Unpacking Santa’s holiday mixers giftpack

Giftpack bus of holiday cocktail mixers is decked out with an impressive amount of packaging design details.


Giftpacks appear annually on store shelves all decked out in classy, festive or other appropriate attention-getting holiday designs in the weeks ahead of December 25.

Limited-edition packaging can be found everywhere; last week we reported on a remarkable giftpack found at Target (see Unpacking Jim Beam’s remarkable gift-pack sampler), but this week’s discovery was a little more atypical: It was found on end-cap display in the grocery section at Menard’s, a Midwest-based home improvement chain.

While Jim Beam’s design was tasteful, Santa’s Hang Loose Holiday Cocktail Mixers is decidedly playful. The package is a jazzed-up-for-the-holidays 6-count multipack of nonalcohol mixers designed as a party bus in both graphics and shape, all driven by a strong California beach vibe that’s underscored by a printed Santa character hanging ten on a surfboard while wearing Hawaiian shorts on the main front panel that has a wood-panel look. There’s also an antlered shark with a gift-wrapped surfboard.

I reached out via phone to the brand, Modern Gourmet Foods, Irvine, CA, but it was unresponsive. Plan B was to unpack this one in DIY fashion and let the visuals help tell the story.

Woody bus details

The rest of the theme-supporting design elements include…

  • A single, transparent film backs three cutout windows in the box display the six cocktail mixer bottles;
  • Inside are six 70mL bottles with on-point labels: Feliz Navidad Margarita; Mistletoe Mojito; Blue Hawaiian Holiday; Merry Mai Tai; Christmas Caipirinha; and Polar Pina Colada;
  • Six cutout microflute surfboards each with a different design schemes that rise above the bus top are perfectly matched in design to each bottle’s label;
  • Side front and back panels are strung with printed Christmas lights long the top and a second string appears on front and back;
  • The front of the bus has headlights, windshield, Christmas tree and red bow;
  • The bus’s back is printed with a Good Vibes window “sticker” and hand symbol;
  • The wheels are three dimensional, the microflute corrugated board printed with wheels is strengthened with a pack-wide foam roller so that the bus rests on the wheel base;
  • The bus is 13 inches long, a little more than 2 inches wide and measures 5 inches from wheels to the roof; the surfboards add another 2 inches to the height.

Another impressive aspect is that the entire packaging is made from a one piece of printed microflute corrugated that’s folded and sealed in several places with pressure-sensitive tape.

All-in-all, it was a gift-worthy packaging design.

As my holiday shopping continued I found two additional products in a similar vein in the brand’s Christmas giftpack line that are shown below.


The Cocoa Express based at the North Pole Station was found at Penney’s; it offers four powdered hot-chocolate variations: Milk Chocolate, Salted Caramel,Peppermint and Gingerbread flavors.


I first came across the Sound the Alarm hot sauce 6-count giftpack at Bed, Bath and Beyond and subsequently at Penney’s in the same display as the Cocoa Express that also included the Santa bus. The firehouse-themed multipack delivers 3oz bottles of Ignite, Blaze, Smoke Eater, Raging Inferno (aka Green, Orange, Habanero, Smoke, Garlic and Red) hot sauces. Surprisingly, there’s a 7-pack available, too.