LVMH champagne house Ruinart is introducing a secondary packaging for its champagnes that is nothing short of revolutionary for the premium segment. Patrice Baraud, director of packaging development, and Violaine Basse, director of marketing and communication for Ruinart, spoke to our sister magazine Formes de Luxe about Seconde Peau, the brand’s eco-designed case.
How did Seconde Peau come about?
Violaine Basse: The brand’s brief was to replace the existing range of coffrets with something that would have a lower environmental impact while meeting the added challenge of protecting the wines from light.
Patrice Baraud: The brand’s R&D has long been informed by sustainable development. We’ve been studying these issues for decades with our marketing teams, and we felt we had reached the end of the road when it came to “traditional” approaches.
What do you mean by traditional approaches?
PB: We had already worked a lot on the boxes: separability, thickness, FSC papers, inks, using recycled inserts and those that are clipped together rather than glued. We needed something more disruptive. Two and a half years ago we considered many possibilities when the project began with various materials and forms, while prioritizing local manufacturing, or as close as possible to our production site. We wanted to change the perception of secondary packaging and show that we can make something qualitative and worthy of our brands by taking much a simpler approach.
Tell us about the design.
PB: The design is the work of Paris-based agency Chic. When we saw it, we wondered how we were going to carry it out and with what materials, including our constraints of “not too far, not too heavy”. I had previously worked on the challenges of injection molding different materials, including potato starch (Veuve Clicquot), but we opted for the egg carton, made of a single piece of molded paper pulp.
VB: The challenge lay in creating a design worthy of Ruinart’s luxury brand image given that the paper box technique is less inspiring. So we worked on finishes and texture—which alludes to the Crayères, the chalk quarries that form the historic Ruinart cellars—as well as the closing mechanism, a sort of cardboard push-button. We also had to provide protection from light. Another technical aspect of the project is the coffret’s absence of edges and the highly refined finishing that required a waterjet cutting technology.
What is the next step for Seconde Peau?
VB: We’ve received extremely positive feedback from the trade, and we’ll know in the coming months if consumers are ready. We think they want to consume differently and that they are looking for something truly novel.
PB: Seconde Peau is the fruit of 10 years’ work in tandem with the brand’s global approach to sustainable development. We’ve taken a very big step, and now we’re set on taking the concept even further to develop the pack in the months or years to come. How about using color or PCR materials? The journey has begun!
See the upcoming summer issue of Formes de Luxe for the full interview.