Blendy: A Brief Study in Package Design

This is a wrapper from a Japanese iced coffee, “Blendy.” This stuff is great but what makes it interesting is the packaging.

First of all, notice it’s in a clear plastic bottle, like a bottled water. Sort of looks like someone poured their coffee and milk into an empty Evian bottle, doesn’t it? But, since it’s Japanese, it is actually meticulously designed and packaged.

The bottle is wrapped in a form-fitting sheath of plastic. The bottle is square, and so is the wrapper- the wrapper’s pattern has four panels, two of which are the “splash” – the product’s name and marketing assets. The other two are nutritional and company information.

Look at the perforated holes along the side- what are they for? I have two theories.

The first is the most obvious- it’s to make the “tear away” strip to let you peel off the wrapper easily. But why? Will this make the bottle somehow easier to recycle? Why wouldn’t we leave the wrapper on? What is this strip for?

My other theory- the holes also fulfill a structural purpose: the wrapper is apparently printed on a flat roll, and sealed to form a loop. The ends of the loop are joined between the perforations. When the wrapper is heated to shrink it to match the bottle, the perforations help shrink it uniformly- look at the uneven shapes of the perforations: the holes near the flat parts of the bottle are still round. The holes on the corners where there has been more shrinkage they are oblong. Does this make the rest of the label deform less? If so, it might be to protect the image printed on the wrapper!

I had intended to scan in the label after I peeled it off… however since the aforementioned shrinkage had made the wrapper the exact shape of the bottle, it would not lie flat. No scan for you.

So, I will type in the poem/motto here. Incidentally, the Japanese says “(hi)kitate KAFEORE” which is “ground CAFE AU LAIT.”


Cafe au lait

Blendy, carefully roasted
from only selected coffee
beans with its rich
aroma and mellow taste,
will truly enhance
your relaxation moments.

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