Curvaceous glass bottles are provided by O-I (www.o-i.com) via a blow-and-blow method. Both 11”H bottles hold 750 mL, with one clear glass bottle showing the deep-red, 60-proof raspberry-flavored Jekyll, the other revealing the black, 80-proof Hyde, a black molasses-tasting product. When a bartender pours each into a shot glass, Hyde floats on top of Jekyll due to differing product viscosities and the amount of sugar in each. It creates a unique-looking and tasting product. A shot sells for $2.50 to $6, depending on the establishment.
Jekyll & Hyde was developed by Long Tail Libations, Inc., an Anheuser-Busch subsidiary created last September. “It’s a good way for us to be able to work in different places and do different things than we are traditionally organized to do at A-B,” says Mic Zavarella, director of innovation at Long Tail Libations.
Designed for on-premise sales, “the bottles are made specifically so you can ‘nest’ them on a back bar so consumers can see them. The glass highlights and accentuates the product. When the bottles are together, you’ve got one whole with a billboard effect from the label,” he says. Spear (www.spearlabel.com) supplies the plastic labels, printing them in seven colors. “The Jekyll label shows a more austere, calm, serene-looking individual compared with the darker Hyde portion with a top hat and a little different countenance,” says Zavarella. Topping the bottles are screw-top aluminum closures from Alcoa (www.alcoa.com).
Although further packaging specifications were not revealed, Long Tail Libations reports that the products are filled by United States Distilled Products (www.usdp.com).
“We had to work with them a little on applying the label because it is a different-shaped label on a different-shaped bottle,” Zavarella says. “We wanted to get each label as far towards that inner margin [where the bottles meet] as we could. We did some work on [an existing labeler’s] change parts, but nothing significant. I know the modifications weren’t terribly costly.”
Jekyll & Hyde test markets have expanded since its initial launch. It is now sold in Orlando, FL, Columbia, MO, Denver, CO, Las Vegas, NV, Fort Myers, FL, Carbondale, IL, Champaign, IL, Lake Tahoe, NV, Steamboat Springs, CO, and a small area in New Jersey.
“We wanted the package to help the brand stand out on the back bar,” says Zavarella. “We used a great deal of bartender input as we developed the product. The size of the package, the length of the neck, and things like that we’re all heavily influenced by feedback we got from the bartenders in our effort to increase the bottle’s functionality.
“The functionality is when you’re serving a [drink] like that, you’ve got to make sure you can get your hands around it, and it’s easy to pour,” says Zavarella. “It’s got a longer neck that helps the bartenders get it down into an ice chest to keep it cold. You can drink it cold or in any manner,” he notes.
“It also helps to sell the product to consumers who see it behind the bar,” Zavarella continues. “If the bartenders think it’s neat, they’ll talk to people about it. The visual impact of the packaged product is what really helps get the brand noticed. The whole thing behind Jekyll and Hyde is to give consumers fun and variety with a different product.”