Five Influential Food and Beverage Package Designs of the Last Decade

In the last ten years, package designs have made numerous breakthroughs that looking back, make us wonder just how we ever lived without them. They’re designs that make life that much easier in the little ways – like when it comes to opening a can of soup or keeping a can of soda cool, for example. Below are five of arguably the most influential package designs of the last decade.

#1  The Upside-Down Ketchup Bottle

Remember turning the old ketchup bottle upside-down and shaking it as violently as you possibly could just to get those last few dollops of ketchup loose from the bottom? Fortunately, Heinz finally heard our need for ketchup on demand and answered with the upside-down ketchup bottle in 2002. With its ergonomic design, squeeze sensitive silicone valve and an ability to stay upright in any fridge door, the upside-down ketchup bottle represents nothing short of genius in package design.

#2  The Soda Fridge Pack

When I was a kid, we were never able to keep cold soda in the fridge for long simply because we drank it too quickly and those ‘suitcase’ style boxes took up too much room in the fridge. Then, in 2001, the Coca-Cola company changed all that with the Fridge Pack. Alcoa conducted a consumer research study and found what was an obvious problem: that people didn’t replace soda cans as quickly as they consumed them. The fridge pack, a longer, thinner substitute to the suitcase style packaging was designed to fit inside a standard fridge with ease. The design also includes a perforated top which tears off at one corner of the package so cans can be removed.

#3  Steam-in-the-bag Vegetables

Credited with introducing the flash-freeze method of storing frozen foods over 75 years ago, it’s fitting that Birds Eye Foods would design packaging that cooks vegetables in an equally impressive manner. In 2006, the company embarked on a new, no-prep method of cooking with its Steam Fresh line of packaged vegetables. Packaged in freezer to microwave pouches that steam the veggies right in to bag, the time it takes to prepare what’s inside is reduced substantially. The launch brought the era of steam-in-bag cooking to the states, with a tidal wave of frozen foods using similar cooking methods and packaging right behind it.

#4  The Easy-Open Soup Can

According to Campbell’s, the easy-open lid was the result of research that found that nearly half of consumers stated convenience as a primary diver of their purchasing decisions. Campbell’s made purchasing and using their soup that much more convenient with the introduction of this lid. Rendering the can opener nearly useless when the company unveiled the lids on 70 different soup varieties, the easy-open lid reinvigorated the way we view convenience.

#5  The Plastic Beer Bottle

Why is a simple plastic bottle one of the most influential packaging designs of the last decade? Introduced by the Miller Brewing Company on a national scale way back in 2000, the years have provided plenty of reasons why this simple bottle is so great. For starters, plastic doesn’t shatter, so thanks to this bottle, we’re all enjoying some of our  favorite bottled beverages in venues where they were previously banned. A resealable, screw-on cap allows the beverage to be enjoyed over a longer period of time while keeping the liquid inside cool, and can be recycled in many areas its glass counterpart just piles up in landfills.