DJPA repositions Grolsch to target high-end market

Dutch beer brand Grolsch has completed the redesign of the brand packaging for its entire range in a bid to engage the premium beer market.

Designed by DJPA, the ‘evolved’ packaging, which encompasses cans, bottles and outer packs, will hit the shelves in the UK later this month. European and international roll-out of the design is expected to follow soon after.

The Dutch/UK design group was appointed to the five-figure project in August last year, having worked with Grolsch’s parent company Coors Brewers on a retained basis for more than ten years.

The current work is a development of the group’s 2005 design for Grolsch, and builds on structural changes made to the bottle last year by Dutch group Flex, which saw a reduction in the thickness of the glass.

Grolsch customer brand manager Ian Lewis explains that while premium trade price has traditionally maintained the positioning and quality of a lager brand, this is no longer the case. The new packaging is about reinstating premium value.

‘There have been such rapid changes within the [premium lager] market within the past year. We really just didn’t want to get dragged in to the downward spiral of prices. We felt that the way to re-engage with high-end consumers was to create packaging that really sets us apart,’ says Lewis.

The latest design introduces a white and green split device to give consistency across the can, bottle and outer pack. The ‘clean, crisp’ lines are intended to reflect a premium positioning, while the distinctive Grolsch green is maintained for brand recognition.

DJPA account director Ben Harris explains that it was important to maintain sensitivity to a brand that is almost 400 years old.

‘Our creative strategy was to evolve the design, crafting the individual visual elements, making it relevant to a new generation of drinkers without changing what makes Grolsch unique,’ he says.

• August 2006 – Grolsch reinvents its beer bottle as more environmentally friendly through Wrap’s Container Lite project
• October 2002 – Linney Design creates a website for Grolsch UK,, to build on a growing UK market share
• July 2001 – Portland Design creates Grolsch’s global identity
• December 1998 – Tutssels redesigns the font for Grolsch to target 25-34 year-old ABC men

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