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Case Study: Craft Beer Packaging Designs


At Opal, we are focused on delivering innovative packaging solutions that are impactful and meet the strategic needs of our customers. In New Zealand (and Australia), we have seen a steady rise of new brands emerging in the craft beer market. As a key supplier of packaging to the beverage industry, our team at Opal Kiwi Packaging saw an opportunity to target the growing craft brewery industry with two types of engaging paper-based solutions for multi-pack cans – the Cartonboard Sleeve and Cartonboard Box, both with convenient carry handles. Traditionally, multi-pack cans are held together by a plastic clip. Opal’s solution uses a more sustainable cartonboard material that also enables increased branding to be printed on the packaging.


To promote our multi-pack solutions to New Zealand (NZ) craft brewers, Opal’s Kiwi Packaging team consulted with our specialist Innovation and Design team (I&D) to strategise and develop creative concepts. The concepts were designed to help craft brewers visualise how their branding could appear on Opal’s multi-pack solutions. The exploration and research process by Opal’s I&D team uncovered that general branding for NZ craft beer products utilises bold colour palettes, pop art, graffiti and cartoon-style designs. Armed with this insight, the I&D team took inspiration from a beer hop graphic and developed four different concepts based on NZ research findings, Opal’s branding and colourways. Hops are a cone-shaped flower where the flavours and aromas of beer are derived from, and therefore, a highly recognisable image to craft brewers.


Through Opal’s strategic I&D process of exploration, research and ideation, the team successfully developed the fictional “Six Edges” craft beer brand using the bursts of colour in the Opal branding palette and the cartoon-style designs that are valued by NZ craft brewers. The Six Edges branding along with the engaging graphics enable craft brewers to visualise the possible impact of their branding on Opal’s cartonboard multi-pack solutions.

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