While Beverage Testing Institute’s beverage evaluations occur year-round, our highly anticipated packaging competition is held only once annually.
To determine the year’s best packaging submissions, we assemble a diverse group of experts: distributors, buyers, beverage directors, and designers with keen eyes for contemporary form and key insight on what draws consumer attention. Each panelist conducts a solo evaluation, taking time to consider each product individually and independently of any others within a given submission category.
The following design categories are evaluated for each product:
Creativity Fresh and original concepts and execution
Graphic Design Images, text, and arrangement thereof
Form Shape, texture, and mass
Style Relationship of the package elements to the character of the products and its projected image
Functional Innovation Technological, pragmatic, and design breakthroughs
The panelists enter detailed observations and rank entries along a scale for each of these design categories. Once evaluations have been completed, BTI’s proprietary analysis methodology software aggregates the data and determines the winners of that year’s packaging championships.
As the pandemic continues to put a pause to on-premise sales, the importance of beverage alcohol packaging design is more crucial than ever. Consumers are making quick decisions at off-premise locations or adding to their virtual shopping carts after a quick swipe-and-glance, and it is only in these short moments that a brand has the opportunity to capture attention. And so, without further ado, here are the winners of Beverage Testing Institute’s 2021 Packaging Competition.
After a year like 2020, we’re buying our suds by the case. Mighty Swell Spiked Seltzer‘s case series uses a “nice combination of lettering and photo-real fruit” resulting in “of-the-moment” graphic design with mouthwatering details. Cans have to stand for themselves too, and Tolago Hard Seltzer‘s use of “cute and cool” imagery is sure to be a tractor beam to thirsty buyers.
While we fantasize about the day we can return to swirling wines by the glass on our favorite patio, we want to like how our purchased bottles look on our dining room table cum work-from-home desk cum remote learning station. Designed by VINT Studio, the wine bottles from Cooper’s Hawk were impressive across the board. Their Trocken Riesling label’s winning “modern” color combo of lime green foil and navy blue “will stand out and be enticing to buyers,” their “festive” Scarletto bottle’s “elegant” typography “overdelivers for the price point,” and their LVE’s “practically holographic” label “brings the image to life” (with said image being John Legend, who I’m sure most of us would love to share a bottle of wine with).
When it comes to a well-executed classic design, the Gecaj Estate 2016 Owner’s Choice has a “good weight” to reflect its quality, the Lescombes Pistol Pete’s Crimson Legacy is “understated” and “classy,” and Broadside‘s 2017 Blackletter Cabernet Sauvignon fully “achieved the rustic vibe.”
Our panelists also loved the “nice, modern, new-world” labels of Alamos, and felt that its “lovely” illustration “evokes the country and vineyard,” which is definitely where we can pretend to be while we sip it. Sometimes you want to try multiple offerings from a producer all at once, and cohesion in design matters! The FUN WINE Hard Bubbly Collection has a “clever exuberant anime design” that’s sure to turn heads, and the Perfect Wines series uses negative space for “simplicity that really works.”
As we continue to improve our at-home cocktail game, we want to reach for pours that still make happy hour feel special. If you’re starting the new year dry, Ritual Zero Proof‘s offerings are “clear and concise” and upon seeing them one of our experts exclaimed “these bottles look GREAT, I would buy them immediately.”
We loved the “memorable and striking” design of NEFT Vodka‘s “homage to family roots” and Verak‘s “totally unique top-shelf” design “radiates class.”
Boukman and Fid Street Hawaiian Gin both have “lovable” and “unique” design, Saint Liberty Bertie’s Bear Gulch has stand-out shape and imprint, and the YaVe Tequila bottle is “durable and functional” and ready to be back in bars as soon as the world is.
Because we are all craving a little getaway, the RTD series lineup from CANTEEN Spirits “nailed it” with their “adventure-on-the-go” vibes that “people will love drinking in their hiking boots.”
Both Two Chicks Cocktails and Bristow Gin have eye-catching details that will “stand out on the shelf” and Ólafsson Icelandic Gin‘s “inviting, intricate, and unique” label will transport you to a faraway dream.