From First Glance to Last Sip: Spirit of Yorkshire’s Premium Packaging (Smurfit Kappa)

Drawing inspiration from the magnificent countryside around Yorkshire, Spirit of Yorkshire’s whisky reflects the landscape of Filey Bay, from the unique flavour blends to the tranquil colour palette of the bottles.

When they approached Smurfit Kappa Composites in early 2020, the brand was keen to retain their strong branding in their secondary packaging – especially as they were looking to break into the multiple retailer market.

To stand out on shelves, they needed premium drinks packaging that made an impact – and that’s where we came in.

Telling the story of the brand: colours and design

Working together, our design team and Spirit of Yorkshire decided on key details for their premium drinks packaging.

To ensure that the strong brand was maintained we made sure that every hue of ink matched the bottle inside, tone for tone. 

Each of the four colours balanced one another, yet stood out against the background. Meanwhile, premium drinks packaging is a competitive market. The copper foil curving across the tube added an eye-catching element of luxury that would help Spirit of Yorkshire stand out on the shelves, in complete harmony with the curvature of the tube itself, used for their special releases. 

Working on another facet of refinement, we worked to create lids and bases that matched the colour palette of the tubes themselves – a blue base with a copper lid. This added touch of care sends the clear message to customers that Spirit of Yorkshire pour attention to detail into every aspect of their whisky – from the first glance to the last sip.  

The solid blue bases ground the brand, harking back to Yorkshire’s blue-collar history as well as the scenic seaside landscape of Filey Bay itself. The copper lids and tube detailing, meanwhile, echo the beautiful copper stills used by the brand to create their artisan product.

An artisan product and premiumisation

This balance between hard-working and luxurious is one that Spirit of Yorkshire tries hard to maintain and one of the aspects that we worked on was an element of premiumisation. 

As such, they suggested that the Filey Bay whisky be housed in sturdy composite tubes – rather than the square cartons used for their core range bottles.

This allows the bottles to cause on-shelf disruption, prompting potential customers to pause a moment and inspect the product before them. The tubes are also actually more protective than the standard premium drinks packaging carton, limiting breakages across the supply chain and providing a more impressive, tactile experience to customers when picking it off the shelves.

Coupling the copper foiling detail – which is showcased both across the graphic element and throughout the text – with the curve of the tube also causes the light to catch the packaging, making it yet more memorable and striking.

One element that we were determined to get right was the definition of the print. Using such similar tones, they can easily blur into one another – but the precision and sharpness of the final product shows that it’s worth the extra effort. 

A focus on craftsmanship 

And yet throughout all of this, there’s a calmness to the tube. A lightness that hints at the delicate flavour balances within.

This effect was achieved particularly by the choice of pure, uncoated paper stock as the base substrate. This provides the perfect background to showcase all of those colours and embellishments without weighing down the overall design.

The uncomplicated nature of the paper background allows the detailing to shine whilst positioning the brand exactly where they want to be seen – as discerning distillers who take the time to get things right. There’s no need for distraction – the flavours speak for themselves.  

As an extra step, we decided that the copper foiling should be embossed onto the tubes – a final element of luxury, a final detail that would make these premium paper based tubes stand out from the crowd.

Working together, the Smurfit Kappa Composites team and Spirit of Yorkshire brought to life a stunning design that tells the story of the brand and encourages purchase. It hints at the luxury inside without being flashy, blending colour with uncoated paper to achieve the right balance.

David Thompson, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Spirit of Yorkshire reflects “As we continue to build our premium single malt whisky brand “Filey Bay”, it’s paramount that we are supported by experienced, quality lead partners like Smurfit Kappa Composites”. 

Smurfit Kappa Composites Sales Manager, Peter Thorpe comments “Spirit of Yorkshire were really happy with the design and we look forward to fulfilling a repeat order, very soon.”

Find out more at smurfitkappa.com/Composites or call 01946 61671.