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It’s no secret that consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. In one survey, over 80% of respondents indicated that it’s important for companies to offer environmentally conscious products. Many also consider the environmental impact of the marketing and promotional materials that accompany their purchases.

If you’re struggling to source eco-friendly materials for your promotional items, you’re not alone. Even big brands are facing such challenges. Rémy Cointreau (RCUSA) is one of those brands. As an international alcohol beverage brand well known for its high-end liquors, RCUSA is always seeking fresh ideas for its products and value-added packaging (VAP). As a dedicated partner, IMS is constantly on the lookout for concepts that are a fit for RCUSA’s brand story.

In January 2019, IMS proposed several new VAP concepts, including a Multi Use Cocktail Shaker. Beyond just an ordinary cocktail shaker, the idea was to create a multi-functional tool that can be used to help consumers make six different cocktails at home. The body of the shaker includes recipes for the six cocktails, the top acts as juicer and strainer, and the lid doubles as a jigger.

Because of Cointreau’s usability in many cocktails, Rémy decided to deploy the concept for its triple sec liqueur. IMS began working on the project in March 2019. By September 2019, the VAP was in market and proving to be widely popular amongst consumers. The client was very satisfied with the results and wanted to offer the same item in its VAP the following year.

Going Green Without Reinventing the Wheel

As consumers have become more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases and the harmful effect of plastic on people, animals, and the planet, they expect brands to offer products that are eco-friendly and sustainably produced. As a response, Rémy announced a company-wide sustainability initiative to assess all its current and future inventory, then eliminate or reduce the use of plastic as much as possible.

The IMS team conducted a comprehensive review of the materials used in every item that we produce for RCUSA. We analyzed the amount of plastic in each item and investigated how we could eliminate or reduce the plastic content in the packaging for these products, including the popular Cointreau cocktail shaker, which originally had been constructed entirely from plastic.

To meet RCUSA’s new sustainability goals, and continue providing an incredibly successful VAP, IMS helped RCUSA recreate its bestselling VAP using sustainable materials.

The Cointreau Eco-Friendly Multi-Recipe Shaker

IMS took the same design and produced the cocktail shaker with 60% wheat straw, a natural and biodegradable plastic alternative made from a byproduct of wheat production, to significantly reduce the amount of plastic used in the shaker’s VAP.

Maggie Hingtgen, Rémy’s Account Manager at IMS, worked with Cointreau’s trade marketing director for crafted spirit throughout the process. As the day-to-day point of contact, Maggie collaborates with each brand team to pitch ideas, as well as with the IMS production teams and suppliers to bring the sketches and rendering through the development process all the way to the stores.

A Timely VAP That Amplifies Cointreau’s Brand Image

This year, during the COVID lockdown, the concept has become even more timely and relevant as people are eating out less exploring more activities at home, like making craft cocktails.

Meanwhile, RCUSA is increasing its effort to become an environmentally conscious organization and a responsible corporate citizen. As a long-established and well-respected brand that offers high-end liquor with uncompromising quality, Rémy doesn’t just do things fast — it also wants to do them right.

The new shaker design consists of 60% wheat straw and 40% plastic, achieving a 60% reduction in plastic usage. This reformulated design helped Rémy cut 19,332 pounds (9.66 U.S. tons) of plastic consumption and also significantly reduced the energy required in the production process.

The eco-friendly shaker reflects Rémy’s philosophy. Besides using eco-friendly material, it remains a high-quality product that consumers desire. It goes hand-in-hand with the brand’s other environmental and sustainability initiatives while reflecting the company’s approach of putting in the effort to do the right things.

Meanwhile, IMS is continuing to help RCUSA achieve its “zero plastic” goal for its premium promotional materials by designing and producing sustainable products that meet consumer demands. For example, we’re using the same biodegradable wheat straw to create the next VAP for Cointreau — a multi-functional cocktail-tool that includes a zester, strainer, peeler and more, designed specifically for cocktail lovers.

Your Marketing and Sustainability Goals Don’t Have to Be Opposed

IMS has been focused on helping all of our clients achieve their sustainability goals by creating eco-friendly promotional and point of sale products that are on brand and on trend. Our teams are always keeping their eyes out for the latest ideas, and we have the resources in place to make sure that we’re sourcing the sustainable materials that reduce plastic consumption without compromising quality. Contact us today to talk about your marketing, merchandising and sustainability goals.

Article Author: Margaret Hingtgen

Maggie Hingtgen is the Remy Cointreau USA Account Manager at IMS. She has proven to consistently achieve success in the execution of their programs while acting as the key liaison between RCUSA brand teams, creative agencies and internal production players in order to lead and facilitate all phases of client promotions. Maggie is proud to be celebrating her 9th anniversary with IMS in March 2021.