Cider Corner: Creating Packaging That Sells

Moving from a tasting room to a store shelf can be a daunting challenge and creating the image and telling your story along with “selling” your cidery’s brand is key.

One of the biggest factors in creating Coyote Hole Ciderwork‘s first labels was making it stand out from everyone else, beer and cider included said Chris Denkers.

“It needs to catch someone’s eye as they walk past, especially as more and more options are becoming available,” he said. “You do a lot of market research, see what designs are currently out there, what works, what doesn’t and how can you push the boundaries and do something different.”

Ben Nielsen of Lassen Cider said he wanted to have a vintage appeal that harkens back to the history of cider and its esteemed status as one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the early part of our country’s history. He used the old fruit crate labels for inspiration.

“It consisted of Mt. Lassen in the background with an apple or apple tree in the foreground,” he said. “My sister was inspired one day and painted an image that was absolutely perfect.”

Nielsen said his sister also has done some watercolor apple portraits for some of the other labels while another friend, who is an artist, came up with her own version of the same theme to help capture the essence of what Lassen Cider would be about.

As a graphic designer by trade, Denker felt he would have a leg up on the competition because he could see how he would like Coyote Hole’s packing to be

“I am able to make it come to life myself,” he said.

The main packaging is in 16-ounce cans which is less common when it comes to cider but very common in the beer community. For the cidery’s flagships, Denkers said he wanted packaging that was not like everyone else.

“We chose to use the can itself with its shiny aluminum as the background of our cans and our designs on top of the can,” he said. “Not many cideries or breweries use this technique and in our area of the country, our packaging definitely stands out.

“We also just launched our Coyote Hole Sangria which has a hard cider base and blended with wine and juice. Not many cideries make a Sangria and none do in Virginia so we wanted to make our Sangria can stand out from not just ciders, but beers which we felt we have, by using watercolor art within the same color pallet as our Sangria.”

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