The most expensive filled chocolate in the world was not the longest, but an item packaged in 18-karat gold and a diamond. Photo: Schokoladenquelle, Andreas Eybel

The most expensive filled chocolate in the world was not the longest, but an item packaged in 18-karat gold and a diamond. The special feature of this EUR 300,000 chocolate is the bottom of the packaging: it can be worn as a ring. Photo: Schokoladenquelle, Andreas Eybel

Only the best

The world of luxury packaging

After all, it should be a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. Or in other words, the packaging really matters. And this age-old requirement applies particularly to any premium packaging for luxury items. Unlike other types of packaging, it’s all right to have a bit of a sparkle, or indeed some brilliant colours and embossing, a special shine, holograms and other special surface effects that are lovely to touch and to look at.
The most important criteria in the luxury packaging segment are quality and elegance. Photo: Bollinger Spectre Crystal Set 007 @ Bollinger

Fancy an extravagant case for a bottle of champagne? Or some fragrant paper packaging? Or an exquisite magnetic closure? The most important criteria in the luxury packaging segment are quality and elegance. Photo: Bollinger Spectre Crystal Set 007 @ Bollinger

What’s the price of the world?

And so customers are quite happy to spend a bit more than usual. According to the market research company Smithers Pira, worldwide sales in the luxury packaging segment reached nearly US$15 billion in 2015 – a tendency which is still rising. In fact, the latest report forecasts further growth, averaging 4.4%, and indeed well into 2019. This increase is mainly due to growing sales on the East Asian and Latin American markets. Premium packaging is set to become particularly important for a number of consumer goods: confectionery, gourmet food, premium alcohol, tobacco products, bodycare products, perfumes, watches and jewellery.
Department stores are full of high-quality packaging in the run-up to Christmas. hoto: http://www.foodbev.com/news/these-harrods-christmas-hampers-are-simply-mouth-watering/

Department stores are full of high-quality packaging in the run-up to Christmas – for instance at Harrod’ s. Photo: http://www.foodbev.com/news/these-harrods-christmas-hampers-are-simply-mouth-watering/

There can be no doubt that luxury packaging generates higher sales than mass packaging. At the same time, however, it requires more expensive materials and finishing techniques while also having to satisfy some very high standards demanded by customers. Furthermore, premium packaging manufacturers are faced with the increasing importance of forge-proofing their products as well as digital printing, custom decorations and a growing online market.
Photo: Veuve Cliquot, http://www.ilmaestrale.net/lifestyle/food-and-wine/331-veuve-clicquot-arrow-lo-champagne-va-in-viaggio

Experts reckon that the luxury packaging segment will continue to grow by around 4.4% until well into 2019. Photo: Veuve Cliquot, http://www.ilmaestrale.net/lifestyle/food-and-wine/331-veuve-clicquot-arrow-lo-champagne-va-in-viaggio

Sustainable and forge-proof

Luxury packaging, too, needs to meet the customer’s preference for sustainability. The materials that are currently used most frequently in this segment are paper and cardboard. Other sought-after raw materials are glass, metal, plastic, textiles, leather and wood. Manufacturers are increasingly using recyclable materials, while also ensuring, even at the production stage, that the weight is kept as low as possible.
Perfect examples of luxury packaging: perfume bottles. Photo: Chloé

Perfect examples of luxury packaging: perfume bottles. Photo: Chloé

Another major issue in this segment is counterfeit protection. If the word gets around that counterfeit products are being sold, this can do significant damage to the brand as a whole. However, the luxury goods market is rather sensitive, and so many manufacturers want to avoid obvious markings such as QR codes, as a monotonous barcode is not exactly very graceful. The problem can, however, be solved by using unobtrusive RFID systems or decorative holograms.
The luxury packaging market keeps growing, with a particularly steady rise in demand in East Asia and Latin America. Photo: Tiffany

The luxury packaging market keeps growing, with a particularly steady rise in demand in East Asia and Latin America. Photo: Tiffany

Chocolates and liqueur in deluxe packaging

It has been just over four years now since a Russian citizen commissioned the most expensive filled chocolate in the world. To reduce the impact of any possible transport damage, the Bavarian confectioner Andreas Eybel eventually created five copies of the item. The culinary little gems were packaged in 18-karat gold, each decorated with a diamond which, alone, was worth around EUR 300,000. The diamond could be detached from the bottom of the luxury package and worn as a ring. Similarly, at D’Amalfi Limoncello Supreme, it is the packaging that determines the price of the product, and not the content: each of the two bottles cost EUR 34 million, studded with three 13-carat diamonds and one 18.5-carat diamond.
Diamonds are the girls best friends. Foto: http://stuarthughes.com/shop/luxury-liquor/d-amalfi-limoncello-supreme/

Studded with three 13-carat diamonds and one 18.5-carat diamond, the most expensive bottle of the most costly liqueur in the world was made by D’Amalfi Limoncello Supreme and sold for EUR 34 million. Photo: http://stuarthughes.com/shop/luxury-liquor/d-amalfi-limoncello-supreme/

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