Cocktails-To-Go Copack Kits (Part 3 of 3)

The results are in!  Last week, we launched a poll about cocktails-to-go packaging and the highest total of votes have shown that people are most interested in the recyclable/reusable cup and lid. https://bit.ly/2YQs39p Next week, we will explore the importance of sustainability in cocktail-to-go packaging for the consumer. Till then, we wanted to share the conclusion to our three part “Cocktail-to-go” series by exploring another packaging concept.

The final part of our series explores cocktail copack kits which include the full size spirit, mixers and instructions. These kits are convenient and fun concepts for both on-premise (bars/restaurants) or off-premise (liquor stores) accounts that want to consider this new mainstay of cocktail culture.

For on-premise accounts, this type of cocktail kits allows for them to get creative with bottling in-house cocktail mixers and instructions for their creative cocktails.  They then have options to be able to sell the full bottle spirit with the cocktail mixers. Consumers love the opportunity to create some of these bartender favorites.  One thing to know, some laws vary by state about whether on-premise locations can sell full bottle spirits to their customers. For off-premise accounts, they can sell full spirit bottles and mixing ingredients together including: simple syrup, sours mixer, bitters, etc.  This concept allows the retailer to pick what recipes and brands of mixer items that they believe will sell their products.  With a little direction to the consumer, they can help them know what will work well together and provide an additional revenue stream for their account.

In conclusion to our series, cocktail-to-go kits are gaining popularity in our culture and we can’t wait to see how they will keep growing. Are you interested in learning more, please reach out to Lana Toler at lanat@thespearheadgroup.com

Cocktails-To-Go is a Booming Category (Part 2 of 3)

The single & multiple serve cocktails-to-go category is booming!  What’s not to love about supporting your local restaurants and getting your favorite drink to enjoy at home? The Spearhead Group continues to ask questions and build scenarios to help restaurants and bars share their alcoholic signatures with their patrons in new innovative ways.

New legislative rules around country are being adopted allowing cocktails-to go to stay a part of the industry of our local restaurants.  The overall message is clear, states want to help their struggling restaurants and bars!  Interestingly, most states dictate everything from volume of the drink(s), dates and times for sales, tamper evidence, and even whether or not wine and spirits can be mixed in the same cocktail (for example: a Manhattan with Vermouth & Bourbon)! There are a lot of different variables when thinking about rolling out options across multiple states.

The Spearhead Group has created several turn-key solutions for restaurants and bars.  These solutions have been developed to be flexible with low minimums, a range of cost parameters, speed to market, and, most importantly, to be functional to use at any establishment with the use of a small tool or no additional tools at all.  If you would like to learn more, please reach out to Lana Toler.

This week, we launched a poll about single-serve packaging preferences and so far, the highest percentage of answers have been for the “reusable/recyclable cup/lid”. We are interested to learn more about why people have chosen this answer over other options, by posting another poll in the coming weeks asking, “what is the most important feature of a Cocktail-To-Go single-serve container?” In this poll, we hope to address what the importance of sustainability is for consumers versus the shape of the packaging. We can’t wait to share these insightful results. Stay tuned.

From Concept to Completion: Luxury Brand Packaging

We are always exploring innovative Physical Brand EnhancementsTM at The Spearhead Group, Inc.  Our proven process brings unique concepts from the drawing board to a reality in the marketplace.

We are excited to present this cool video of the fun we had creating this Luxury Bourbon Barrel Box. Originally imagined & designed by Bill Hutto, and developed & produced by three different Spearhead facilities: China, India and Mexico!

“This project was such an enjoyable collaboration with the entire global team of Spearhead.  To see this concept play out from a rough idea, to actually being produced out of three different Spearhead country locations, was really one of the coolest parts of my job.”  – Bill Hutto

Spearhead CEO Offers Questions for Reflection Regarding Workplace Diversity

I’ve been the CEO and co-founder of a woman owned business for a few years now, and there are some recurring themes and important callouts that I’ve noticed over these years.  As we start International Womens Month, please consider these observations, and ask yourself and your team if you’re doing enough to keep you workforce and your leadership engaged with issues of workplace diversity.

It’s just better business.  The reality is that encouraging diversity in the workplace – whether gender, racial, or neurodiversity – creates better business by allowing a more expanded view of the marketplace from different perspectives.  If you’re reading this on Linkedin, then you’re a member of a vast world of business, and businesses exist to win and retain customers – and for the most part, our products are designed for all customers regardless of gender.  How are you speaking to your female customers? Are women part of crafting the message? Do you consider how women will receive your message?

Learn from the support women give to other women.  My company is a WBE, but we have men on the team too!  And I’ve heard some of the guys that “Men don’t support other men the way women support other women”.  I find this fascinating. Perhaps its because we are very active with WBEC-East and WOTVS, and the national WBENC organization, but there really is so much support for all of the women out here working and succeeding every day.  We congratulate each other, we spend money with each other, we truly want to keep seeing each other succeed, and we help each other any way we can. It would be great if we can get to a business world where this is the norm, not the exception.

Men can and should help. When I was moderating the “Women in Spirits” panel at #Discus last month, tons of men came to the panel to listen and ask questions, which was encouraging.  One of the men asked a question to the effect of “What can men do to support women”, because the spirits industry as a whole is not exactly known for women’s leadership and participation.    The best answer given was for men to make a conscious choice to mentor women and bring women up the ladder as they go. Recommend women to backfill your role when you get promoted – or better yet, bring women from your team up with you.

Happy International Women’s month!  In this month, support a woman’s idea, make sure a woman’s idea is heard, refer women-owned businesses, and most importantly look around.  Do you have leadership opportunities for women? Are they at the table (diversity) and are they talking (inclusion).

The Spearhead Group Announces Opening of East Coast Innovation Center

Innovation_Center

Leader in packaging, Spearhead launches new Innovation Center in Yardley to host clients and support growth in the spirits, food, beverage & beauty sectors

 

January 16, 2020 (Yardley, PA) – The Spearhead Group has announced the opening of their new East Coast Innovation Center in Yardley. A leader in packaging innovation for spirits, food, beverage and beauty brands, The Spearhead Group delivers customized solutions from creative brand design to manufacturing through a full suite of Physical Brand Enhancements that enable clients to stand apart from the competition. The result: a proprietary packaging process and unparalleled relationships that ensure the execution of high-value business and brand-building goals for each client. In the past 6 months, The Spearhead Group has expanded their reach with new Innovation Centers in the Louisville market and now on the East Coast to provide direct customer service to the dynamic packaging industry. This week marks the second- year business anniversary of the company.

“Packaging ranks high as one of the most important business investments for our clients and we are committed to delivering a full suite of options from maximizing manufacturing efficiency to high-impact bottle design,” says Heather Fritzsche, Co-Founder and CEO of The Spearhead Group. “Our new East Coast Innovation Center in Yardley is inspired by our successful launch in Louisville and allows us to expand our customer service footprint with a hands-on immersion into the packaging process.”

By appointment only, The Spearhead Group East Coast Innovation Center is based in Yardley, Pennsylvania, and is readily accessible from major metro areas such as New York. Technical, marketing and procurement teams are invited to schedule custom workshops with Spearhead’s East Coast team.

To launch the innovation center, Spearhead Pioneers, a group of best-in-class innovators from around the globe, joined the Yardley team to lend their production expertise from glass to sustainability, luxury packaging and decorative arts. They included: Acuity PLS (Kentucky); Vitro (Mexico); TPC/Greener Planet, LLC (Tennessee); Curtis Packaging (Connecticut); Apholos (Argentina); The Signature Glass Company of Paşabahçe (Israel, Egypt and Turkey); SigmaQ (El Salvador); Package Development Co., Inc. (New Jersey); and Techcentrix (California).

Click here to view photos from the launch party.

Prospective customers of The Spearhead Group on the East Coast can connect with Lana Toler, Innovation Advisor, by email, lanaT@thespearheadgroup.com, or phone, 502-439-5065; or Robert Catalano, President, by email, rcatalano@thespearheadgroup.com, or phone, 215-769-9008. For more information about The Spearhead Group worldwide, including interview requests, please contact Helen Gregory, helen@gregoryvine.com or Amanda Davis, amanda@gregoryvine.com.

About The Spearhead Group
A leader in packaging innovation for spirits, food, beverage and beauty brands, The Spearhead Group delivers customized packaging solutions from creative brand design to manufacturing through a full suite of Physical Brand Enhancements that enable clients to stand apart from the competition. Founded in 2018 by Heather Fritzsche, CEO, and Robert Catalano, President, the Spearhead team brings more than 50 years of collective experience enriched by Pioneer Partners around the world. The result: a proprietary packaging process and unparalleled relationships that ensure the execution of high-value business and brand-building goals for each client. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, The Spearhead Group manages a client-facing Packaging Innovation Center in Louisville and a production center in China. The Spearhead Group is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), member of Women of the Vine & Spirits, and actively supports diversity suppliers. Follow The Spearhead Group on LinkedIn (@spearheadgroup).

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The Spearhead Team Participates in the United By Blue Stream Cleanup

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring the most rewarding outcome on PBE activities.

Heather Fritzsche Interview with the Connected Table SIPS! Podcast

 

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring the most rewarding outcome on PBE activities.

The Spearhead Group brings packaging innovation to Bourbon country

This article was written by Maggie Kimbrel of American Whiskey Magazine

Oftentimes when you visit a craft distillery that has had a product on the market for a couple of years, you’ll see a progression in packaging from something that is easily lost on a shelf to something that stands out from the crowd. Invariably you’ll get similar stories about the progression: we worked really hard on that first bottle but then we went into a bar we knew had it and couldn’t find it on the back bar. Packaging is one area where newer distilleries often struggle, mainly because they don’t know where to turn and they end up using what is cheap and readily available in order to get their product to market faster. Poor packaging decisions don’t always hurt new brands, but they can, and a new branch of a packaging company aims to address that problem.

The Spearhead Group recently launched an innovation center in Louisville, Kentucky in order to be closer to the distilled spirits industry. At this innovation center, clients from distilleries of all sizes can come to learn about packaging options for everything from their mainstream products to holiday packages and more.

“As part of The Spearhead Group’s expertise in the spirits business, we lead clients through the whole development process of how brand and packaging work together through the end-use and engagement with consumers,” says Spearhead Group Innovation Advisor Lana Toler. “We are able to lead the packaging development as one contact across all of the packaging comments to ensure that the closure works with the bottle, the labels and adhesives work with the bottle, and the bottle works with the shippers. We have developed a thorough protocol to test the spirit and contact points with the packaging to ensure compatibility and shelf stability. As an example, the proof of the spirit changes the amount of headspace needed in the bottle to ensure that a cork wouldn’t pop out.”

The Spearhead Group takes the time to get to know the product in order to make the best recommendations for that product’s packaging. For smaller distilleries, this can mean less wasted time and energy for a sub-par product package. For larger distilleries it can mean a wider array of options for things like amending existing packaging to reflect a recent spirits competition win, building a special tasting kit for brand ambassadors, and even creating gift packs that will stand out from the crowd.

“One of the issues that many spirits companies may face is properly sizing their new bottle to fit a pour spout,” says The Spearhead Group’s Global Packaging R&D Advisor Ben Abernathy. “This may sound like an easy task until you take into consideration the number of different pour spout sizes on the market and how they are used at bars and restaurants. Often times, bartenders use pour spouts in many different size bottle necks. If a spout is used for even a short time in a small bottle neck, the spout will deform and may not properly fit in a normal size bottle. To combat this, we’ve worked closely with bartenders to better understand the plastic deformation to ensure we can design bottles that will fit all pour spouts, new or used, perfectly.”

“For startup distilleries, we do a deep dive into the category of spirit,” says Toler. “Where does the new brand fit?  Who are the competitors? Then we visit on and off-premise accounts, discuss what important assets will start for your brand and become icons for your brand and what the brand stands for, and discuss and determine how to use brand assets with the packaging. We have a long term discussion on where the brand could go to develop that packaging hierarchy within a spirit category, but we’re also mindful of whether new categories will be added in the future. We narrow down options for differentiating packaging for the client to pick and choose, either new designs or unique physical brand enhancements, to create differentiation, such as using the existing bottle structure and adding metal, leather or other embellishments to create packaging that represents the brand while differentiating it on the shelf.”

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl

“For legacy distilleries, we do a more specific brief for a more specific packaging project, such as creating a premium gifting box that includes one 750ml of bourbon and two custom-designed rocks glasses within a given cost range,” says Toler. “We present opportunities to bring new technology and “outside-in” innovation to brands on a regular basis, like when we look at sustainability and the minimizing of packaging from the health and beauty category. If a brand is established, we think about other unique ways to bring the liquid and the experience of drinking the liquid to the consumers, such as custom glassware to be used with a signature cocktail.”

There are some things you have seen that The Spearhead Group is responsible for, such as production of the various Crown Royal bags. But there are lots of things they do that aren’t often noticed by the general public, such as helping distilleries find more sustainable suppliers for things like paperboard boxes for special bottles. They do value-added products, such as those gift packs you see at holiday times with special branded glasses, and they can help startup distilleries distinguish their products through things like ceramic bottles and special closures.

“The first Innovation Center Flagship is located within Acuity in Louisville, Kentucky,” says Toler. “Acuity is one of the Pioneer Partners and offers thermoforming, co-packing, and logistics and shipping. Not only is Acuity local to work with the whiskey category partners, but having The Spearhead Group working directly at the facility gives the clients a more cohesive look at the flexibility and end to end processes that The Spearhead Group can provide.”

Whether a distillery is new or established, has a great package already or is struggling, there are various ways in which The Spearhead Group can help you make your packaging go from good to great, regular to holiday, or mid-level to premium.

“The Spearhead Group has decades of cumulative spirits experience from the direct team, the global advisory committee and the Pioneer Partners,” Toler says. “The various backgrounds complement each other and enable the group to provide insights to clients to minimize time to market, execute quality packaging and “wow” the customer’s experience with the brand.”

Where packaging designs come from isn’t something that is usually at the forefront of the end consumer’s mind, but seeing the process and understanding the thought and time that goes into it can be a fascinating experience.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl

About Spearhead

With more than 45 years of collective experience designing and delivering memorable Physical Brand Enhancements that make a lasting impact, we understand the importance of a customer’s connection to a particular brand.

Companies choose The Spearhead Group because they know we are invested in all aspects of the process. We bring a unique and personable approach to each and every brand we represent and work towards ensuring the most rewarding outcome on PBE activities.

Spearhead Pioneer, TPC Printing & Packaging Becomes First Printer to Install New Rapida 105 with Eagle Cold Foil System

In early 2020, Spearhead Pioneer, TPC Printing & Packaging will install a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 PRO 10-color 41-inch press, which will join an existing 2015 Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 eight-color press. TPC will become the first supplier in the world with an inline Eagle cold foil system (KBA), an offline hot foil system (BOBST BMA), and Scodix variable digital foil/polymer solution.

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Welcome to The Spearhead Group Blog

The Spearhead Group provides Physical Brand Enhancements to clients in the spirits, beauty and personal care industries. Headquartered in Yardley, PA midway between New York City and Philadelphia, The Spearhead Group offers companies a modern, full-service, consultative approach from concept to reality.

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