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PepsiCo new 2-litre bottle

PepsiCo’s enormous project to redesign its two-litre bottle

First designed in 1970 by PepsiCo and improved in the 1990s, the two-litre bottle is an imperfect mainstay of the soft drink industry. But now, after 30 years without change, it’s getting a complete makeover.

PepsiCo’s curvier new bottle is easier to grip and balance in the hand, while consuming slightly less plastic in the process. The update will come to all its major soft drink brands.

“You think, as a designer, how difficult is it to redesign a bottle?” muses Mauro Porcini, SVP and chief design officer at PepsiCo. “The reality is, when you need to redesign a bottle with this scale . . . and this impact on the world and business, it is probably one of the most difficult projects I ever faced in my career.”

The old versus the new…

Porcini isn’t exaggerating about the scale. The two-litre bottle is still wildly popular; in fact the company sells the same amount in volume in both the 12 oz (354ml) can and two-litre formats.

The redesign first began in 2018 as PepsiCo decided it was time to acknowledge consumer pain points.

The original two-litre had a circumference of 13.4 inches, while PepsiCo says the average hand is between 7 inches and 8.6 inches when grasping. This gulf demonstrates why two-litres are so difficult to handle. The company’s first goal was to improve these ergonomics.

“How you hold it, pour it, how to make the experience better from a usability and ergonomic standpoint,” says Porcini. “That’s the key anchor: We wanted to make the product more useful.”

The design team, coordinating with the business team, analysts, and R&D, began to dream up alternatives. That meant sketching thousands of designs, and rapidly prototyping hundreds of designs with 3D printing.

It’s a process that’s far more complicated than just coming up with a new silhouette. Because these bottles need to be durable while also consuming as little plastic as possible, the plastic thickness varies through the entire bottle, reinforced where it’s necessary and removed where it’s not.

And because they hold liquid that’s pressurised, they are managing forces ballooning their way from the inside out….. Read the full article here