March 19 2024  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Monkey Shoulder takes on new slimmed-down look

By Hibah Noor

Breaking category conventions: Monkey Shoulder introduces a distinctive new look 

William Grant & Sons’ Monkey Shoulder whisky has revealed a fresh new look and feel.

The refresh is the first major change to the brand’s hero bottle since it started shaking up the traditional whisky category in 2005. The changes include a new-look label and a lighter bottle which will be available in global travel retail, supported by activations in key airports including London Heathrow, Paris CDG and Dubai, from mid-2024.

The popular Monkey Shoulder Scotch whisky remains one of the fastest growing premium whisky brands in the world, with double-digit value and volume growth from 2022 to 2023. According to the brand – which is made for mixing – the new bottle design is a continuation of its breaking category conventions, with its new look more than just a glass reduction.

The refresh includes a longer neck for an easier pour, for both bartenders and consumers making whisky cocktails at home. The label design has been optimized for maximum impact, moving to a split label design delivering premium cues to match the award-winning liquid.

The size of the brand logo has been increased, to improve shelf appeal and stand-out on the back bar, in store and online. Monkey Shoulder’s distinctive brand asset, its ‘three monkeys’ icon, claims pride of place on the new label, with the ‘three monkeys’ badge maintaining its position on the new design, and the debossed three monkeys on the wooden cork for a premium feel.

The innovations to the design were optimized with an AI-powered visual analysis to test key features and label viewability, alongside rigorous consumer testing. The result is a new look bottle and label that “not only maintains its premium cues and distinctiveness, but improves recognition, ease of comprehension and visual appeal to both fans and potential new drinkers of the brand”.

The liquid inside the bold new bottles remains the same. Made with single malt whiskies from the Speyside region, selected in small batches then married together, Monkey Shoulder Original Malt Whisky offers a rich, smooth and fruity flavor.

Ifan Jenkins, Global Brand Director at Monkey Shoulder, said, “This is the perfect time for a packaging refresh for Monkey Shoulder. With strong growth momentum and ambitions across the globe in key markets such as the US, UK, France, Australia, Nigeria, Poland, and Taiwan, among others, now is the time to push forward with an innovative look and feel. With this refreshed look, we intend to continue recruiting a new generation of whisky drinkers and further inspire people to discover Monkey Shoulder as the perfect spirit for cocktails. The redesign is also the first in a series of bold moves for Monkey, with it being part of an exciting new refresh to our entire brand visual identity and communications platform, which will be launching in 2024.”

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