Unpacking Jim Beam’s remarkable gift-pack sampler: Page 2 of 2

By Rick Lingle in Beverage Packaging on December 17, 2019

In the name of full disclosure, you should know that this isn’t the first time the brand has done a gift pack like this.

“We launched this pack last year and brought it back this year,” Hanson says, pointing out that while the overall package structure remains the same, “we refreshed the creative slightly this year to align with our current Jim Beam global creative.”

A quick online search revealed last year’s pack; my take is that “slightly” is an understatement and that the brand really upped its game in 2019 via a dramatic exterior makeover moving from a dark to light color scheme both inside and out that better positions it as more upscale (you can follow this link to an unboxing video from a year ago).

The packaging design was handled by Proof, Beam Suntory’s internal creative agency, according to Hanson.

When opened, the giftpack book unfolds as a left-and-right spread display of 12 numbered printed barrels, all neatly stacked upright in two rows inside the rackhouse, six to a side. The interior is the same combination white/gray color as the exterior, and additionally is also printed with wooden beams; a branded wreath is “hung” from both gables.

Each printed barrel is a perforated compartment covered by a barrel-printed flap that opens up to reveal the 50mL plastic bottle of whiskey nestled inside. The back-of the barrel flap is printed with a recipe; for example, the barrel #2 flap (shown) shows how to make a Jim Beam Bourbon Sour. A nice detail is that there’s a small cutout for a finger hold to permit easy opening of the perforated compartment flap.

Hanson says the varieties remained the same this year as last.

How long did the packaging development take? “13 months is the average time to execute a package project,” responds Hanson. “These projects can take quite some time to finalize, and they require collaboration across multiple departments.”

The good news is that the brand has a 3.0 version scheduled for next holiday season.

Depending on state pricing, the suggested pricing is $17.99.


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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