Sidel Helps Design New Fanta Bottle
First appearing on shelves in the1940s, Fanta is The Coca-Cola Company’s biggest brand after Coke. However, Coca-Cola started to design and develop a new proprietary Fanta packaging shape, applicable to both PET and glass bottles, in order to provide a protectable new global standard for the brand and Sidel has collaborated with TCCC to develop the new “spiral” PET bottle.
As part of the rejuvenation project, TCCC involved experienced supply partners in this design challenge. Sidel has played a key role in the packaging project development, namely qualifying the new Fanta bottle for industrial production. “By embedding the supplier’s knowledge and experience from the very first steps of this journey, we have ensured viable bottle forming, filling and performance,” explains Gregory Bentley, Coca-Cola Packaging Engineer in charge of global project coordination. The new bottle shape required precise understanding of how PET behaves under pressure, particularly with regard to how the carbonation of the beverage can potentially deform the bottle sections, which could lead to the drink spilling. Just like its predecessor, the new bottle was to be produced to be 100% recyclable.
Dealing with Asymmetry and Stability
The new creative and differentiating bottle in PET designed by Drink Works, winning agency in a 5 way pitch, represents a “rule-breaker” in terms of bottle design for CSD (carbonated soft drinks). It features a spiral, inspired by the twisting of an orange to release its juice. It is based on a series of ribs decorated with small bubbles, including a torsion in the bottom half. This spiral gives the Fanta bottle an unusual, asymmetric structure which presented a real challenge in terms of developing a container able to withstand deformation and stability issues. “It is definitively critical that all opposing sides of the bottle have the same developed length to avoid issues with perpendicularity,” explains Jérome Neveu, packaging expert at Sidel. “We optimized the grip profile and the angular base orientation to retain the bottle geometry once filled.”
The Spiral bottle required full design testing and refinement, achieved through more than 60 technical drawing iterations and FEAs (Finite Element Analysis) to test performance using computing analysis. Moreover, it involved the production of 15 pilot molds and feasibility tests successfully managed with Sidel to achieve validation of the final bottle design.
A similar bottle shape has been deployed for the whole Fanta bottle family and it is now available for 500 ml, 1 l, 1.5 l and 2 l formats. When it comes to the 1.5 l and 2 l bottles, the Spiral design offers easier gripping and an improved pouring experience for the consumer. Leveraging the successful cooperation with Sidel, an alternate 500 ml Spiral bottle has been developed to ensure stability specifically for gravity-fed inclined shelves which are typically implemented in cold chain distribution. This required specific design rules to be adopted, with very precise bubble numbers and locations around the ribs which constitute the spiral. A consideration throughout the development of the PET bottle was the capability to also transfer the new shape to the glass bottle, an objective which was also successfully achieved. Today, the new Spiral Fanta bottle in PET is sold in Italy, Poland, Malta, Serbia, Finland, Romania and the UK, with plans for global roll-out over the coming months.
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