By Andrew Starke
The WA brewer will apply the new internal embossed Vortex bottle to its Wahoo Premium Ale from June as part of its greater emphasis on packaging.
Last week Gage Pils 3.5 took out the Spiegelau Trophy for Champion Packaging Award at the Australian international Beer Awards (AIBA).
O-I’s internal embossing technology enables grooves on the inside of bottles, creating distinctive decoration while providing a smooth exterior for easy labelling.
The technology is credited with reviving the fortunes of Miller Lite in the US last year when the ‘custom packaging’ resulted in a six percent upswing in sales.
“When you consider consumer purchasing behaviours within bottle shops, it’s easy to appreciate the importance of capturing their attention and standing-out from the retail noise,” said Gage Roads Brewing Co’s CEO, Nick Hayler.
“The bottle is both innovative and fun in its design and stylishly distinctive – both the bottle and the beer go well together.”
While Hayler concedes that it is not a popular view, he is a firm believer that getting the packaging right means getting the product right.
“Winning awards for our beer has had no impact on sales but, with some of our brands, new packaging has resulted in sales doubling,” he said.
The Gage Roads Wahoo Vortex bottle was designed in Melbourne and will be manufactured at O-I’s Sydney plant.
"This is one of the biggest packaging innovations we’ve seen in the beer market in decades,” said O-I Asia Pacific’s general manager of marketing and sales,
“It comes at a time when Australian beer brands face stiff competition and are looking for ways to differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace.”
At the official launch of the new look yesterday (May 26), Hayler described the Wahoo Premium Ale drinker as “someone looking for a ‘sessionable’ beer but who doesn’t want Corona”.
The new look Wahoo packaging will be in-store from June 2011 and available at Dan Murphy’s, Woolworths Liquor, BWS and independent outlets.