Nicole Bourdette, global product development manager at LVMH-owned Belvedere, talks about the vodka brand’s latest premium-positioned launch, Single Estate.
What was behind the creation of this new range?
Single Estate takes its roots from the craft/artisanal movement and I believe Belvedere is the very first vodka brand to explore the notion of terroir, making the claim that climate variation affects the taste yielded from the same superior Polish Dankowskie Diamond Rye that is used in each expression. Belvedere Vodka has featured Polska rye vodka and other natural ingredients since its inception and, with this innovation, is further demonstrating its commitment to producing vodkas of complex character. We planted Diamond Dankowskie Rye by Lake Bart??ek and Smogóry forest in order to illustrate the variation of terroir.
When tasted side by side, these vodkas deliver demonstrably different taste profiles: Smogóry Forest boasts a bold and savory finish, while Lake Bart??ek finishes with a delicate, fresh flavor. In terms of price positioning, Single Estate is about 30% more expensive than our existing range.
How is the terroir approach reflected in the primary packaging?
The bottle’s shape is very original (the bottle is manufactured by Steklarna Hrastnik) and is a bit more elongated than our other bottles. We wanted to showcase the characteristics of the region where we source the rye and we were very intentional on the choice of color. For Lake Bart??ek, for example, the bottle’s deep shade of blue is meant to reflect the lake and a transparent lacquer covers the entire bottle giving it a translucent appearance. Smogory Forest’s bottle is a gray/green color palette that represents the natural characteristics of the wooded, pastoral landscapes that surround the small village of Smogóry. The decoration (signed Dekorglass) features screen-printing and hot-foil stamping with the brand story on the side of the bottle.
Do you share packaging innovation expertise within the group?
Yes, and much of this happens through our Moët Hennessy Innovation Days, where suppliers and brands from the group come together to share best practices and see the latest innovations. As a member of the MH Innovation Committee for packaging, we have the opportunity to meet throughout the year and exchange ideas. Just a few weeks ago we were in Napa Valley at Chandon where we discovered the Chandon mini aluminum bottle. I found this to be a really interesting format as the metal in no way impacted the taste of the wine and of course in the spirit of sustainability, aluminum is one of the most recycled and recyclable materials. Belvedere is hosting the next Innovation Day in New York in June under the theme of sustainable luxury.
What are your priorities when it comes to sustainability?
I believe first and foremost it comes down to what we’re doing at the distillery; we have already reduced our emissions by 42% and hope to reach an 80% reduction in the next three years to become one of the world’s greenest distilleries. Strictly on the packaging front, we’re making a conscious choice to incorporate eco-design concepts from the very earliest stages of a brief, such as the choice of material, or minimizing the space taken up by the pack on shelf. In a nutshell, we are taking a less-is-more approach!