Customer Stories, Spirits

Gradient Beverages: On a Mission to Make Moderate Drinking Fun

When it comes to branding and marketing, Gradient Beverages has the best kind of problem: they are so innovative that their product requires some explanation. Gradient is a “gradually reducing alcohol system”, and when they started up in 2020, they were the first of its kind. Because of this, creating a Point of Purchase (POP) display guaranteeing them shelf space and a wide-open canvas for messaging made all sorts of sense.

But first…what is a gradually reducing alcohol system? Basically, it’s a pack of beverages that start out with a higher alcohol content of 7% and eventually drop down to 3%. John Eresman Gradient’s Founder and Creative Director came up with the concept with his sister Trisha Woodlock and her husband Josh Woodlock at a Christmas family party.

“We were feeling good, having a few drinks, and didn’t feel like reaching for waters yet…but it was also a Thursday night,” he explains. “We’ve all been drinking our entire adult lives and we wanted to look at ways of controlling it and still enjoying it.”

The trio did their research and discovered that there is a certain level of “feeling buzzed” that won’t improve with more alcohol. The idea is to stay in that sweet spot. That’s why you “start strong” with a higher alcohol drink and “last long” with gradually reduced beverages.

It’s a brilliant concept with plenty of benefits for customers who want to practice moderation, but clearly, those customers can only be reached through education. That’s where the POP display comes in. They recruited Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging’s (GLBC) help to create something that would do the trick.

The Situation

The market for vodka sodas is obviously quite congested at this stage of the game. It helps massively that Gradient’s variation on the trend is such a unique and beneficial one. But how to get that message out there?

Additionally, the competition for shelf space at liquor stores is ferocious. And even if you get a spot, different locations present different opportunities. A liquor store in Vancouver might only have space for a shelf topper, whereas a liquor store in the interior of BC might have actual floor space.

The Solution

Fortunately, GLBC has plenty of experience in creating customized digitally printed POPs. Gradient and the GLBC started with a standard design and then made a number of adjustments. In the end, they had a POP that could function as a tasting table, a free-standing POP, and a shelf-topper. The key was designing a backer card that could slide into a standard tray in a few different orientations. Finally, no matter how the display is set up, it’s always telling the Gradient story. Every part of the printed design helps prospective customers to understand their mission of moderation and get inspired about drinking in a different way.gradient-beverage-pop-display

The Result

GLBC’s work with Gradient helped the company to:

  • Compete in a crowded market: the versatile POP secures space in a variety of retail settings.
  • Communicate their message: the fully digitally printed POP elegantly shares multiple brand messages.
  • Increase sales: the ability to conduct tastings and secure more shelf space has given Gradient a boost.

With more and more people getting inspired to practice moderate drinking, Gradient offers the right product at the right time. Their mission is obviously a special one, and we’re proud to play a role in supporting it.

Gradient has added a new vacation vibes cocktail pack to its product line, and they are gradually expanding their offerings to suit a variety of tastes. As they do, we know that their brand with grow stronger. And we say cheers to that!




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