Craft Spirits Packaging
& Display Design Considerations

The spirits industry is booming – especially American Craft Distillers! According to the American Distilling Institute, there were only 75 craft distilleries across the entire United States in 2006. The active U.S. craft spirits producers reached 2,753 as of August 2023, and they sold more than 14 million 9-litre cases in that same year. While craft distillers are leading growth in the U.S. spirits industry, this segment represents about a 5% share in the volume of total U.S. spirits producers.

That’s a whole lot of new SKUs on the market in less than two decades! So, how do Craft Spirits brands, old and new, whether a smaller craft distillery or a larger brand, stand out on the retail shelves and scream “pick me, pick me!”?

Our short answer is compelling packaging and amazing merchandise displays! Specifically, those made of corrugated materials.

In this article, we discuss why corrugated packaging and displays are an excellent choice for any sized spirits producer, explain how they are perceived by shoppers, and share merchandising tips to help brands drive purchase decisions at the store level.

So, Why Choose Corrugated?

Corrugated is made from sturdy, paper pulp material. It’s cost-efficient, durable, customizable, and sustainable. This latter feature is a biggie, especially in the minds of today’s consumers. “93% of global consumers expect the brands they buy from to support social and environmental issues.” [SalesForce 2022 Holiday Planning Guide for Retailers]

Many of the fluted corrugated materials that are used for packaging and temporary retail displays are made of post-recycled content (PCR)*, which means it was made from cardboard boxes and paper that consumers recycle every day.

Consumer Perception & the Appeal of Corrugated Packaging

A consumer’s perception of a product’s quality, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability is influenced by its packaging. According to a survey conducted by Ipsos of over 2,000 adults in the U.S., 70% said they are more likely to buy brands that package their products in cardboard materials than in other packaging materials. 67% said that cardboard packaging makes a product more attractive than other packaging materials and 63% believe that paper and cardboard packaging make products appear to be premium or of high quality. That’s good news for corrugated!

That said, this is the part where design and merchandising considerations come in.

Packaging & Retail Display Design Pointers

According to Marketing Brainology, consumers’ buying decisions are 80% emotional and 20% logical. Here, we share how to effectively appeal to these emotional triggers and generate more impulse buys.


Colors trigger emotion. The colors on your packaging and displays play a vital role in helping your product stand out on the shelf and in the store aisles. While bright, vibrant colors may garner attention, make sure your color choices align with your brand’s messaging.

  • Warm colors are associated with feelings of energy, excitement, and passion, and are ideal for impulse purchases.
  • Cool colors convey calmness, peace, and security, which can build trust and reliability for your brand.
  • Neutral colors offer a sophisticated and timeless appeal. They are often used to create a minimalist or luxurious feel.
  • The lack of color, or limited color, offers the perception of a natural, sustainable product or brand.

At Orora, we are designing and printing more and more packaging and displays that don’t have a flood of color on them so that the natural surface of the corrugated becomes part of the design. This is a big change from the days of trying to conceal this factor.


  • Keep messaging easy to digest and memorable. Information in small doses makes it a lot easier for shoppers to make a decision. So, more is not better! Consider including a QR code for consumers to learn more if they wish.
  • When it comes to displays use a messaging hierarchy, and definitely use pictures (they speak louder than words!), specifically faces, whether real or animated, as they drive personal relevance to shoppers. To make it even more personal, illustrate an experience of people consuming and enjoying your product. Make shoppers crave it!



  • Accessibility factors heavily into the structural design of retail-ready packaging and merchandise displays. Is it easy to shop? Is it easy to replenish?
  • Is your product located in an ideal store location? Shoppers can only digest about 4-6 feet of a typical store aisle that is 16-24 feet long. Create a focal point.
  • The aisle endcaps are a primary driver for impulse buys. Products placed on endcaps get a 93% increase in exposure and a 32% lift in sales according to an Oracle report.


Sustainability is at the forefront of both modern consumers’ and brands’ mindsets. Rightfully so! It is a driving force for how packaging and display design have evolved over the years. While corrugated materials have been around for a very long time, their eco-friendly qualities are more relevant than ever.

*Ask us about EnviroKraft®, an Orora exclusive corrugated made from 100% post-recycled content. May not be recyclable in your area.


Orora Corrugated Manufacturing supports Craft Spirits producers with every facet of their go-to-market needs – beyond the bottle: Custom corrugated solutions from case packs and gift boxes, to bottle carriers and innovative displays | Creative design, structural engineering, and printing services | Automation equipment sales and services | ISTA testing

Visit us for more detailed Craft Spirits Solutions information.

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