As 2019 unfolds, here are some beer packaging trends that we see at the forefront of the craft beer industry.
Yes we (still) can
Even though the sacred bottle is by far the most popular beer vessel, an upheaval via cans continues. An age-old debate around taste and storage quality lives on, but cans are gaining because of their light weight and portablility when trekking through nature, hanging out by the pool or shipping across the country. Fun fact: Cans also chill faster than bottles so the party can start sooner. As the younger generations continue to #OptOutside, we can expect that can sales will keep on keeping on.
Easy being green
In such a divisive day and age, we can all rally around the fact that we love clean air and sea creatures, and we feel a lot better about buying from companies that do too. Craft beer makers are already taking strides to make their art cleaner and greener. The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative revived an old tradition and launched a reusable beer bottle operation where bottles can be machine-washed and reused up to 25 times. Meanwhile, Saltwater Brewery in Florida has been the first to implement the use of eco-friendly six-pack rings that are fully edible and biodegradable. Whether it’s energy efficiency or saving sea turtles, the environmental responsibility bar has been set high for 2019.
Having a batch of aluminum cans printed can take up to several months and usually requires a large minimum quantity, while shrink sleeves (once shrunk) often end up warping and distorting artwork. Despite both options gaining popularity, we are expecting to see some of the smaller brewers start using pressure-sensitive labels on their aluminum cans. Implementing labels will allow breweries to buy large quantities of generic cans, and then label them appropriately in much smaller batches, helping smaller scale operations gain more control over their supply and demand.
The call of neon
Once again, our nostalgic love for all things vintage and retro is at the wheel. Neon colors will dominate design in 2019, according to VinePair. This time around, though, neon is not just for cheap motels and dance raves. No! Neon has evolved into a well-received artform. We can expect to see neon signs tastefully curated for gathering spaces as well as neon packaging designed for perfect Instagrammable moments.
In living coral
Another huge design and packaging tool to keep in mind is Pantone’s annual “Pantone Color of the Year” announcement. In late December, the color savvy professionals declared LIVING CORAL, “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and elivens with a softer edge,” the have-to-have shade of 2019. If your brewery wants to hop on the trend train, this optimistic and dynamic color may be something to incorporate in this year’s designs.