Product packaging is important to both relay information and capture consumer attention even in normal times, but when it comes to festivals that involve large-volume sales for family gatherings such as Chinese New Year or Hari Raya in Asia, being able to stand out on-shelf becomes all the more important.
This is according to beer heavyweight Asahi Super Dry, which opted to fuse Japanese and Chinese festive themes in its recent limited edition Chinese New Year launch that incorporated striking red geometric design features to form an origami rabbit mask in honour of the Year of the Rabbit, targeting markets that celebrate this festival in a big way namely China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
According to Asahi Super Dry Regional Head of Brand Mag Lai, such stand-out packaging innovation is crucial today to appeal to local consumers in these markets as the packaging is the first point of connection with them.
“Consumers are looking for betterment, not only in the liquid but also the packaging and the whole consumer journey,” she told FoodNaviagtor-Asia.
“They are keen to know more about the story of the brand, as well as the emotional and functional benefits [so] good packaging is no longer just a tool to stand out on the shelf but is essential in truly connecting with consumers.”
The new packaging was designed in conjunction with the award-winning Nippon Design Center in Japan, utilising digital art with a composition of straight lines and nuances of reflective lights.
But after successfully attracting consumers via the packaging and getting them to make the initial purchase, the only way to get them to return is to meet their demands in terms of the actual product – and for this, fulfilling the areas of taste and other consumer needs are crucial.
“For beer and alcohol consumption in general, we see that for 2023 COVID-19-accelerated health trends are still going strong,” Lai added.
“Consumers are not only more cautious about their personal hygiene but also more aware of the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
“Hence, we are seeing more low-carb, lower ABV, mid-strength and seasonal product innovation, with functional claims being introduced across Asian markets [with many beer companies] moving to stay ahead of these demands.”
Asahi International Asia Regional Marketing Director Loretta Lee added that Asahi Super Dry’s clean and dry taste also help the product to stand out amongst other beer products.
Non-alcohol options coming to Asia
In line with the health trends observed by Asahi Super Dry, the brand is planning the launch of a non-alcoholic option of the super dry brew in Asia later this year, also in hopes of widening its existing consumer base to include non-alcohol consumers.[
“Asahi has just launched Asahi Super Dry 0.0 in Europe, and we will soon introduce this in Asia as well,” Lai said.
“[This] is a strategic product in the portfolio and [aims] to capture different consumption occasions and recruit new drinkers.”