The debut "idea-to-mold" collaboration between R&D/Leverage and Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE:DPS), the market leader in the flavored carbonated soft drinks category, has resulted in a powerful design for its 20-ounce "Legacy" bottle, Christopher Yows, Leverage's Business Unit Manager said here today. The initial assignment began with a comprehensive battery of upfront consumer research components and resulted in a brand-building -- and efficiently manufactured -- package that enhanced both visual and tactile design elements critical to the retail success of hand-held sizes such as the 20-ounce package.
The new Legacy bottle will be used for many of DPS's flavor brands, including 7UP, Sunkist soda, Canada Dry, Sun Drop, Squirt and other soft drinks in the company's portfolio that do not have their own brand-specific bottle designs. The bottle will be widely available at retail outlets beginning this month.
DPS's Director of Packaging, Robin Utay, said that the success of an important single-serve beverage package involves much more than aesthetic considerations alone.
"Our packages have to pass muster with consumers and with internal constituents - they must look good on the shelf, and they must run efficiently in all our manufacturing locations and work in vending machines," Utay said. "That's why the alignment between R&D/Leverage and our teams was so important. The 20 oz. size is central to our efforts to grow our business in single-serve formats across our flavor portfolio, so it's got to be perfect, in many ways."
The entire process, including all up-front consumer work, was conducted on an accelerated timetable, according to Tamara Christensen, Leverage's Director of Research. "This was a 28-week process that included comprehensive qualitative and quantitative consumer validation - everything, including consumer shopalongs," Christensen said.
"With a single-serve package, the tactile aspect of the package is as important as the visual cues, such as shapes, graphics, label size and placement. It has to look good, and feel good in the consumer's hand. As a result, we developed specific ‘tactile tactics' research tools to get at consumer likes and dislikes regarding how the product felt, because 20-ounce bottles are held - a lot," she said.
R&D/Leverage's industry-leading capability as an "idea-to-mold" provider proved to save time and provide DPS with value-added, according to Leverage's Christopher Yows. "There was no compromise in the process - it was a methodical exploration of options that ultimately was more efficient and yielded results that tested better than the customer's previous attempts," Yows said. "Our approach enables customers to introduce brand-building packaging solutions validated through deeper, up-front, understanding of consumer behavior and extends to retail audits, prototypes, unit tool development and full production molds."
R&D/Leverage's holistic approach to integrated, plastic packaging solutions will appeal to other market sectors as well, explained Yows. "Our customers have access to advanced research methodologies vital to success in today's marketplace," Yows said. "The idea-to-mold approach results in greater efficiencies -- and breakthrough designs that win over consumers and build brands, in the beverage sector, as well as in personal care, home care, healthcare and more."