In 2012 we have seen several dual-chamber bottle designs and other attempts to please the consumer on-the-go with two related products which have to be kept separately till the moment of consumption. More often than not that ended up in complicated bottle constructions and consequently a higher price for the bottle.
See my article: “Dual-Chamber Bottles”
To illustrate my point I ask your attention to the ball shaped PET-bottle from Emergent Technologies and Plastic Technologies. It is a two-compartment PET container, in which the larger, top compartment holds the liquid, while the bottom holds the snack item. Additionally, both can be used for dry products and/or non-food items.
The second or bottom compartment is created by drawing the base upwards which forms a small cavity into which a heat-sealed portion cup, containing solid, granular or powdered products, can be inserted and held by friction. The base opening can then be closed using a variety of heat-seal or pressure-sensitive materials or methods. The top compartment relies on a traditional finish and closure.
It looks as a simple solution. But in reality it is complicated to manufacture. Read more in my article: “Two-Compartment PET-bottle”.
The alternative solution of course is the stacking of containers to create a dual-product offering. And I am of course not talking about the simple shrink sleeve to create a promotion of two products for the price of one. What I am talking about is an offering of two products, which belong together creating one consumer product or which are an addition to each other, enhancing the consuming experience.
One of the first was Italy’s Barilla in 2006 with its Pasta Barilla sauces in a shapely new twin-pack of two, stacked glass jars bundled in a PETG shrink sleeve.
This was followed by the introduction of the dual-plastic cup with its easy-fit insert. The crystal clear PET cups and its flat or domed lids create an easy grab and go package. Designed to aid fresh or even processed food packaging applications, the Cup Insert is ideal for use with multi-ingredient pairings such as yogurt and granola parfaits, fruit or veggies with dip, green salads and much more.
Recently we have seen the stacked PET-cup for wine. Attracting new consumers is crucial for winemakers, and so the ubiquitous 750-ml glass wine bottle got competition from new types of packaging primarily intended to make wine more accessible to new consumer groups.
In 2010 French Château Roubine introduced a foil-sealed 175ml single-serve ready-to-drink PET-glass manufactured by 1/4 Vin in France, providing a similar appreciation of the wine flavour as with a classical glass. (For more about the Château Roubine wine glass read my article: “Wine in a Ready-to-Drink Glass”.
Enlarging the idea of the single-serve ready-to-drink PET-glass for wine, Stacked Wines LLC., launched in March 2012 a wine packaging, which comprises four interlocking, stackable stemless PET wine glasses bundled in a shrink-sleeve label. The design looks, wrapped in its shrink sleeve, like a standard 750 ml bottle of wine separated into four stemless wine containers made from plastic.
Central to Stacked Wines concept is the Vinoware technology, which combines packaging constructed of oxygen-barrier PET, with a filling and sealing process that eliminates oxygen from the package headspace and ensures a vacuum seal, enabling a 12- to 14-month shelf life.
Each container is engineered on top and bottom to snap “like a Lego” into another Stacked wine glass. The 187 ml glasses are sealed with an aluminium composite lidding material, while four containers are snapped together for one product unit. The four-pack is unitized with a perforated PET shrink-sleeve label.
It is a clever design and with some imagination you can see endless possibilities and combinations. Imagine 2 white and 2 red wines, 3 wines and one cup with a snack, any combination of still beverages with one or more snacks. As I say the combination possibilities are endless. There only is one problem. The 4-pack has to be wrapped in a full-shrink-sleeve. This might give attractive printing options, but blinds the view upon the products and increases the costs.
BTC Concept in Paris/France created the solution: Sleeveless stacking of PET-bottles. And not only that, they enhanced the marketing options.
With its BottleClips, BTC Concept invented an innovative system that makes small bottles look big. With one simple twist of the hand, bottles get stacked and interlocked to become a one and unique packaging.
The concept is responding to the new consumption patterns: mix beverages with snacks, customization. The BottleClips are suitable for beverages and for many other applications, they allow for the assembly of products, multi-brand or multi-flavours without a secondary packaging.
The bottles connect and disconnect to infinity, to be mixed, shared or exchanged.
The major innovation at the heart of BottleClips is the clipping system, which is integrated into the bottles by the injection blow-moulding process of PET, PE, or PP.
BTC developed its prototypes with reference to a 500 ml volume to match a combination of three bottles with the height of a 1.5 litre classic bottle. The company claims that the system is declinable to containers the volume of which can be up to 1 liter with customizable shapes (identical or not). At a similar cost to conventional bottles of the same volume, BottleClips can be implemented on a standard production line, with specific developed moulds, according to BTC Concept.
The preform of a non-carbonated 500 ml BottleClip weighs 24 gr, but BTC’s objective is to go below 20 gr and to blow-mould in BioPET.
I am sure that we will see more innovations and design for dual-product packaging in the near future. It is becoming too interesting a market to be ignored by the beverage and snack manufacturers.