Why did Guinness choose AR Metallizing’s paper for their iconic Nigerian labels?
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th every year. Typically, a grand celebration in Ireland and around the world – including in the US – St. Patrick’s Day conjures images of shamrocks, the Emerald Isle, and of course, Guinness.
So how did Guinness become so popular in Africa, and how has Guinness built such an appealing and iconic brand, so far from home?
‘African countries are very brand-conscious when it comes to their beverage of choice. Particularly for younger generations, certain beers are very fashionable, and this means that packaging and labels have to look the part in order to maintain their market share with high-end looks. In Europe we tend to think of Guinness as a beverage that comes perfectly poured in a glass. In Africa, the drinking experience is very different, and centers around the bottle, meaning that the packaging has to be considered differently to maximize unique appeal,’ says Giancarlo Rossetto, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, AR Metallizing.
In African countries where Guinness is sold in glass bottles, Guinness’ team have added vibrant, special looks that are appealing to African markets which are often a younger, vibrant demographic who are looking for modern labelling.
Guinness has a very traditional, refined packaging in its native Europe and in other regions, like the US. Those that want to purchase it to drink at home can typically do so in cans, which are also very uniform in look. ‘In African countries with glass bottles, the Guinness’ team have been able to use more creative license and launch products that have all the elements of the vivacious, spirited looks that are most appealing to African nations. Guinness’ Africa Special is the perfect example of this – a very cheerful, colorful label that plays off the dark background of the beer bottle. The overall look is very appealing and pays homage to Africa’s love of the stout,’ adds Giancarlo.
Regardless of whether their labels have had more traditional looks or if they are modern, unique labels for the African market, Guinness have always wanted to retain that their iconic harp – the brand’s emblem – in gold. Easily recognizable and heavily associated with the brand, the golden harp adds both prestige and glamour to labels. ‘In African countries where such qualities are valued by consumers, retaining the gold look of the harp was key. At the same time, label quality, technical characteristics of the label substrate, cost-effectiveness and experience in the wet-strength label sector were also considerations for Guinness, who wanted to work with a trusted partner,’ says Giancarlo.