Amarula, the South African producer of cream liqueur, has released a special edition of 400,000 bottles with its elephant icon individualized by HP ( Indigo digital printing in order to raise global awareness for the same remaining number of the endangered African species. 

The African elephant has been the icon of Amarula Cream Liqueur since its inception. This limited edition of Amarula Cream Liqueur is an added dimension to the brand’s “Name Them, Save Them” African elephant conservation project.

In a collaboration with HP, SA Litho (, a Cape Town-based premium label producer, transformed Amarula’s Cream liqueur bottles into unique pieces using HP Indigo digital printing with HP SmartStream Mosaic variable design technology.

“Individualizing Amarula bottles is a powerful way to reinforce the message that every elephant is an individual with a unique personality,” says Saramien Dekker, global marketing manager for Amarula. “We have always had a special bond with these magnificent creatures. This campaign is about creating a connection between humans and elephants, and becoming actively involved in raising awareness and saving our elephants.”

In the first stage of the elephant conservation campaign, people could go to the Amarula website to design, name and share a virtual African elephant, as a way to increase awareness of the danger facing these animals from ivory poachers.

Each of the bottle labels features an elephant with a completely unique graphic design together with its name. The number of bottles corresponds to the latest census estimation of African elephants remaining alive in the wild. The cream liqueur is produced from the fruit of the African marula tree, which only grows on the sub-equatorial plains of Africa. The fruit is uncultivated, organic and consumed by elephants.

The production of the one-of-a-kind labels was made possible by the powerful capabilities of HP SmartStream Mosaic, using two seed patterns in a variable design software algorithm, and the HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press.  In less than a week, SA Litho completed all the prepress and printing of the 400,000 labels, produced on a metallic substrate using HP Indigo ElectroInk CMYK and white.

“HP SmartStream Mosaic is yet another way we add value through innovation. We brought this technology to South Africa in early 2015, and employed a brand and communications manager the same year to drive Mosaic and digital printing in Africa,” says Leon Witbooi, managing director, CTP Packaging Western Cape. “Months were spent researching strong, proudly South African brands that could use our technology in a way that would add value to the marketplace. This approach was strongly supported by HP Indigo and local supply partner, Kemtek.”

Witbooi continued, “This sparked a conversation with Amarula’s brand team, who were actively seeking a way to use their label as a vehicle to share their story about the dire situation African Elephants face. It was at this point that we married our technology with Amarula’s message.” 

The customized bottles are available in South Africa and Europe.