Alcohol-free wine bottles should be designed to reflect more than ‘health’ benefits

Low alcohol and alcohol rates have boomed in the past few years, and the sector is set to see further growth between 2021-2025, according to the ISWR. Whereas, the latest report from Wine Intelligence says that smaller, millennial demographics are driving the no-low category.

As a wine producer, it would be a mistake not to meet the demand from these consumers. But it must be provided in the best possible way: from a product perspective and from a design perspective.

Nobody wants to arrive at a party with a wine that looks like a diet drink…

There is a particular problem with alcohol-free wine. It was traditionally seen as the worst imitation of its alcoholic counterpart. With wine, when you get rid of the alcohol, you get rid of the flavor. Then the flavor must be reintroduced, which then makes the liquid sweet: tasting like fruit juice, not wine. It is a difficult problem to fix.

There are wine producers who have made great strides in overcoming this problem. But, if you can break it down, you need a non-alcoholic wine to look alongside a traditional wine, while at the same time standing out as an excellent product.

Leaders in the non-alcoholic beverage market, such as Seedlip, have long recognized that those looking to reduce their alcohol intake still love a beautifully designed bottle. The problem with the non-low class wine is that it is currently saturated with packaging indicating a sacrifice in quality. Loud “0% alcohol” calls and “light wine” messages give the feeling that something has been hacked.

“People don’t want their choices screaming ‘What I’m having is different.'”

While the Wine Intelligence report shows that health and moderation are the main drivers behind the demand for alcohol-free alcoholic beverages, that doesn’t mean that when it comes to social occasions, people like to signal virtue. They don’t want to come to a dinner party with wine that’s like a diet drink.

It’s time for producers to stop the compromise message. Yes, by all means, tell her it has less or no alcohol, but use all category cues to indicate that this is something consumers will enjoy drinking.

There has to be a balance between the functional benefits – those that come from quitting alcohol – and the emotional benefits – the feelings you get when pouring yourself a glass of wine or having a drink with friends.

It’s like coffee. I can’t drink caffeine, but I still like the taste of coffee. I love the sociability of a cup of coffee. I love the fact that I walk outside and that this is a morning break. Just because it’s decaffeinated doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy this stuff. People don’t want these kinds of options screaming “what I’m having is different”.

This is an important point for branding and packaging: treat the label as you would a full strength product. Give her the love, attention, personality, and distinct cues she would prefer with any other wine.

Both No-alc wine brands like Sobriety Society and Plus & Minus have crafted beautifully crafted, refined, and luxurious bottles. Although each brand has a very distinct personality that shines through in their designs, both make the consumer feel special.

Bottles should look good on the counter

When we designed Hand on Heart wine branding and packaging for Miller Family Wines, the result was largely inspired by the idea that any of the bottles could be placed at the dinner table alongside full-strength wines.

Rather than flooding the space with advertisements about the diet, we wanted to signal that there was a good drink inside.

The bottle has a clean background, with a non-white texture label.

It’s designed to reassure anyone considering a bottle that, despite the lack of alcohol, it’s a drink that doesn’t require you to sacrifice.

Brands shouldn’t forget that they can do a lot with language, too.

1 Quietly trampled the solution in front

Take the tread quietly. We designed the brand’s new non-alcoholic wine range for the wine and spirits brand. It is called “everything but” and with these two words, the name implies that wine contains everything that its counterparts have at full strength, except for alcohol.

It’s all about deciding which design best suits each brand’s personality.

At the same time giving consumers the choice they crave, I also believe that brands have a social obligation to offer non-alcoholic alternatives. If you look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which outline how all countries around the world can protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all people, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being is one of the 17 goals. Therefore, as corporate citizens, we need to be able to offer consumers the choice between whether or not they want an alcoholic version of our products.

Health means different things to people, and whatever their reason for not wanting to drink alcohol, they can still feel able to participate in social events or group activities and not feel alone or lost.

A beautifully crafted bottle, with packaging designed to reflect the quality of what’s inside, should be the future of alcohol-free wine.

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