*notcot in food+drink , 14:10

Starbucks vs ?- 03.16.05

coffee.jpgFor the highest in high design, everyone else covers and recovers it, but who’s covering the design thats coming out in the everyday world? Like world-domination driven Starbucks?

It’s kind of a pretty bottle… i suppose it was a matter time after the ice cream. Are they out to take on Kahlua? Actually i suppose the real competition should be Sheridan’s. From a design standpoint that is one sweet bottle. It has a double spout, for their “perfect pour”, it layers without forced mixing of the two… Design Case Study follows…

p.s. i love that Starbuck’s page tells you:

Please note: the caffeine in this liqueur does not counteract the effects of alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Here is the body of PA Consulting Group’s Case Study on the Design… fascinating read.

IDV (Grand Metropolitan), now UDV Diageo, the global drinks company, had conceived and tested a radically new two-part product in the international drinks market – Sheridan’s Perfect Pour. Whilst the brand had stimulated market interest worldwide, and gained international recognition as the most innovative drinks packaging for many years, customer feedback on pouring the drink from two separate but joined bottles was not good.

IDV was determined to make a success of the brand, and PAConsulting Group was given the task of designing and developing a new ‘fool-proof’ onestep pouring system within a twelve month timescale to meet a Christmas launch date.

Developing an easy-to-use pourer
Sheridan’s is a two component drink where a white vanilla creme liqueur is floated on to the surface of a dark coffee-chocolate liqueur, resulting in a drink similar in appearance to an Irish coffee. Consumers encountered three main problems when pouring from the original bottles which had two separate screw caps:
• Difficulty in removing two bottle caps to pour the two parts sequentially
• Difficulty in pouring the correct ratio of white and dark liqueurs (with the risk of having half a bottle of black liqueur left over)
• Difficulty in floating the white liqueur over the black (a very steady hand was required).

The perfect solution The first phase of PA’s design work established the feasibility of dispensing both liquids simultaneously, in the proportion required, in two separate layers. The viscous qualities of both fluids were considered, and also the control of the return air flow. Finally, the closure mechanism had to fit on to two joined bottles and meet the usual consumer requirements for liquid-tight sealing and ease of use.

The detailed design stage presented some complex problems which were solved using state-of-the-art surface modelling on CAD, eg establishing the 3-D geometry of the pouring channels and defining the surface shapes of the cap covers.

Rapid prototype techniques were used to test the design and to ensure the product pouring behaviour was as predicted. Finally, the design for manufacture was examined so that the relatively complex closure mechanism could undergo swift market testing.

A successful product launch PA’s development work quickly enabled IDV to gain sufficient confidence in the design to invest in the manufacture of the prototype tools for plastic injection moulding. Samples from these tools were used in production, and extensive market testing followed. Once the design had been proven, fullscale closure manufacture was started and a programme of further design evolution and cost reduction began.

The Sheridan’s Perfect Pour unit was introduced on time to a worldwide market, enabling IDV to build a substantial new drinks sector and brand around the novel concept. For further information, email: innovation@pa-consulting.com

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