• Consumer & Luxury

How to pack the heirloom silver

The first thing you should know before reading this case story: Norwegians are serious about their Aquavit. There are laws and regulations to comply with. And there are traditions to respect. Aquavit is culture.

Det Norske Brenneri (The Norwegian Distillery) is Norway’s first and biggest private distillery, with their own brands of aquavit, gin, whisky and rum, and sales in 27 countries. Their hand-crafted aquavit Arvesølvet (Heirloom Silver) is one of the world’s most awarded aquavits, having earned the five most coveted prizes: in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, China and Berlin.

Limited jubilee edition

The ten-year anniversary bottle of Arvesølvet has a pure silver decor, designed by one of Norway’s most skilled and well-known silversmiths. It is a limited edition of just 1,000 numbered bottles. The price tag is 2,900 NOK a bottle. “The whole anniversary edition sold out in less than three hours,” says Martin Hallberg, one of the owners and Commercial Manager of Det Norske Brenneri.

The smart box is a positioning tool – it sends a signal that Arvesølvet belongs up there with the other premium brands.

How come people are eager to spend that much money on a bottle of aquavit? “Just as there are connoisseurs of single malt whisky, brandy and champagne, there are aquavit connoisseurs too. Especially here in Norway, where aquavit is part of the cultural heritage. And Arvesølvet is a hand-crafted aquavit, meaning the ingredients are natural, carefully selected, and traceable, and the whole process is closely monitored. Most of the herbs and botanicals used in our Aquavits comes from our own garden located just outside of the distillery.”

The anniversary edition of the aquavit is presented in an extravagantly designed gift pack, printed and converted on CrownBoard Prestige. It is clearly designed for a happy celebration, there is no holding back.

A cooperation

“In 2019, we came across a mock-up gift pack for a bottle. The construction, the design and the look and feel of the carton material – we were highly impressed, it was probably the finest gift box we had ever seen. And we wanted something just like it for ourselves. That’s how we got in touch with the Carton Solutions team at BillerudKorsnäs.”

“With Carton Solutions, we had come to the right place. They advised on material specifications, made a customized structural design, presented prototypes, and even recommended a printer/converter to produce the actual cartons for us. They are good people to work with, helpful and skilled at what they do, and they have respect for the tight time frames and the sense of urgency that is typical for our business.”

The right kind of material

Companies place very different demands on packaging performance, depending on product, brand image, customer profiles, and specific functional considerations. 

Design detail of the anniversary edition of Arvesølvet: the bottle caps are made of silver, hand made by a prominent Norwegian silversmith.
“The premium appearance is important,” says Martin Hallberg. “The overall look and feel, and that it allows for rich design possibilities; effects such as foiling, embossing and effect varnishes. It has to be a strong, stiff and stable material, to protect the glass bottle. And with the structural design of the boxes we use, the bottle must be held securely in place. Which is important for safe transport and handling, but also because when the box is opened we want the right side of the bottle to show. The environmental credentials are important, too. You cannot run a company in 2021 without taking the environment into account and do your best.”

Packaging is branding

“Aquavit is a category of spirits that generally doesn’t come in a carton, like whiskies and brandies do. But ours does, as part of the brand experience. The smart box is a positioning tool – it sends a signal that Arvesølvet belongs up there with the other premium brands. As we are launching our new 50-cl single-cask Arvesølvet, the box will once again emphasize the high quality, for an audience that expects numbered batches and details on how the drink is made and matured. The buyers are discerning and engaged.”

Apparently, the brand owner is pleased with the choice of CrownBoard Prestige. But what do the converters say about the material, what it’s like to work with?

“They haven’t said anything at all. Which probably is the best verdict you could get.”

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