Abid Hussain Barlaskar
Design Digest

Nilon’s light bulb bottle for fizzy drink Cheers has a Mentos connection

Dipak Sanghavi, MD, Nilon's, elaborates on how the company came up with the unusual packaging for its newbie beverage brand Cheers.

Apart from just holding the product in place and carrying functional information, like ingredients, price, quantity, etc., the packaging also holds a host of other responsibilities. This makes it a well-thought-out aspect of the brand.

Last week, leading food brand Nilon’s launched Cheers, its first fizzy beverage, in an unusual light bulb-shaped PET bottle. We decided to take a deeper look at how the brand zeroed in on the packaging’s design aspect.

Nilon’s light bulb bottle for fizzy drink Cheers has a Mentos connection

Soda bottles are generally of a vertically elongated shape, with a tapered neck and a screw-on cap. They are covered by an opaque plastic label, with some parts of the contents showing.

Several aspects go into designing the bottle, like how it fits in the hand, temperature control, the flow of the contents while pouring, distribution and storage friendliness, etc.

Given the long-standing presence of these bottles in the consumer market, it is only obvious that the industry has arrived at a commonly accepted norm. Almost all popular fizzy beverage brands, including the ones from Coca-Cola and Pepsi, have stuck with the elongated form across price points. It’s the same for most non-fizzy drinks as well.

Dipak Sanghvi, managing director of Nilon’s, says that there wasn’t a set packaging in mind before having a market-ready product.

The Cheers portfolio puts forth flavours like kokum, amla, ginger, jeera, lemon and orange. Nilon’s claims that its drinks are healthier than the existing alternatives. They are low on sugar and have more real fruit content. The beverages have been launched with a Rs 25 price tag (250 ml), a little higher than the competition.

Dipak Sanghavi
Dipak Sanghavi

“We always wanted to offer a different and good product, with a high fruit pulp content,” Sanghvi says.

He mentions that the brands normally launch such beverages for the mass market, starting at the Rs 10 price point. The challenging Rs 10 pricing forces the brands to look for options that are the most convenient to pack and can be distributed across the country in truckloads.

Both the bottle and the labels have been designed by M&C Saatchi (Delhi).

“We are putting in about 17-18 per cent of the pulp, looking at a longer term benefit. The world is moving towards healthier options and the consumers should not hesitate in consuming the product even after many years. We are offering a solution to the consumer, and not a Rs 10 product,” Sanghvi mentions.

While the ‘pulp’ factor is for health, the fizz was added to bring in excitement and also appeal to the youth. The addition of fizz also ruled out the usage of pof tetra packs.

Speaking on the light bulb shape, Sanghvi says, “There was a bit of an inspiration from the ‘dimaag ki batti jala de’ tagline (Mentos) too. While the pulp is great for the body, the fizz sparks up the mind.”

Nilon’s light bulb bottle for fizzy drink Cheers has a Mentos connection

Another aspect was also to stand out and send a clear message to the consumers that Cheers wasn’t just another cold drink bottle, or a tetra pack.

The labels on the Cheers bottles are also transparent. Sanghvi says that it has been done purposefully to give the consumers a full display of the contents inside. It is also something that he observed during his many visits to global food and beverage exhibitions.

“We consume food with our eyes first, then the nose, and then the tongue. The natural colour of the product in certain beverage stalls (at exhibitions) would be visible through the pack, and they used to attract me. We wanted to bring out drinks that India originally consumed, but in a way that appeals to the new generation.”

Sanghvi further points out that most beverage brands use the opaque PP (polypropylene) labels, which is also a pocket-friendly option. “We wanted to give something which is good for the eyes too. The colours also do a lot of therapy on the mind. Hence, we decided to go with the transparent shrink wrap, instead of a PP label,” he signs off.