PepsiCo designers reimagined the classic 2-liter bottle working from home using 3D printers and VR headsets
Mary MeisenzahlDec 5, 2020, 19:34 IST
Two liter Pepsi bottles were first designed in 1970, and updated in the 1990s.
Changing the design of a product with 500 million units a year is not easy, and the work to change the bottle officially began in 2018, though designers had been thinking about it much earlier, VP of Innovation and Capabilities for Pepsi Beverage North America Emily Silver told Business Insider.
Changing the shape of the bottle also changes its rigidity and ability to support itself, Mauro Porcini, SVP and chief design officer at PepsiCo told Business Insider. "It's insanely difficult."
Deciding where exactly to put the grip on bottles for easiest pouring was the product of hundreds of hours of research.
A project of this scale in the past would require "a laboratory, a workshop, eventually a company that creates model," Porcini said. It would be "very expensive."
Today, designers can "design from wherever," Porcini said.
While working remotely because of the coronavirus, designers would sketch together in a virtual room.
When the pandemic showed that designers would be working remotely for a long time, they got 3D printers and Oculus virtual reality headsets.
Using at home 3D printers, designers could create molds of the design prototypes.
While VR isn't that common among design studios or in-house designers yet, Porcini says that it's where the industry is headed.
PepsiCo even did some product testing in virtual reality, seeing how consumers react to the design and how they pick it up.
Virtual reality is "not just a development tool, but in the future people will interact with brands in VR. The sooner we can understand VR and what the trends are, the sooner we'll identify opportunities," Porcini said.
The new design is mostly focused on improved ergonomics, or making it easier for consumers to pour from the bottle.
In the new design, the grip is 25% slimmer than the circumference on the old bottles, to potentially allow pouring with one hand.
The labels are also smaller, and require last plastic use.
The grip on each PepsiCo brand is specific to that brand's image, with a lighting bolt-esque design for Mountain Dew.