Forty Creek whisky gets a premium facelift

The Campari brand is harmonizing its roots in the Niagara region with its "path to premiumization."

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Forty Creek whisky is getting a design overhaul to make it more premium.

The Niagara region’s Forty Creek Barrel Select has begun to roll out its new packaging on shelves nationally, with the remainder of the portfolio set to launch in September.

Paying homage to the brand’s home base, the new pack design displays Niagara Whisky prominently alongside an embossed map of the Niagara region. The new design also features a clear bottle, references its master blender, and features a “Barrel Select” label that will change according to the blend type.

The new packaging allows Forty Creek’s distinctly smooth whiskies to shine through and boasts the brand’s “Whisky Maker of the Decade” designation, which it received in 2020 from the Canadian Whisky Awards, says David Allard, VP of marketing for Campari Canada.

Allard tells strategy that Forty Creek’s redesign is part of a “path to premiumization,” in harmony with the brand’s history of innovation and commitment to celebrating its Niagara provenance in a significant way through its packaging.

The redesign is in line with the brand’s longstanding mission of building fans everywhere through whiskies that are both accessible and revered from novices to connoisseurs, Allard points out.

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Campari will be deploying a suite of assets across multiple touchpoints to ensure consumers are well informed of the new Forty Creek proposition and fully understand the changes the distiller is making to the packaging.

According to Allard, Canadian whisky remains a major category with lots of growth opportunities and that it is confident the company will continue to expand its customer base as lockdowns ease.

The Forty Creek Brand House in Grimsby will be welcoming aficionados in to experience a full whisky immersion including tours, tastings and seminars during its annual Whisky Weekend, happening September 24-25. For the first time in over two years, enthusiasts will be able to experience in-person guided tastings of Forty Creek, a distillery tour, seminars, and more.

In addition to its new look, Forty Creek is releasing a new special limited-edition whisky called “Art of the Blend” to commemorate Bill Ashburn’s 35th anniversary as Forty Creek Master Blender.

This pack redesign was a collaborative effort between the Campari team and agency partner Design Bridge. For the broader campaign, creative is being led by Leo Burnett, with PR by H+K Strategies, social by We Are Social, paid media by NEO and brand visual identity by CBA Design.

In 2017, Forty Creek upped its media spend on its “From a Good Place” campaign to tell its story to a TV audience for the first time. In 2017, Forty Creek also got its first packaging facelift in 25 years to again better reflect its premium positioning.