Notwithstanding the growing importance of cylindrical shaped aluminium cans, stand-up pouches with all types of fitments and rectangular Tetra Pak-like paperboard boxes, the most common packaging for beverages in the present world is the glass or plastic (mostly PET) bottle of various sizes and shapes, but always cylindrical and narrowing at the top to form an orifice from which the beverage can be drunk or poured.
All these types of beverage containers have certain positive and negative aspects. But all have the same problem with respect to the supply chain. Cylindrical containers prevent optimal use of the freight volume during transportation. This means that large volumes of space around the bottles and around the neck and shoulder go unused.
Design creativity never failed the beverage industry, but seldom led to an efficient and optimal use of transport and storage facilities in the supply chain or even an optimal use of the available space on the shelves in the supermarket aisles.
To optimize the mentioned facilities a beverage bottle (or packaging in general) should be a rectangular cuboid (six rectangular faces), also called a rectangular hexahedron, or rectangular parallelepiped. And that’s exactly what Cubis, a Cyprian company in cooperation with the Swedish design studio ‘Love for Art and Business’ came up with.
According to the website, Cubis Ltd is a team of engineers, designers and marketers committed to rethinking the beverage packaging industry through innovation and forward-thinking. Well, you can say, that they succeeded with the introduction of the Cubis plastic bottle.
The patented Cubis container is based on a square box shape and has a flip-top cap mounted in the upper corner. The result is a stackable and user-friendly container with a unique and exclusive look.
Albeit using environmentally friendly recycled material, and constantly evaluating new materials and recycling solutions, the biggest benefits for the environment probably comes from the fact that Cubis is more efficient in the supply chain, as three 25 cl Cubis containers stacked on top of each other occupy about the same space as a single conventional 50 cl PET bottle.
This translates in twice as many bottles on the shelf, so that retailers will benefit from a substantial increase in shelf value. For transportation it means one truckload instead of two and that reduces the o-so important CO2 emissions.
The Cubis beverage concept is protected by several international patents and design registrations, while, according to the company, licensing rights are offered to beverage producers and packaging manufacturers.
According to the company market studies show a strong acceptance in all age groups and exclusively positive response from ages 10 to 20.
The Cubis containers can run on the existing filling, capping, labelling and packaging machinery, although some adaptations are to be made. The Cyprian company also settled for a cooperation with Formteknik Verktygs AB for the development of manufacturing tools and with Minab Pac, both in Sweden, for new filling machinery or adaptations of existing filling lines.
Conclusion: Cubis is an amazing packaging design concept. It is a stackable, flip-top plastic beverage container, usable with one hand, even by a toddler. Because of its cube shape, the Cubis increases shelf value by allowing far more product to be displayed in the same space.
The high volume efficiency of the cubed containers substantially reduces costs as well as carbon emissions by better space utilization during transportation and storage. Additional environmental benefits are gained from using readily recyclable plastic materials, like HDPE and PP, while the company states that development is ongoing for the use of renewable materials. And finally it can serve as a powerful marketing platform for the introduction of new brands and products.