Featured image for Partake’s New and Improved Can Design Speaks To a New Generation of Sober-Curious Drinkers

Partake’s New and Improved Can Design Speaks To a New Generation of Sober-Curious Drinkers

by Chloe Gordon on 07/03/2023 | 4 Minute Read


Hangovers aren't for the weak, and not to call the entire GenZ demographic soft, but they want nothing to do with the grueling aftermath of a night out of pounding alcoholic-filled liquids. In fact, according to a report from the University of Michigan, a survey discovered that many people under 28 aren't drinking at all, the number growing from 20% to 28% over the last 20 years. 

And yes, everyone gives the GenZ category a hard time, but it's not just the youngest legal drinkers that want less to do with alcohol; it's everyone. From Birkenstock-wearing, grilling dads to salad-stabbing-by-day-clubbing-by-night-women, alcoholic beverages and their popularity are dwindling. Fast. 

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Partake, an award-winning non-alcoholic beer brand, recently partnered with creative agency Designsake to reimagine its identity for modern non-alc drinkers. The booze-free beer brand needed a packaging refresh to better speak to the demographic of folks that aren't drinking, including those who are simply cutting back. 

"We needed to ensure that we were tight on our positioning and that our visual and verbal identity reflected that. We wanted to establish that we were speaking to and connecting with a Renaissance person with many layers, interests, and hobbies," shared Danielle McWaters, founding partner and creative director of Designsake. "It's multifaceted and allows the consumer to do everything they want in a way that makes sense for them with a beer in hand. We've been watching the landscape of NA for a long time, and while it's relatively new, it's exploding. We needed to prioritize what our canned design looks like because we know it's a key influencer of purchasing decisions."

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In an industry where visual appeal and market trends often dictate design choices, Designsake helped Partake move in a different direction. Prominently displaying the calorie count became a top priority. Not only did this address consumers' desire for transparency in the non-alc category, but it also helped set the brand apart by prioritizing new elements. 

The most critical asset for Partake's new packaging system was clarity—an unwavering commitment to delivering a confident message. They wanted every individual reaching for a can of their product, cleverly named "Partake," to immediately feel at ease and comfortable holding a can in any setting, from casual backyard get-togethers to late-night concerts that spill into early mornings.

Creating a timeless design system that could endure the ever-evolving trends within the category was paramount. While the market boasts mass appeal and plenty of vibrant colors and patterns, Partake opted not to conform to industry norms. "We wanted to make sure that the packaging was clear and delivered with confidence so that whoever is picking up a Partake can understand what's inside of it," shares McWaters. "We wanted to build a timeless system that would hopefully withstand the trends happening in the category."

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In creating a lasting system, Designsake was simultaneously able to create an approachable and inclusive brand that catered to a wide range of non-alc drinkers. Partake recognized the need to resonate with diverse audiences, including Gen Z drinkers who prioritize mental health and well-being over alcohol consumption and young parents who juggle various responsibilities while seeking the enjoyment associated with cracking open a cold beverage. To deliver exceptional taste without the consequences of excessive alcohol intake, Partake sought to strike a delicate balance in its new packaging by capturing the essence of craft brews while adhering to a clear non-alcoholic identity.

To do that, Designsake carefully refined the brand's color palette. This aesthetic adjustment aimed to evoke a sense of pride, confidence, and shareability among consumers. Partake’s updated look infuses its cans with a simplicity that exudes elegance and approachability. 

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"My hope is that this will be a system that can last a long time and can help spark curiosity to appeal to a mass audience," continues McWaters. "Wherever you are on the spectrum of how you choose to partake with alcohol, or whether you choose not to, there is that general sense of wanting to pick up a Partake. We want consumers to pick it up, crack it open, try it, and then let the liquid do the rest." 

Before the redesign, Partake's packaging reflected an ambiance reminiscent of a live concert using stock imagery splashed across the can. However, this aesthetic approach was limiting, diverting attention from the brand's true essence and narrative. Partake's new look is less about mass gatherings and now focuses on empowering individuals to partake in their passions, whatever they might be.

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The new can leaves behind the stock photography and moves away from the original typography selections. Designsake's refresh is a more sophisticated take on the brand. Plus, the inclusion of the phrase "non-alcoholic" ensures clarity. The overall design invites consumers to embrace the experience of holding a Partake can without worrying about preconceived notions about the beverage. 

In an age of visual overload and sensory cues, Partake confidently remains true to its core values. It embraces transparency, sets its course, and clearly delivers information. By doing so, it forges a path uniquely its own, appealing to consumers who seek authenticity and reliability in a crowded non-alcoholic beverage market.

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