t built our business on a given resign or machine platform, we aren’t limited in our choices of what to specify and build.

6. Berlin Packaging has more than 120 years of experience. Your company has seen a tremendous changes in the industry. What can we expect from the packaging industry in the future?

Some things will never change- Packaging’s primary purpose is to protect and deliver a product, and consumers will always value convenience and economy in the way it does so. The biggest knowable near-term disruption is accommodating eCommerce. Most of today’s FMCG packaging is designed to be merchandised at retail. As retail becomes less dominant, the constraints and provisions we’ve made for this channel for over 100 years will be relaxing, while other constraints take their place. At Berlin we’re at the forefront of packaging sold via eCommerce and packaging developed for eCommerce distribution and excited about the future.

7. As a professional in the packaging industry, what is your advice for beverage startups regarding packaging solutions?

Make sure your brand voice is clear. Packaging matters to marketers in the way that musical instruments matter to musicians. Make sure your brand and your story are in harmony. To extend the metaphor, just as a Stradivarius will not fix bad composition or a lack of musical talent a great package will get you attention and deliver a great experience, but your brand is the most important foundational element.

For more information visit Berlin Packaging website.

About Ugne Butkute

Ugnė Butkutė is a project manager at DrinkPreneur. Ugnė is responsible for attracting contributors, maintaining quality of content and keeping readers satisfied with DrinkPreneur

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