Scotch and packaging
06 Dec 2016
On a recent cold and frosty morning in Edinburgh, packaging
experts arrived from across Europe to attend the first Packaging
News Live: Spirits Summit. My colleague Pam and I were
probably one of few participants who actually hailed from this city
and only needed to hop onto a Lothian Bus to take us to the venue
at the Assembly Rooms on George Street.
As well as a full programme of speakers, the Summit also had an
exhibitors' room which included our SWA stand. Although, in
contrast to other exhibitors, we didn't have an array of luxury
spirits packaging to display, we attracted a constant stream of
visitors to our stand wanting to hear more about our Association
and how we help our members. People were interested in
browsing through our publications, such as our insightful economic
report showing that Scotch Whisky contributes about £5 billion
annually to the British economy, or our skills report on employment
in the industry and our Scotch at a Glance factsheet.
It was also pleasing that fellow exhibitors were keen to tell us
about the 'sustainability journeys' their packaging companies are
undertaking and how their products and services can assist the
Scotch Whisky industry in delivering its Environmental
By the end of the day we had handed out lots of publications,
debated and informed many attendees about Scotch Whisky.
The presentation programme for the summit didn't disappoint and
was full of great speakers and interesting topics. The
speakers ranged from company representatives, including Diageo and
Edrington, through to design agencies and packaging companies. I
had a slot in the programme to speak about the Scotch Whisky
Industry Environmental Strategy and its recent refresh.
The speakers gave a great insight into their areas of expertise
and the future of luxury packaging more broadly. Two of my key
takeaways from the day were the forgotten power of beauty in brand
design and the seven steps to a great packaging design, including
the power of storytelling.
A number of themes were common across the presentations,
including the importance of millennials, rise of craft, consumers
trading-up, reducing packaging sizes to encourage people to try new
options and selling products at a more accessible price
The audience was active on Twitter throughout the event and a
number of phrases were focused on and retweeted, including
mine: 'in France more Scotch Whisky is drunk in a month than
Cognac in a year'!
Morag Garden is head of environment and sustainability at the