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Obviously, here at Noise 13 we are a happy mix of foodies and design lovers. As the recent French addition to the team, I wanted to share some of my favorite food & beverage packaging designs from France.
Some are old classics, some are more hip and ephemeral. One of the first examples that came to my mind is Evian mineral water; they are an iconic French brand but know how to have fun and take risks with their minimal, pure image. Each year they come up with a new collaboration with notorious fashion designers to customize their bottle.
As H&M brings in high-end fashion designers to create capsule lines, spirits and food brands already settled this trend for years. I’m thinking of Andy Warhol or Keith Haring for Absolut Vodka, and more recently Karl Lagerfeld with Diet Coke … there are numerous fun examples. Is this trend exclusive enough or necessarily qualitative? It is debatable but I think the results are still interesting to follow as a designer, and consumers also get a little piece of design.
Besides the designer name-dropping trend, food and beverage brands have always been particularly creative in packaging design. The market is so competitive and saturated, it is a great way to stand out in the crowd and assert a position.
Let’s take a look at the French side of things…
Champagne is a great example of collaboration with designers. Using their advantage of already being a glam, expensive beverage, champagne brands can be bold and go far with crazy customizations. The interesting thing with champagne is the very diverse targets they can talk to — sometimes old, posh families, and sometimes hipsters or hip-hop fans.
Suze, Noilly Prat, Pastis … what lovely names to your ear. These vintage spirit brands definitely know how to modernize their bottles while keeping their beloved ‘flavor’.
As mentioned earlier, Evian is known to release a designer bottle every year. 3 euros for a nice piece of design on your table. Even if the designers are always pretty different in style, Evian really succeeds in choosing light-hearted, fresh designs matching Evian’s pure identity, giving it just a little creative kick. The most recent collaboration was with Diane Von Furstenberg, who brought a simple, feminine point of view.
Perrier is such an iconic brand in France — their marketing approach is bold, unique and sexy. They are in everybody’s mind thanks to this old TV commercial, and more recently partnered with burlesque artist Dita Von Teese for a more modern glam touch. While their simple bottle is super famous, they also like to play around and create custom pieces across years.
Schweppes is also a nice example for creative pieces. They release interesting custom bottles, and within the last few years have chosen Nicole Kidman for ambassador.
English grandma’s tea boxes with little flowers seem well forgotten after seeing these colorful tea packages, such as Lov organic or Kusmi Tea.
I’m not even a great fan of macarons but I have to admit that Pierre Hermé, Fauchon and Ladurée know how to create little jewels for products and packaging.
I’m that kind of girl who has a savory tooth, and Maille is THE classic brand for cornichons, mustards and all things pickled. Founded in 1747 they are famous for their Dijon mustard but have extended their line to other interesting products. I like how they are creative with recipes and packaging.