Stölzle Flaconnage has introduced its Prestige Standards rum bottle offering, which was produced with start-up businesses in mind. Rob Sherwood and Gary Steen* spoke to Sheena Adesilu to discuss how the concept was conceived and designed.
Stölzle Glass Group has launched its Prestige Standards Range for the rum market. The range was created when the manufacturer researched the market and discovered a trend in rum enquires and bespoke rum bottles. The new range was produced with startups in mind, who may not have the capital for fully bespoke bottles in the same way larger spirits companies do, but still want their glassware to feel premium and to the highest standard.
Stölzle developed a range of 12 different bottle shapes. Each has precision-engineered glass bottle standards as a canvas for bringing spirit brands to life. All bottles are categorised by four different families. The Straight and Taper ranges are made up of four bottles, each with two height options. The Barrel range offers two bottles of differing heights, and the Conical range includes two silhouette options of the same height.
Each bottle in the range has the capability to be coloured and customised to a business’ brand aesthetic. Brands can also decorate their bottles with a number of techniques including, but not limited to, Screen Printing, Acid-Etch Spraying and Precious Metal Application.Gary Steen, Sales Director for Premium Spirits at Stölzle Flaconnage, said: “We started to form a picture that rum was getting exciting for people. “We are aware that the sector is trying to generate more high-end and aged rum, as well as sell aged rum at a higher price point and make the dark rum sector more premium.” “We analysed what shapes fit rum and we think that timing is key. We’ve generated some bottles, which we hope will be attractive to the rum guys and allow us to get ahead of the curve.”
The company believes rum will go through the same trend cycles as vodka and gin in recent years. These two beverages in the past have occupied a share of the market and grown exponentially. Consumers took standard vodka and premiumised it to make the packaging more exciting and attractive. There was also a huge choice in the gin market three or four years ago. Consumers returned to standard products such as Gordon’s and Bombay Sapphire, which pushed gin into the premium area. People are now looking for something new and rum appears to be the popular choice. Rob Sherwood, Design Manager at Stölzle Flaconnage, said the Prestige Standards range was developed by three design engineers with input from an engineering intern. The three graduate design engineers are Dan Stokes, Declan Toyne and Michael Rudak. Alongside design engineer John Head, Rob gave them guidance on design and manufacturing in terms of artwork and renderings. Mr Sherwood said: “The creative process came from these young guys in their mid-20s. They’re very much from the computer age and use all the media platforms. They’re looking at things such as the latest innovations and trends. They’re taking cues from those and what they felt was indicative of a rum brand.”
The team developed the shapes through researching trends within the sector and identifying key features that would allude to the Rum market and appeal to the target audience. “They are all really creative minds. The bottles that we’ve launched have got longer necks and are more elegant, a feature that was driven by the increased demand in premium cocktails and the rise in promotion through social media, something the guys observed as trend, one which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. “The range has been driven by these three designers and what they perceive would work as a range of standards.” He added: “The guys spoke to our in-house decorating departments to look at what type of decoration techniques could be used on the bottles. Something that pushed the shape of the container was the opportunity to be able to put as many types of decoration on it. “So they spoke to our guys and prepared some visuals, which indicated the sort of decoration that would be available on the bottles.” He added: “I’m very proud of the way in which the guys in my office have dealt with this and the work they have done to bring this to fruition.”
The Stolzle design department has grown in the past few years, previously acting solely as a production lead drawing office creating technical drawings for mould manufacture and assisting the production team with modifications. Now, creativity is very much part of the day to day, with the combination of manufacturing knowledge and creativity in the office, the design team at Stolzle offer a full design service right through from concept to final production. All this is supported with the latest prototyping equipment (3D printers), rendering and visualisation software. The range was launched with start up company’s in mind.
Rob said: “One of the things that drove us was the fact that there were so many people starting up with gin. The thought was that there may not be as many of these start-up companies but it’s likely that there will be a lot of requirements for smaller quantities.” The range is produced internally so means the bottles can be produced quickly end efficiencly. This works particualy well for standard bottles where customers want a good price rather than something difficult to manufactuure and which is more expensive. The Prestige Standards offering has been shared with all its sales team so is available to all the markets Stölzle sells to.
Mr Steen concluded: “Customer feedback so far has been good. Customers that manufacture standards have been doing it for a long time and have got a good range. “But during the time we developed, customers wanted a larger variety and larger range. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are generally easy to work with and are very accommodating.” He added: “The bottles in our Prestige Standards Range can help those starting out craft a solid and flexible look for their brand.”
Source: Glass International, February 2019