The Lucky Soy Fish - Redesigning an Icon
We don’t have to argue that the iconic soy sauce packaging isn’t great.
It is great in many ways, however, fails in too many aspects, too.
When rethinking consumption behaviour, the takeaway food market is a challenging field, that most of us can relate to. Most probably we are guilty of using and throwing away huge amounts of packaging, that we have probably only used for several minutes.
This is a great challenge.
(While submitting the idea we have also noticed the Sushi topic has been addressed in from other participants. That confirms the urgency of our mission, which certainly only addresses a small problem of many)
The fact that in 2025, more plastics than fish (by weight) might be present in our oceans. This is reason enough to tackle all sorts of packaging failures, however, the irony of this project makes it even more attractive to redesign and rethink small size packaging.
Takeaway Sushi is a world wide market, generating 2.25 M USD per year only in the United States, this marks an increase of 28% to the previous year. In Australia, a 2011 survey tracked 115M sushi serves in 1 year, which is likely to be higher now, through health food trends and increase in take away consumption in general. Not only fish, but meat, poultry and vegetarian options are steadily increasing the variety of serves.
Time to re-think!
Analysing the current design:
Lid: A secondary material (PP/HDPE) is used, manufactured in a different process. It is argued that the top is resealable, which is a questionable benefit for clear single use item holding a 3ml capacity.
Shape: The Fish shape emphasises the context of purpose (in case we wouldn’t know what to use the item for) The high recall value is striking and it is globally recognised. This denotes great value, which should be exploited.
Tail: Apart from being part of the fish shape no functional use is identified. On the negative side, it just requires additional material.
Material: PE (Polyethylene) is actually recyclable, however, due to the small shape and contamination and mix of materials the item hardly finds its way into recycling facilities.
Manufacturing: blow moulding is suitable for high quantities and makes engraving/branding possible.
Make the Soy Fish Great again.
Lid: Eliminated! in order to reduce materials used, single use doesn’t require resealing.
Design a happy fish face instead, which aims at clear differentiation from competitors who are not using sustainable packaging.
Shape: Keep! Fish shape emphasises context of purpose, plus: we would like to base the campaign on marine pollution in order to raise awareness and developing a unique selling proposition. Product variations, featuring different species of fish (education background) and different sizes (1,2,3 sushi roll serves)
Tail: The clue! We can use the tail shape to facilitate easy tear/twist-off for the new outlet.
With the eliminated lid, no additional packaging element is needed, no drip design, optimal serve for one sushi roll. (The tear line is not completed through to avoid the tail bit from falling off.)
Material: The key! Use compostable corn-starch/plant starch PLA material, which is decomposing into natural substances. There are food-grade options widely available. The proposed material is a corn-starch PLA (oil, fat resistant)
Manufacturing: High Scalability through blow/injection moulding that facilitates
Engraving/branding options to be offered to soy sauce production companies.