Hank’s Gourmet Beverages, the Philadelphia-based, third-generation family business which helped launch the craft soda boom in the 1990s, is responding to widespread customer and retailer input with a new packaging scheme for its two popular fall seasonal flavors. Hank’s critically acclaimed, limited-edition seasonals, Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Apple Cream, will be hitting markets coast-to-coast in colorful 4-Packs beginning this week. The announcement was made here today by Tony Salvatore, Partner and Chief Customer Officer of Hank’s Gourmet Beverages.
“From the beginning, we’ve been a company that has maintained an ongoing dialogue with both our fans and retailers,” says Salvatore. “It is something that has played a great role in both shaping and continuing the evolution and expansion of our brand.”
“This year has historically been our strongest, with especially brisk pre-orders for our two seasonal flavors that have nearly quadrupled 2020’s actual sales,” adds Salvatore. “Our customers, from supermarkets and bakeries to eateries and farm stands, have been clamoring for us to release these in 4-pack cartons, so they could build the high-impact displays that have become a holiday tradition and merchandising mainstay. We’ve answered their call with unique and breakthrough for-the-category designs that we think both catch the eye and communicate the outstanding quality of these handcrafted, delicious flavors.”
Hank’s worked with Greensboro-based (GA) Heffernan Marketing to create the packaging, one which breaks with soda industry norms in several regards. The 4-packs communicate the great taste with enhanced real-fruit photography on the carton’s main panels, a rare occurrence in the trade. There’s now messaging about the brand’s annual 4Q soda celebration, Hanksgiving, as well as new callouts that highlight the product’s gluten and caffeine-free ingredients.
“Our vision for the 4-pack packaging design was to go for a rich, textural and layered look, one that would really make it stand out on the shelf and in dramatic seasonal displays,” adds Lee Heffernan, President and Creative Director, Heffernan Marketing. “These two seasonals have amazing flavors. And there’s no better way to convey that than with pictures of ripe, luscious fruits. Our goal was to properly tap into and visualize peoples’ love of a fresh-baked piece of pumpkin pie or a hand-dipped caramel apple at this time of year. In our testing, Hank’s fans immediately stopped, recognized, and reacted positively to this both on-shelf and in specialty displays, so we know we hit upon a winning look with this approach.”
Introduced in 2020, Hank’s Caramel Apple Cream marries the tart bite of a perfectly ripe Granny Smith apple with the smooth body of toffee and hints of golden butter-caramel. This product is being re-released as a limited edition, along with a new supply of Hank’s Pumpkin Spice, the hugely popular fall entry introduced during 2019’s Hanksgiving, the Company’s yearly event celebrating the pairing of craft sodas with food. Both will now only be available in the newly designed carriers through the New Year’s holiday.
Several Hank’s retail partners and specialty accounts are expected to participate in this year’s Fall release promotions anchored by these new 4-pack designs, with special displays and dedicated placements across seasonal aisles and sections, including Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores nationwide.