IWSC unveils the winners of the Contemporary Design, Eco-friendly packaging, and Gift pack categories for its 2022 Design Awards

IWSC news

Wed 31 Aug 2022

Following the recent judging of our 2022 Design Awards, the IWSC is delighted to share the winners of this year’s awards, as well as the designs which were highly commended by our panel of judges.

This year, these awards were sponsored by Absolute. Helen Stephens from Absolute joined our judging panel, together with Danielle Jack, Product Development Manager at Tesco, James Fleming, Creative Director at Gigantic Creative, and Enrique Gomez, Group Bar Manager for Sticks 'n' Sushi.

Entrants were judged from across six categories:

  • Contemporary design
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Gift pack
  • Limited edition
  • Redesign/rebrand
  • Traditional design

Discover the winners and highly commended entrants for our Contemporary Design, Eco-friendly packaging and Gift pack categories below.

You can view the winners of our Limited edition, Redesign/rebrand and Traditional design categories here.

Contemporary design

The Contemporary design category received the greatest number of entries and was the one our judges took the longest to make their decisions on. With a huge variety of bottles to consider, including wines, spirits, RTDs and low and no alcohol entrants, there was a lot of discussion and deliberation before judges were able to agree on their favourite designs. For this category, the judges were looking for designs that were understated, but with something that just catches your eye. From the hundreds and hundreds of entries, the winners were the ones they kept going back to. While the overall winner was unanimous, agreeing the highly commended took a bit of debate…

Winner: Wire Works First Release Single Malt English Whisky, White Peak Distillery

The packaging for the Wire Works Whisky really sold the judges on the history and heritage of the White Peak Distillery. Located in an old wire works, the story of the distillery is all over this bottle and its packaging. From the technical drawings on the cardboard packaging, to the twisted wire design on the glass bottle. References to the wire works industry are all over the bottle and our judges loved it.

Highly commended: Ukiyo Japanese Blossom Gin

Praised for its beautiful bottle, one of our judges admitted after was shortlisted, that she had already bought this before judging as she wanted it on her shelf. The judges described the bottle as having a beautiful pearlescence to it, with a real sensitivity without being too soft, it reminded our judges of the inside of a seashell. The foil wrap has been done so elegantly and minimally, they felt it really transported you to an orchard filled with Japanese blossom trees.

Highly commended: Chipper's Cherry Wood Old Fashioned

This is a bit disruptive in its category, while the design isn’t particularly ground-breaking, it’s confident in its simplicity and its cuteness can’t be ignored! The design is well thought out and with so many people loving old fashioned, creating one where the serve size has been considered so well is novel. The judges also loved the wooden label paper stock, making it an incredibly tactile product.

Highly commended: 2021 Offshore Rosé

This rosé label design was praised for being elegant and well thought out, as well as being striking on shelf. Compared to the category, this design is going in a different direction from where most rosé seems to be going. The judges loved the surfery blue stripes on the capsule and felt they could already see the bottle working on a supermarket shelf or in a restaurant served from a cool blue ice bucket. They could also envisage the brand extensions as well. A strong and refreshing rosé wine bottle design.

Highly commended: Savoia Americano Rosso

The judges felt this was a beautiful, playful and interesting bottle design. Turn it on its side and you have an entirely different view – they loved the cocktail serve on the back and commented on the positioning of the label as a nice point of difference. They felt the glassware itself was gorgeous and described it as something that looked like it had fallen straight out of Milan! The typography on the label was approved of and the design, with its limited colour palate was described as confident.


Eco-friendly packaging

This was one of the categories our judges were most looking forward to judging. Given the volume of talk within the trade around brands improving their environmental credentials, the judges felt the entrants for the Eco-friendly packaging category were disappointingly small. However, there was still a lot of debate surrounding this category, particularly around what truly sustainable products involve and what part of the process the eco element of packaging impacts. Recycled glass in instances can take more energy to make that a lower carbon footprint virgin glass.

For the majority of entrants received, they all had pros as well as cons. One judge highlighted, she was looking for recyclability and reduction in post-consumer waste as key drivers. In this instance, wooden stoppers which always end up in landfill as they can’t be recycled shouldn’t always be considered an eco-friendly alternative, despite being a natural material.

Despite the debate, there was one standout winner in this category.

Winner: Pulpoloco Smooth Red Sangria, Global Wine & Food Trade

This packaging boldly uses minimum amount of packaging to maximum effect and as a result was the clear winner.

Highly commended: Black Gin & London Dry Style Gin, Antidote Distilling Co.

The judges highly commended these bottles as a strong entrant, utilising recycled glass bottles.


Gift pack

Another popular category but one our judges felt they had a unanimous direction on. They were looking for quality packaging that elevated the bottle from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Winner: Selezione Bortolo Nardini Single Cask 22 YO Grappa Riserva

The joinery on the gift box for this product elevated it above other gift packs. Our judges really felt that while other gift packs made the bottles feel more special, this Single Cask Grappa was in a league of its own. You would struggle to get rid of the packaging after the bottle was empty. The design exhibits real quality and restraint.

Highly commended: Coastal Stone Element Series Bourbon Cask Australian Single Malt Whisky

The combination of the round gift tin, the stone topper on the bottle and the textured label made this gift feel quite special and something that our judges felt they would be delighted to gift or be gifted.

Highly commended: 44°N

The more our judges considered this packaging the more they appreciated it. They loved the combination of the sailing references and the perfume bottle shape and felt this gift would be well placed on a super yacht. The dual colour of the gift packaging was bold and the way the gift box opens hadn’t been seen before by our judges and was much commented on and approved of.

Highly commended:Glenfiddich 21-Year-Old

There’s something quite magical about this gift packaging, the reveal on the bottle is like a magic bookcase, the idea of revolving doors is amazing. So prestigious. The feeling is quite festive, so striking on shelf and there are clear differences between the different age demarcations. The glasses are a nice addition too.

You can view the winners of our Limited edition, Redesign/rebrand and Traditional design categories here.

Congratulations to all our Design Award winners and highly commended entrants.

Thank you to Absolute for sponsoring these awards.