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Pop Goes the Popcorn - the Pop-Up Popcorn Bowl

Anton Steeman

January 30, 2014

3 Min Read
Pop Goes the Popcorn - the Pop-Up Popcorn Bowl

Popcorn is typically packed in a bag which is partially folded to enables it to inflate, as a result of steam pressure from the heated kernels, when placed in a microwave.

It is an area where innovation is almost unknown, although recently McCain introduced its McCain Popcorn Potatoes intended for microwave preparation, packed in a heat-sealable, 48-gauge polyethylene terephthalate (PET)/ink/pattern adhesive/25-lb paper/adhesive/pattern susceptor/heat-sealable, 48-gauge PET lamination, converted by Graphic Packaging to create the first cook-in package of its kind with eight-color printing and a lap seal. The structure of the cook-in package features a patterned QuiltWave lamination as well as a metallised susceptor grid tuned to the potato product to ensure perfect heating and browning in the microwave without scorching the packaging material.

The problem with ‘popcorn bags’ is that the consumer still has to transfer that heated all buttery, salty snack onto a separate serving dish for consumption.

UK retailer Marks & Spencer invited design students to explore the field of children’s packaging. Furthermore, the design had to take into account the environmental impact of packaging and child safety, and still be functional both for the consumer and for the producer and retailer.

The result was an ingenious popcorn pack, designed by Anni Nykänen, a student at the Lahti Institute of Design in Finland.

The design has visual impact which is heightened by the transformation of the pack shape as the contents are heated in the microwave and expand. The concept utilises the cardboard (Korsnäs White) characteristics of strength and formability, plus the ability to have direct contact with the food contents because of the purity of the board. The space saving design provides for efficient transportation and distribution (environmental considerations) combined with effective use of shelf space and an appealing concept for young consumers to try it.

A beautiful sculptural concept whereby the designer has something so mundane and lacking innovation reinvented into an object of beauty that one could even serve straight out of the package. That’s right. The Pop-Up Popcorn Bowl transforms itself automatically into a nice four-legged bowl when the popcorn is ready to be served, after being a small package which holds the kernels.

Apparently the Lahti Institute of Design in Finland creates a bunch of promising design students as it submitted 45 entries and walked away with 28 awards.
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About 10 percent of the packaging in stores serves no useful purpose. It doesn’t protect the product. It doesn’t improve the customer experience. It doesn’t do anything. It’s only in there because no one engineered it out.
The traditional paradigm of focusing solely on physical prototypes no longer makes sense. It’s a very expensive and time-consuming process and it isn’t the best way to determine if a product is fit for use. The answer is …. read the full article "Virtual Design Takes off at Procter & Gamble."

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