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Tequila details push premium perception

Presentation positions Trago squarely within the ultra-premium tequila category.

Pw 8654 Web Trago

Chris Condon, chairman and CEO of Trago Intl., San Juan Capistrano, CA, took the high road to differentiate a three-product line of ultra-premium tequilas launched late last year.

“We wanted to create a luxury tequila,” he says. “We’ve filled some of the best ‘juice’ in the world into some of the nicest packaging. These gorgeous, modern-looking square bottles have timeless features.”

The three varieties of Trago— anejo, silver, and reposado—are filled in heavy, thicker-than-usual 750-mL glass bottles that present a slender rectangular shape with sharply beveled shoulders. An angled overcap color-matched to the variety—metallic blue, silver, or gold—fits tightly over the top. The glass base is also tinted with those same product-specific colors, though silver is clear. Condon declines to identify the package vendors, saying only that the custom bottles, like the product, are sourced in Mexico. Trago sells for $40 to $60, depending on the product.

As with many upscale designs, Trago uses graphics sparingly to create a classy, understated look. The decoration on the bottle front artistically depicts agave plant leaves; Trago is made of 100% Webber blue agave tequila. According to Condon, the decoration is a uncommon "burn-on of chrome on color," though further details were unavailable. Condon credits the package design work done in-house to Jimmy Esker.

Introduced in November 2006, Trago 750s will be joined in June by a trio of 50-mL size glass “minis” that duplicate their larger brethren.

Overt overcap

Solid and heavy-weighted, the metallized overcap—injection molded likely of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)—was intended to look like the top of a wrapped gift box. As a result, the 50-mL mini closely resembles a perfume bottle, and was mistaken as such by staff at Packaging World's editorial offices.

When the overcap is removed it reveals a tamper-evident cork on the 750s and a TE black plastic screw-cap closure on the minis. The overcap was one of the main package challenges, Condon says: Tolerances that permitted a tight fit atop the bottle, yet not so tight as to dislodge the cork on the 750. In another attention to upscale detail, agave leaves are engraved on the cork.

Condon feels that the costs associated with a heavy bottle are offset by its cube efficiency in shipping and on display on-premise or off. Two of its large bottles fit into the space of one bottle of Patrón, a major competitor, he says. The slanted shape also makes it easier to pour from, Condon adds.

Besides expanding the product placement into hotel minibars and other markets, minis serve as an economical sampler sent to sales, distributors, and the media, Condon explains. The minis can also be used as trial-size add-on to one of the other flavors of 750s, such as an anejo mini paired with the silver 750 mL.

“The response since the launch has been absolutely amazing,” says Condon.

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