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Saverglass is the leading global player in the market for premium and superpremium glass bottles in the spirits industry. The company uses its production technology and expertise to manage large-volume orders while meeting the specific needs of its customers for special and last-minute requests. Saverglass’s vast knowledge and service quality, as well as its capacity for innovation, places the company at a competitive advantage in the craft-spirits industry.
The Feuquières glassworks, the current headquarters of the Saverglass Group, was founded in 1897 and is part of the regional tradition of the Bresle Valley, which has been a stronghold of French glassmaking since the 15th century.
Launched in 1991, the Saverglass decoration division in France complements the company’s high-end manufacturing service and provides new solutions for growing demand in terms of sophistication and customization. This has given the company a unique role in the glass landscape: expertise ranging from manufacturing to customizing and decorating glass.
In 2018, Saverglass invested in building new production and decoration facilities, including a plant in Guadalajara, Mexico. This new state-of-the-art facility caters to clients in North America by offering ultramodern and multi-process glass manufacturing services, including extra-white flint glass in large quantities and decoration services, all under one roof. Unique to Saverglass, clients can choose from eight-color ink screen printing with all types of inks/enamels, coatings, acid-etching and hot stamping.
History, values and brand positioning make every project unique. Saverglass brings expertise across categories to help clients best differentiate their brand and partners with brand design agencies and distillers to create unique, quality products with high visual impact. Saverglass’s commitment to excellence sets the tone for a special partnership with its customers.
Best practices for choosing a glass bottle that stands out
What are important considerations when choosing a glass bottle?
At the 2019 ADI Craft Spirits Conference and Vendor Expo in Denver, CO, panelists joined a team from Saverglass to discuss the ins and outs of selecting the right packaging. “Your bottle is going to be the biggest weapon in your arsenal as far as branding,” said Hannah Lowen, VP of operations and general manager of New Riff Distilling in Newport, KY. “It’s going to be what’s in hand, and what’s on the bar and on the shelf.”
“Your bottle is the one thing that’s always in a store or behind the bar,” said Jay Johnson, co-founder of Bear Creek Distillery, in Denver, CO. “You can’t always be there as an owner or a salesperson, so that’s always speaking to the customer.”
Start by assessing how the bottles compare to the competition. Choose bottles that are recognizable by spirit type but different enough to be unique. It’s important to think about what fits your brand identity. Whatever the bottle is intended to express aesthetically — premium, affordable, original, etc. — find a bottle with a design shape, size, weight and decoration that best translates the message of your brand.
As much as a label is important to stand out on a crowded shelf, the type of bottle is also a way for a brand to differentiate itself. A customized bottle gives brands the opportunity to work on the smallest details. Glass manufacturers should be able to work with their customers to design shapes, choose glass colors, personalize products (e.g., ring finishes, punt shapes, engravings, etchings, etc.) and add decoration or accessories.
What are structural qualities to look for when choosing a glass bottle?
First, look at the quality of the glass, including how the glass is distributed throughout the bottle and the thickness of the base. Glass should not only be clear, but consistently clear. It’s important to be able to count on the quality of the mold for the best results every time. The clarity of glass and smoothness of the seams help the overall package feel more premium and can make the packaging process easier.
Weight is important, as heavier bottles are perceived as more premium, however it has an impact on shipping costs — from glass company to distillery, as well as to the distributor and to retail.
Consider structural qualities that will make it easy for customers to use, such as a bar-friendly bottle easy to handle and pour, height to fit easily on a store shelf, etc.
The manufacturer should have a quality assurance team testing bottles and following a rigorous quality-control protocol to ensure the highest level of quality.
What are aesthetic qualities to look for when choosing a glass bottle?
The quality of the “skin,” seen as the brilliance of the glass, is obtained by using high-end tools and equipment, closely monitoring the melting processe, rigorous equipment maintenance programs and the ability to fine-tune a variety of parameters.
Look at various options for color, from antique green to feeder coloring. Transparency is key, particularly when extra-white flint is used.
Consider decoration as an alternative to labels
Labeling covers significantly less surface area than decorating, and many decoration techniques such as full-body coating or acid etching, sandblasting, accessory application, etc., cannot be replicated by a label. If your branding and design fits on a label, then labeling can sometimes be less expensive than printing onto the bottle. However, bottles with decoration withstand a wet environment much better than bottles with traditional labeling (e.g., in an ice bucket).
The quality of the glass will dictate whether it is able to support embossing and specific decoration processes, as well as a high level of detail in decoration. With hot stamping, coating or screen printing, it’s important that the structure and quality of the glass combine well for a perfect rendering. Working with a customized stock bottle helps with feeling comfortable with the integrity of the bottle. Choosing a glass manufacturer that is also a decorator saves time and money and reduces the chance of complications.
In order to meet the needs of their customers, glass manufacturers must consider several factors when developing a robust system:
Speed to market: Craft distillers often place small orders and need them quickly. Glass manufacturers who own plants in North America can produce and deliver bottles with shorter lead times.
Establish an outbound department that works closely with customers of all sizes to fine-tune deliveries according to their needs and bottling line requirements.
Maintain a close relationship with local and large carriers in each region to have the ability to ship via air at competitive prices.
As demand increases for personalization services, glass manufacturers should offer customers the option to have any glass bottle repacked into any type of box decoration. This service should be available across all its warehouses.
Offer packaging that can be repurposed and deliver finished product in.
Develop a specialized glass treatment that offers a higher scuffing resistance than any other treatment in the market to ship reverse-tapered bottles without dividers with minimum scuffing worldwide.
For more information about Saverglass and their line of premium packaging and services, visit www.saverglass.com.
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