Skyy vodka has only been in the markeplace since February 1992. But San Francisco-based Skyy Spirits Inc. has made plenty of packaging changes in the short time since then. "At every opportunity we've asked ourselves if the package could be improved" says Dan DaDalt vice president and director of marketing. Often the answer has been yes. In fact about the only thing that hasn't changed is the injection-molded polypropylene closure from Kerr (Lancaster PA). The most dramatic change occurred about a year ago when the firm unveiled a cobalt blue glass bottle supplied by Demptos Glass (Louisville KY). Originally a stock flint bottle had been the container of choice. But about a year after Skyy was unveiled management was convinced it needed a more distinctive package. Skyy's unique distillation and filtration processes yield a vodka that's unusually smooth-tasting says the company's president/owner Maurice Kanbar. It's also nearly devoid of "congeners" impurities that can cause hangovers. With such unusual attributes the vodka was switched to a custom bottle to underscore the product's uniqueness and make it really stand out from the competition. Blue was chosen for its distinctiveness and because it nicely complements the brand name as in "sky blue." But even before arriving at the current package Skyy was making packaging changes. The first was in the original label applied to the flint bottle. Initially it was a foil/paper lamination. But Skyy experienced problems with the glue-applied label not drying quickly enough. The problem was solved by switching to a metallized paper label. More label modifications occurred when the cobalt blue bottle entered the picture as the glue-applied label gave way to a pressure-sensitive label perceived to be of higher quality. A short time later an adhesive lamination of clear polypropylene was added to protect the label from scuffing and that remains the label in use today. Supplied by Epsen Hillmer Graphics (Omaha NE) it's a 51# metallized paper printed rotary letterpress in two colors and laminated in-line to a 1-mil PP. Back labels get one extra color for the UPC code.