As a relatively recent entrant to the ranks of grand champagne houses, Champagne Jacquart brings a modern touch to this venerable art. Its new packaging employs a sophisticated mosaic theme to reflect its pattern of vineyards and the various stages of champagne production.
- We tested at least 10 different cartonboards. We tried all the best cartonboard on the market, and it was with BillerudKorsnäs White that we had the best results. The other parameter that was very important for Jacquart was the whiteness. This cartonboard had a whiteness that pleased the champagne house and had the right chalky white quality.”
Product Manager at Jaquart
“We are young, audacious and passionate about what we do,” says Alexandra Miclet, Jacquart’s product manager. This passion is reflected in Jacquart’s drive to take its smart but conventional bicolour packaging into new territory, and into its new headquarters in the Hôtel de Brimont, a 19th-century mansion in central Reims. “We’ve reconsidered the whole of the brand to give it a new impetus while maintaining Jacquart’s image of modernity and daring,” say Miclet. She explains, for example, that although the Hôtel de Brimont is historic, “the interior decoration is very contemporary”.
Three years ago, in a deliberate bid to go upmarket and meet new export markets, Jacquart engaged Paris-based design agency People from Design to help rethink the Jacquart brand image. The agency came up with an idea for new boxes that reflected both the mosaic frieze on the facade of Jacquart’s former headquarters, depicting the various stages of champagne production, and Jacquart’s mosaic of vineyards, as well as the expertise behind blending the grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir) that go into making champagne. From the very first drawing the agency presented, Miclet was hooked. “It was really something that hadn’t been seen before for champagne,” she recalls.
The design involves a sophisticated grid that varies white and coloured squares, matt, gloss and metallic finishes, and positive and negative embossing. Each cuvée in the Mosaïque range has a distinct colour scheme – warm brown for the classic Brut, pink for the Rosé and silvery grey for the Extra Brut, the driest variety, which has a very low sugar content. A recurring colour is “Chardonnay green”, named for the dominant grape in champagne. The design also gives a new visibility to the Jacquart logo, the allegorical figure of Renown astride a winged Pegasus, taken from a statue in the Tuileries Garden in Paris. In addition, Jacquart wanted a pure white cartonboard to reflect both modernity and the chalk bedrock so specific to the champagne region of France, where cellars have been dug into the chalk for centuries. “We are a brand that originates from the vineyards, the wine growers,” explains Miclet. “The white aspect stands for the chalk of the champagne area. It was essential for us that the cartonboard was really white everywhere, including the cut edges one can see on the sides. The idea is that it is a bit like a block of chalk.”
To meet the challenges of the relief, embossing and requisite rigidity of the new boxes, Miclet turned to TPG Packaging. Situated in Malville in the west of France, TPG is a specialist in packaging champagne and spirits. Although the new design looked simple – sleek, modern, colourful and cheerful – technically it took all of TPG’s savoir faire, explains TPG sales manager Osvaldo Valente Pires. The cardboard had to be able to withstand a substantial degree of deformation without breaking, while the complex process of printing, embossing, varnishing and cutting required great precision and perfect registration. “To be honest, we weren’t sure we’d succeed at first,” he says. “We tested at least 10 different cartonboards. We tried all the best cartonboard on the market, and it was with BillerudKorsnäs White that we had the best results. The other parameter that was very important for Jacquart was the whiteness. This cartonboard had a whiteness that pleased the champagne house and had the right chalky white quality.” And, he adds, he was also satisfied with its structure. “It’s not so much a question of thickness as the structure and composition of the cartonboard and how the fibres react,” he says. “The BillerudKorsnäs White has an interesting internal structure, and the outer layers are smooth enough to support the coating.”
During the project, Christophe Delrive, end-use manager at BillerudKorsnäs for France, Belgium and Spain, provided technical support to help develop the packaging in collaboration with the teams at TPG and Jacquart. “I truly welcome the final result,” he says. “TPG Packaging, BillerudKorsnäs and Champagne Jacquart have created a fantastic luxury drink pack that shows the capacity of our cartonboard.”
The result? Bright white boxes with a play of colours and a swirl of mosaics – or dare one say fizz? All are initially manufactured for standard 75cl bottles, although Jacquart will also be launching a magnum size. “What we wanted to get across is the idea of a house that is daring and a little bit offbeat,” says Miclet. “Contemporary, fresh and, above all, elegant.” Festive, too – like the champagne itself.