Blackburn’s gives Amé a little extra fizz

With the millennium celebrations rapidly approaching and an apparent shortage of Champagne worrying Bolly enthusiasts, the soft drinks industry has turned its attention to those who want to join the party but wish to remain sober.

The UK soft drinks market is now worth £6.8bn a year, according to the British Soft Drinks Association. And there has been a steady increase over recent years of herbal-based drinks appealing to adult, upmarket consumers. This target market now has the opportunity to toast the millennium with a new alternative from Orchid Drinks, manufacturer of health brews Aqualibra and Amé.

Amé Celebration 5 Star is a sparkly, sophisticated alternative to bubbly for non-alcohol drinkers. The idea is to move away from the misconception that those who decline Champagne for whatever reasons (and expensive cab fares could be one of them) should be stuck with second class alternatives.

Blackburn’s, which also revamped the Aqualibra bottle, has created a sophisticated design for the new Amé variant, giving it a luxury feel with its frosted black bottle and a raffia bow.

The Celebration edition is the natural progression of a concept developed seven years ago by the consultancy, when Orchid Drinks first approached it to name and create the drink’s branding. The name Amé means ‘gentle rain’ in Japanese. Its success led to the development of rosé and red versions.

‘It became a wine alternative and people started buying it because it looked good on the lunch table,’ says Blackburn’s founder John Blackburn. The client then decided to push the brand further and the evolutionary process produced a drink for the millennium.

The first concept was a green bottle but Blackburn’s decided it looked rather too common and pushed the idea a bit further. The consultancy aimed to reproduce the classic Champagne look and feel with a distinctive bottle shape and popping cork.

‘We wanted to create something which would compete visually with the top Champagne brands,’ says Blackburn, ‘so we went for a sexy look.’ The result is an elongated, sleek matt black bottle with five gold stars on it, adding that special occasion feeling to the product. The trademark raffia bow was retained, this time using real hand-tied Taiwanese twine. The drink will be available in the UK and US from early September.

Design: Blackburn’s

creative director: John Blackburn

designers: Roberta Oats, Sarah Roberts

Client: Orchid Drinks

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