Considering the coherent system and ritual of the "juice box" where we have the straw, the straw sleeve and the juice box itself, we've explored a reinvention of this microsystem without losing the functionality and inherently pleasurable sipping experience of using a straw.
The refinement phase has been focused on:
Prototyping the production and construction of the vessel
Our 3D designers created a number of initial prototypes of the vessel to test the production and construction process, finally perfecting a dieline that allows for a vessel with the integrated straw to be constructed from a single piece of material. Additionally, an engineered pattern of precise scoring now ensures efficiency for mass production.
Hosting testing sessions with international users
We hosted two test sessions in London and New York with potential consumers. The sessions took two parts:
- The first aimed to understand their existing behaviour around on-the-go (OTG drinks), their existing perceptions of juice cartons, the amount they’d be willing to spend on an OTG drink and existing barriers to purchase.
- The second involved testing and reactions to the physical vessel prototype, how it compares to existing drinks boxes, what people would want to see improved and potential barriers to purchase.
Questions asked during user testing:
General use and interest in juice boxes
- Do you buy drinks on the go? Which ones do you buy?
- Do you buy juice cartons? Why/why not?
- How much would you be willing to spend on a drink on the go?
- Specific structure in hand testing
(Present juice box)
- Show us how you would use the box.
- What do you like about the vessel compared to existing boxed drinks?
- What don’t you like about the vessel compared to existing boxed drinks?
- What kind of liquids could you see in this vessel?
- What would be your barriers to purchase?
Key insights included:
- People don’t tend to buy juice boxes, not because of the format but because they feel the product is inherently unhealthy
- People are willing to spend, on average, £2 on a OTG drink but the price is dictated less by the format and more by the product. The price appetite ceiling in the US (New York) is comparably higher – approx. US$7 – but again largely dependent on the product itself.
- People loved the new structure - they discussed how the like the experience of the ‘pop’ open of the box
- Although people said they wouldn’t not buy a boxed drink currently because of excess plastic, they did comment on the guilt they feel when it comes to disposing of the plastic, and so they liked the innovation of the straw being contained in the structure of the vessel
- Barriers to purchase included the size - consumers spoke about how they would like a smaller format or a resealable option - and the hygiene factor of the straw - from the prototype, they weren’t sure how the straw would be kept clean in transit and at retail. Additional barriers to purchase include perceived taste based on the substrate for the liquid (with a noted desire to avoid an overly "papery" taste).
Extending the usage beyond simply a ‘juice’ box
- The initial concept started as ‘The New Juice Box’ but we quickly realised during refinement and testing that the innovative new format of the integrated straw within the vessel could be extend beyond just juice to include water, coconut water, flavoured waters and squashes, milk, protein/nutrition drinks. This also became clear during consumer testing.
- We are therefore now positioning it as a ‘vessel’ rather than a ‘juice box’.
Developing the hygiene factor of the section of straw your drink from
It was always our intention that the end of the straw would be covered with a seal that can be ripped off to ensure that the part of the straw that users drink from would be kept sterile during transit and in retail. However, the feedback and testing phases illustrated that this was not made clear so we feel it’s important to reiterate this point.
Developing and simplifying the construction process to ensure we can keep costs to a minimum for potential clients for whom production and cost efficiency are paramount
- The refined structure has created a vessel with the integrated straw that is able to be constructed from a single piece of material. Additionally, the engineered pattern of precise scoring ensures maximum efficiency for mass production.
- Rough cost estimates for production are included below:
By our estimations for GB/Europe, our costs are not in the material use – however, if we are sourcing specialized material this will increase by 30% to consider elements such as line speed impact and capital expenditure investment needed to potentially alter the erection of the carton, filling, sealing etc.
Our rough estimation at this stage, based on our experience, is that material may cost as little as 0.2pence per unit, with capital expenditure for development and testing to machinery in the approximate realm of EU80,000.
Given a typical piece of this machinery is approx. EU170,000, we would be exploring feasibility and potential partners to make such a serious investment in machinery
Clarifying best material choice
When defining the best material, it was important to consider the following key criteria for the vessel:
- The vessel must be made entirely of one material to ensure recyclability
- The vessel must be able to retain liquid
- The vessel must be made of a material which enables printing to ensure it can be branded
- The vessel structure must provide a similarly pleasurable drinking experience as existing juice boxes
With this criteria in mind, we have therefore decided to move forward with a recommendation to explore a carton board and film laminate – utilising a polyolefin film to provide the barrier and a recycled carton board to provide structural integrity.