Crown Royal is a Canadian blended whisky created from 50 whiskies, each produced in individual warehouses located on the company’s 360-acre site situated along Lake Winnipeg in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada. Crown Royal Distillery has been crafting Canadian whiskies for 80 years.
Created in 1939 by Samuel Bronfman, then president of Seagram’s, this Canadian whiskey was crafted in honor of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the first reigning monarchs to visit Canada. The story goes that Samuel made 600 trials before he was satisfied with the finished product, a signature blend known today as Crown Royal Blended Canadian Whisky.
The brand remained more or less a Canadian exclusive for decades before eventually making its way to the American market in 1964. Since then it has been the premier Canadian whiskey in the United States, offering a wide range — including flavors such as Apple, Peach and Vanilla flavored with Madagascar bourbon vanilla, Texas Mesquite and Salted Caramel blend — that caters to almost every taste.
The recipe and process for making the signature Crown Royal Canadian Whisky remain the same, with the essential Crown Royal ingredients of locally sourced grains and the use of charred-oak barrels. After reaching optimum maturity, the whiskies are shipped to Amherstburg, Ontario, where they are carefully blended, cut with pure water and then bottled.
The Ideal Partnership
For last year’s holiday promotional packaging of Crown Royal, Supremia developed custom promotional glassware for Crown Royal Deluxe Whisky, a brand under Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits. It is said that the Deluxe Whisky most closely represents the original handcrafted for the King and Queen of England. Appearing in retail stores during the 2018 holiday season, the unique glassware consisted of 10.5 oz. capacity rocks glasses featuring state outlines of 44 different states and were free with purchase of a 750 ml bottle of Crown Royal Deluxe Whisky.
Ahead of the promotion, Supremia conducted research from retailers and consumers in Crown Royal’s core markets to gauge brand loyalty and state pride. Due to the nature of the initiative, Diageo found Supremia an ideal partner for this holiday promotion.
In fall 2017, surveys were conducted with retailers and consumers in Crown Royal’s biggest markets. The results of these surveys showed that both groups were more likely to purchase a VAP (value-added product) specific to their region. Findings confirmed that glassware is the most popular gift and has the highest perceived value among consumers.
Based on all of the research, Supremia presented Diageo with glass options in different shapes and ounce capacities. Diageo selected an option for the glass, and Supremia’s design team rendered visuals for each of the states participating in the program. In addition, the promotional and packaging provider also designed a generic version of the glass for states that wanted that instead of the state outline.
Once these renders were approved, Supremia worked with its glassware supplier to start sampling. “When we received sample approval from Diageo, we gave the U.S.-based manufacturer the green light to start production.” There were 44 different states produced, along with a generic version.
The critical part of this project was that all 45 SKUs needed to be packed separately and not mixed during the entire process. Supremia helped with the co-packing startup to ensure it went smoothly and delivered to the markets on time.
Behind the Final Package
We asked Jessica Warwick, vice president for Supremia, what went on behind the scenes to create the state glasses.
How did Supremia conduct the research for the states used?
Jessica Warwick: We used our Ideation Insights™ program to poll retailers and consumers in the brand’s top core markets, since those markets represent a lion’s share of sales.
Why weren’t all 50 states represented?
Warwick: Retailers had the option to buy into a ‘state’ glass or a standard glass. Some states were not able to get the volumes to support doing a custom state glass, so they used the generic version.
Tell me about the glass design.
Warwick: Supremia created the glass size as well as each logo design on the glasses. It is clear glass, made in the USA at 10.5 oz. Each glass was decorated with organic gold silkscreen of a state outline and Crown Royal logo.
How was this promotion different than in previous years?
Warwick: This was a holiday value-added gift pack sold in retail during the holiday season (November through December). The consumer gets the benefit of purchasing this gift pack at the same retail price as a stand-alone bottle, making it a great gifting opportunity for brand fans. This particular pack was different from other gift packs CR has done, because it was the first time we were able to integrate local consumer pride with their love of Crown Royal.
Supremia is a single-source provider of creative solutions and process management for promotional product & packaging development, specializing in various CPG sectors including beer & spirits, health & beauty, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and automotive. The company has accrued a comprehensive suite of services that includes design, printing, account management, web shop platforms, sourcing, quality assurance, logistics and final delivery of a wide range of luxury merchandise for renowned global brands. Visit supremia.com for information.