Package design is the most critical marketing lever in the beverage alcohol industry—serving as the main driver of trial and often a sole communication vehicle for the product. However, research has shown a huge disparity between the ability for in-market packages to capture and keep consumer attention, as well as missed opportunities for a pack to support the brand's equity.


Nielsen's Category Design Audit measures the strengths and areas of opportunity for in-market beer/wine/spirits packaging, providing marketers with a robust understanding of how well the pack design is working for the brand - and if a refresh is warranted.

With an amazing influx of new craft beers hitting shelves over the past few years, it's more important than ever for these brands to put their best bottle forward. Which US craft beers are winning the war at shelf—and what lessons can they teach us about creating powerful packaging designs? A new Nielsen study has the answers.

New Designs

The "Opt-In" Offer

Nielsen is offering manufacturers the opportunity to measure the performance of their current designs for a fraction of the price of a typical study. Manufacturers will "opt-in" their own pack(s) to include in the Category Design Audit, which will be evaluated among 500 target consumers, within a competitive context.


What You'll Receive

Results will provide a robust understanding of each pack, as well as competition, for key pack functions—ability to standout in a competitive environment, communicate a differentiated personality, and areas of strength or opportunity.


Example deliverables for illustration only


Strengths & Weaknesses

Relative to my competitors, is my design standing out at shelf?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of my design?

Are there currently unclaimed traits to be owned?

Does my design convey the desired personality traits based on brand association?

How does this offer compare to a standard engagement?


Much less expensive than an independently-commissioned study

Manufacturers can benefit from the participation of their peers—making the investment much less for each participant. Investment is $3,000 per brand per package (reduced rates apply for enrolling competitor packages).


Nielsen will independently manage the inputs

While in an independently-commissioned study, the client determines the competitive set and personality dimensions tested, in this structure Nielsen manages these aspects. We'd still love to hear your input!


The results will be shared with all companies that participate

The results will be shared with all participants, compared to an independently-commissioned study where the results are confidential to the contracting party.

Beer lineup

Take a look at our previous design audits

Want to express interest in an upcoming audit to create package designs that win with consumers in aisle?

Have questions? Contact Jessie Higgins at:


Additional Resources


Learn more about Nielsen Design Solutions