Unpacking Jim Beam’s remarkable gift-pack sampler

By Rick Lingle in Beverage Packaging on December 17, 2019

Whiskies of the Season is an impressive packaging of 12 days of 50mL gift bottles that’s worth toasting.

When out and about doing any kind of shopping this time of year, you can’t help but notice the eye-catching displays of limited-edition products and especially packaging aligned with the Christmas season as brands and retailers aggressively leverage the largest binge-worthy holiday opportunity of the year.

It was on a recent outing to a local Target Store that a package standing heads and shoulders among others in the front-of-store display of seasonal packs got my attention: a large and impressive stand-up, book-style microfluted package of Jim Beam’s Whiskies of the Season. Rather than rectangular, the distinctive package is designed with gables.

The attraction proved to be more than superficial after I quickly discovered the packaging delivers a lot of details and personality apart from the classy, irresistible allure of a tasteful on-shelf presentation.

We explore it from the outside in, with an assist from Kim Hanson, senior customer marketing manager for national accounts at Beam Suntory, who sets the stage in summarizing the reasoning for the packaging.

“Recognizing the growing trend around Holiday Novelty concepts and that national account customers are more and more interested in innovative offerings, we wanted to deliver a new and exciting gifting option for our loyal Jim Beam consumers,” she says. “We figured there was no better way to promote our range of bourbons than by highlighting our iconic rackhouses in Kentucky.”

According to the internet, a rackhouse—which I found to my amusement was also known as a rickhouse—is “a structure that holds barrels of alcoholic beverages during the aging process where barrels are typically stacked on their sides, often up to several stories high.”

That’s why in appearance and shape the pack looks very building-like while retaining a high-end gift-package motif; the white and light-gray striped building’s facing is adorned with a printed wreath surrounding the brand emblem figuratively “hung” near the top of the front gable.

Below the wreath is the bold product name and below that is the tagline of “12 days of 50 mL gifts.”

The backside repeats the rackhouse motif along with a detailed listing of the samples inside, which include three Straight Bourbon Whiskeys and two each of Jim Beam Apple and Jim Beam Vanilla.

The package has a tamper-evident sticker that repeats the branded wreath element on the side that seals the hinged front and back sections together.

Next a look at the even more impressive inside.

Rick Lingle

Rick Lingle is senior technical editor of Packaging Digest. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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