Thinking Outside The Box

December 6, 2013 3:21 pm
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By analysing the use of recycled materials, the weight and the shape of the bottle, Dairy Crest reduced the cost of milk packaging demonstrating a clear focus on product re- engineering.


The use of product teardowns can extend to a product’s packaging. The challenge is to reduce the cost of a product’s packaging without compromising quality or the brand. The UK milk industry sells around six billion litres of milk a year, generating between 130,000 and 150,000 tonnes of packaging waste.


Few companies examine the cost of trade-offs implicit in their packaging decisions, much less look to their competitors for ideas. Such decisions tend to be the domain of marketers, since packaging is a key element of communicating a company’s brand to consumers. Yet we have seen organisations reap considerable savings.

Coriolis have supported Dairy Crest in the program management to reduce their white milk packaging waste by introducing a lighter weight bottle for key product groups. The “relatively” straightforward design changes have allowed Dairy Crest to use less plastic in manufacturing some configurations of the milk bottle. However “relatively” straightforward does not mean easy and the program required breadth of understanding and strong program management.

Innovations Controller Richard Pryor said there were “considerable barriers” to moving to a lighter bottle, having to explore “consumer acceptance, ergonomic grips, ease of opening as well as production, filling and transport trials”.

The “infini” lightweight bottles are now in commercial manufacture.


Written by Mark Schubert, Director

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