Consumer soft drink design

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Britvic's J20 has had the same styling for almost 12 years now, using a standard bottle shape with simple use of graphics and labels. This report aims to uncover the fundamentals behind what makes an interesting, purchasable bottle. Through the use of online research, questionnaires and existing products a trend was found within the current bottle market. An obvious push, making the product more ergonomic and anthropometric in design, was apparent. This, in turn has caused the overall shape of the product to decrease significantly - thus the reason for less liquid in each bottle.

The questionnaire results brought back some exciting findings. 52.9% of the people asked stated that the bottle design draws them into buying a soft drink with a further 43.4% showing negativity towards the current design as it is boring and/or too standard. With a majority percentage of people selecting 'pubs' when asked there socialising place of choice, it is clear to see that the new bottle design must be more applicable in a bar that in would in the home. This meant that it should be unique and stand out within a usually dark atmosphere.

All the research brought back a definitive need to change the whole look of the J20 bottle. A elegant, more organic, unique product was needed to secure future sales within the current market.

Using the readily available PETG, a structural prototype will be made using vacuum forming. The mould for use in the forming machine will be made by making a Solidworks model and cutting it in half. This 'part' file can be converted into a Stereo Lithography file for use with the router saving time and effort in comparison to doing it manually.


A new, totally re-vamped J20 Bottle.

Affordable, Elegant and Unique from Britvic to the public.

Product Overview

After being launched in 1998, J20 now has the second highest sales of any bottled drink, with the exception of Budweiser. The original flavour, Apple and Melon proved so popular with its consumers through its unique taste, that it is now available in six variants - Orange & Passion Fruit, Apple & Mango, Apple & Melon, Apple & Blueberry and Apple & Raspberry. It is currently also available in a limited edition - Orange & Pomegranate.

J20's original aim was to break into the pubs, bars and restaurants market. Due to its massive growth during the 4 years; 1998-2002, it has now hit the supermarkets. With over 7 bottles being sold every second (Nielsen 2008) from either the public domain or at pubs and restaurants around the globe, there is no doubt that this is the single best selling bottled soft drink available.

For Britvic, J20 has become its best know soft drink.

The Task

The company has created a competition for students across the country to design and graphic a brand new bottle and point-of-sale items. The finished product must be creative and appealing to both the current and prospective consumers without damaging the core values of the brand. With a push on generating more brand awareness and increasing its share of the soft drink market segment, it should be targeted towards the sociable and spontaneous 25-30 year olds.

Ultimately the look and feel of the brand should be completely different, creating something new and exciting. A new innovative 275ml bottle is of main focus with emphasis being put on it selling in the on-trade market - pubs, bars and restaurants. With this new bottle, Point of sale (POS) items need to support the launch - such as a poster, drip mat, bar-runner etc.

How will it be accomplished?

First, a personal look at where the current bottle could be updated will produce a starting point for any designs or graphics. Following this, research needs to be undertaken to try and uncover why the product has been so successful to date. What its credentials are and how it has become as popular as it is.

Secondly, through online questionnaires, an overview of the consumer view on the J20 product should be collected to help in design trends. Following this research, designs can be produced and collaborated with J20 users to ensure the correct product view is achieved.

Thirdly, a look at other brands of soft drink and how they have evolved over time will help to constrict the amount of designs that could be used; this will narrow the end result to a single product.

Finally, development of the chosen design will be formulated to include any dimensions or technical data required. After this an appropriate Product Design Specification (PDS) will be scribed.

In the following report, I will try to understand the for mentioned points and develop a design around them


Overview of current bottle aesthetic and design

Below an informative look will be used to show flaws or highlight possible improvements within the packaging and bottle shape

The packaging

If you purchase the drink from a supermarket, expect a case of four to be sold together, all of which being the same flavour. A simplistic cardboard casing is supplied for easy carrying and holding of the bottles, which, when trying to get a drink out, is very easy to tear, but yet, strong enough to hold the drinks during transport to and from the shop.

The J20 bottle is as you would expect, circular in shape with filleting just before the neck (Fig. 01). The main body is approximately 60mm in diameter, lofting to 27mm at the fluid extraction point. The manufacturing process of Blow moulding shapes the bottom, causing a slight indent to allow quick removal of the bottle when the shape is formed. With many bottles of this type, a grip section is integrated to the top of the main body. This is done by making two wider parts within the glass ensuring easy functional ability and use.

The trend with all of the J20 range is to keep the same general colours - Orange and Green. This gives a sense of an environmentally friendly material and a rich enjoyable taste. Red, Orange and Yellow are the main colours of fruit: Apples, Oranges and Melons/Bananas respectively.


This will completely depend upon where you buy the product, but in general terms you can expect to paying anything up to £2.75 in a bar or restaurant. This, however, is no different to the common price of an alcopop or bottle of beer. On the other hand it is still more expensive than a draft print of beer from most establishments.

Buying one in a supermarket or small shop could have an average of £1.00 or less in some of the larger organisations.

Digital Questionnaire

To complete the requirements obtained within the project, specific research must be carried out to display the fundamentals of why the consumers buy the product; Is it the taste? Is it the social aspect that comes with the bottle? Why do you choose it over other non-alcoholic beverages? This information will be gained through targeting pub customers through the aid of an online questionnaire.

Findings from the survey, between 25 Males and 26 Females, 80.4% of them stated that they enjoyed drinking the J20 juice drinks, with all of them using the product as an 'alternative to coke'. With the questionnaire being open to any age, findings could have been hard to sort, but, luckily, the most important band of 26-30 years old had the most results ensuring the questionnaire is still valuable to the design specification.

With a total of 49% of the consumers listing that they mainly drink this product at 'weekends' and at their socialising place of choice; The pub instead of at home it is easy to see that it is still very popular at bars and restaurants, with a minimal market in the supermarket chain. This is probably the reason for such a high percentage of the 'Designated Drivers Drink' option were being selected, totalling over half of the people questioned.

As too why a possible consumer would buy the product, a substantial 96.1% selected 'Flavour', followed by 'Bottle Design/Shape' at 52.9%. Options 'Logo' and 'Peer Choices' were both selected by the asked around 35-37% of the time. Furthermore 78% stated that they liked the current colour scheme and they found it appealing, leaving the minimal 22% hoping for something more.

When the proposed questions were asked, there seemed to be no direct line of thought - as soon as we asked the public to give us their own views, they seemed reluctant to do so, as if they might be wrong. However, 'What are your opinions on the current J20 glass bottle' brought about the following results; 43.3% gave negativity towards the bottle, complaining that the bottle was bland and boring, stating it should be unique - like the taste. Another 10% of the public had no thoughts what so ever with the remaining stating other issues relating to material, their children and usability.

The final question, 'Would you change or include anything in a new J20 bottle design?' collected the following results; 23.5% understood that the bottle design needs to be updated with 19.6% backing that up with a change, the specifics of which were not stated. The remaining included making it more suitable for the market and people who didn't know how to improve it.


Looking at the 'History of the coca-cola bottle' (Fig.03) you can clearly see a push towards more ergonomic and anthropometric design. With each bottle comes more emphasis on the 'hold ability' of the product, with the integration of indents to help the user use the product in its correct function. The oldest design could relate to a high-end, cooking oil container of today, with the same square shape and a cork end - although the current designs are focusing more on the twist cap. Overall, a trend is apparent, where each of the following product s gets smaller and thinner; however, the final bottle to be released seems to have a reverse design, going back to previous bottles.

The number one selling bottled beverage is the alcoholic 275ml Budweiser (Fig.04). Much the same as the coke bottle, it has followed suit in shrinking the width of the bottle making it user friendly. So it seems in the current climate all bottles are basically the same spherical shape, but why! Obviously function has a lot to do with it, but can't we update it to a new unique shape which will still do the job?

Knowing where the bottle has come from it's important to look at where each design is now in terms of function, shape and aesthetics.

Budweiser, WKD, Carlsberg, Archers, Bacardi Breezer, Becks, VK, Strongbow, Reef and Smirmoff all have the same bottle layout, much like the current J20 bottle (Fig.05). Each of the companies seems reluctant to take their designs to the next level, and stick to what they know will sell causing a standard bottle shape, ultimately making it boring.

As for aesthetics, each of the bottles has its own unique colour and layout of graphics and labels. This does add some uniqueness to each, helping the consumer make an informative decision on which one to purchase, but ultimately each one is as boring as the other.


In glass bottle production, Blow moulding is used to secure a perfectly dimensioned product. The process involves injecting molten glass into a two part mould. Using a hollow metal tube, the flexible glass is enlarged to match the confines of the mould by air being blown in. Air is continually introduced until the glass has assumed the correct shape. The mould can now be removed and reused on the next bottle.

However, PET is the common plastic used today in respect to drinks bottles. Using exactly the same process, but with a lighter, cheaper and safer material could help the company to reduce its sale price extending the amount of custom it would receive. As for, plastic being safer than glass, this is apparent when looking a bar fights and the use of bottles to cause harm to another. Plastic is much safer, and also cannot smash if accidentally dropped by the user.

For the purpose of the prototype model, a Solidworks file will be produced that can be converted into a STL file and used with the wood router. The design realisation will be found using 1mm Polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) in conjunction with Vacuum Forming to produce the desired model.


The 25-30 year old market is the most important, with more emphasis being put expanding the company market. Through the questionnaire it is obvious that people of all ages like and buy this popular product. The J20 customer base is already very well established, therefore there is added pressure to design a product that will not destroy the reputation that has been gained.

The final design should incorporate the issues that come with any Mass Production manufacturing plant. These could include automated input and exit of the newly made bottles, as well as concerns of how the bottles will be automatically pushed along the product line. As Britvic have a manufacturing chain already set up ready for Mass Production, simple tooling replacements should be the only obvious parts that need changing.


Obviously with the amount of bottles made and sold, manufacture is going to keep running for an infinite amount of time with quality and consistency being a great concern for Britvic. Over time, some tooling equipment can become inaccurate and worn causing some of the production line to slow down and imperfections to be caused within the glass. To ensure that the bottles produced are all of equal quality, a check should be made every 1,500 products manufactured to ensure no glass bubble has appeared and that they are still the correct size. The more thorough and often the checks, the less need there will be for recalls and problems to the consumer, decreasing losses and increasing customer relations.


Due to the high user function with this product, careful consideration to ergonomic hand sizes must be incorporated into the design. With the maximum cylindrical grip size of 53.34mm and the minimum at 40.64mm (Fig.06) the ideal size for any bottle design should be within these values. Basing many of the bottle sizes on the current J20 would ultimately give you an ergonomic product as these problems would have been solved already. Thus the mouth piece of the bottle is going to match that of the current design to ensure a correct function.


Through the previous market and public research, it was obvious that the bottle needed to be drastically changed, invoking a new view in the conventional design. Concept design began with sketches of possible ideas that would suit the consumer base but also improve the overall look of the product. Through a collection of designs on paper, three were pushed into the development stage: A conservative, middle of the road and eccentric bottle. Each of the designs had their own pros and con's.

With any design, in many cases, the most simplistic shape is usually the best, with use of as little material as possible. Due to Britvic already cutting the amount of glass used within each of its bottles, it is clear that the company is taking environmental issues very seriously.

As all bottles of this type are all blow moulded, the shape that can be produced is nearly unlimited. This means a free range of innovation can be brought to the project with only a few constraints to work too. With all the designs, they are concepts and can only be realised when they have met all the requirements of a conventional drinks bottle; most important of which - that is holds 275ml of liquid.

Design Development


  • It must appeal to a new market containing ages 25-30.
  • The new product must be appealing to both new and current consumers.
  • Shape must reflect the lifestyle.
  • Bottle must be different from conventional designs.
  • It must compliment flavours of the brand.
  • The bottle must match the price of the juice drink - higher end market.
  • Be sold for as cheap as possible.
  • Must hold a minimum of 275ml liquid.
  • The layout of labels must be rearranged to suit a new current market.
  • J20's iconic colour range should be kept the same.
  • Must be made of as little material as possible.
  • Ideally made of PET plastic (prototyped in PETG).
  • Made of non-toxic material with good chemical resistance.
  • Manufactured using a two half Blow Moulding process.
  • Must be easily moveable around the manufacturing plant.
  • Main hand grip must be between 53.34mm and 40.64mm in diameter.
  • Mouth piece must be 2.5mm in diameter.
  • Bottle base must be no bigger than 80mm.


Current prototype model needs to be 22% bigger to hold the correct liquid.


  • The flavours and how old
  • Reducing the glass in the bottle
  • Some customer reviews
  • Blow moulding
  • PetG
  • Ergonomics