The 2009 Packaging ‘Goofies’ From Around The World

Are the packages I describe here, the result of some idiotic, stupid and incompetent designers? No, not at all, on the contrary. I just used the word ‘goofy’ to catch your attention, although ….. some are the result of a far-too-free-flowing brainwave and some are simple and brilliant, just that little bit extra to pop-off the supermarket shelves. Unfortunately they didn’t attract attention in the professional media.
It’s a tour around the world. Judge for yourself.

In France the Sidel beer bottle breaks with traditional codes. At first glance, this object does not even seem to be a bottle. The 500-ml PET bottle boasts an unusual shape with very sleek lines, and the cap is completely hidden. It is only when you turn it over and remove the protective cap that you see that it is a beer bottle, upside down! Right side up, with the protective cap still on, it looks like a stem glass. More than a bottle, this object is unique and fun. The unique shape and the ergonomics of the bottle are meant to intrigue and attract young consumers who are in for a new beer-drinking experience.

We stay with the upside-down bottle. This one originated in Taiwan. The new Dual-open bottle concept is simple and useful for products like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise or any other type of sauce which is hard to get from the bottom of the bottle. Usually one has to throw (almost half-a-bottle) into the trash bin, but with designer Kai-yu Lei’s invention you can just turn the bottle upside-down and squeeze the rest of the products from the top. With two openings on both sides one can have some more of the ketchup without the sputtering which occurs by squeezing the standard one-hole bottle.

The Netherlands
In the United States one of the most popular family activities is bowling. And if you play bowling there are a couple of necessary items, the shoes, the ball, the bowling pins, the bowling lanes and finally …. a Strike-Maker. With a Strike-Maker in your hand all is set for a nice game of bowling.

A Strike-Maker?

When the Dutch go ten-pin bowling, they do it in style – you can buy a Strike-Maker, containing 40ml of vodka-fig liqueur. Quite cleverly, the white glass bottle is moulded in the shape of a skittle with ceramic printing and a ROPP aluminium cap. The product is launched by S&M Trading, one of the largest suppliers of bowling accessories in the region.

Russia is famous for its Matryoshka’s. The designers from DarkDesignGroup created an unusual packaging for t-shirts, a transparent form of the Matryoshka and holding a t-shirt. The original design and unusual shape make the packaging truly non-traditional and attract attention. The plastic thermo-formed packaging consists of two parts.

From Japan comes a thoughtful touch. Unlike most other confectionery products, chewing gum has to be disposed of after use. Chewing gum is the single most littered item in the UK, according to a survey carried out in 2009 by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and packaging group INCPEN. UK municipalities spend £150m (USD 250m) a year clearing away the discarded gum that makes up more than three-quarters of the litter found on UK streets.

Japan’s Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd might have the solution to this issue. The Glico Pos-Ca Smart Pod, sugarless chewing gums, are packed in a cup with a lid containing slips of paper to dispose of the finished chewing gum.
A thoughtful touch.

The Netherlands
In the Netherlands Bejo Zaden is convinced that mini-Romanesco is fully capable of becoming the trendy cabbage variety of the future.

Originally a crop traditional to the Mediterranean coast of Italy between Naples and Rome, Romanesco is one of natures more spectacular creations. The green crowns in the form of a pyramid make these vegetables look like a real work of art. With the mini variety this is even more obvious. They make a delightful presentation, cooked, as raw dips, or used as a show piece in a buffet. The seed improvement company from Holland states that there are few vegetables, which have the same decorative value as Romanesco. It is therefore striking, that it is still difficult for the Romanesco to come into its own on the vegetable shelves. Certainly this pyramid shaped box will help the mini-Romanesco pop-off the shelves. Little is known about the packaging, as at the time of presentation the packaging only was a sample-pack.

Finland is famous for it’s creative designs, but every now and then one wonders whether the Fins were serious or just drunk. Plup Oy Ab of Finland has developed an innovative doughnut-shaped pack for its packaged water. The Plup bottle holds 400 ml, or 14 fl.oz. A pint, basically. The Plup bottle is made from recyclable modified PET. Plup encourages consumers not to return the bottle, but rather to re-fill and re-use it. It’s highly durable and suitable for heavy use, such as hiking or boating.

On the Spanish beaches the newest trend in wine drinking is the Flow,er mini wine bottles. The fresh-green single-serve 18,75 ml mini bottles hold one of the most popular wines: the Viña Esmeralda. The flowery aromas of white roses distinguishes this wine from other white variants.

The fashionable mini bottles of this much appreciated white wine comes with a drinking-bowl in the shape of a rose, one of the most important ingredients of the wine. The white rose-shaped drinking-bowl, functions as a glass and fits in the neck of the bottle, allowing the consumer to drink in style straight from the bottle without spoilage.


2009 saw a wide variety of new regulations for the tobacco industry. Many a horrible and prohibitive graphic had to be printed on cigarette packs, which impact the industry tried to soften by using the most fantastic design and printing technologies. The answer to that is the treat for a neutral packaging. White, with no names, nothing.

Or is a coffin-shaped pack of cigarettes a better visual stimulus to quit smoking?
The Ukrainian designer Reynolds thinks so, that’s why he designed the concept of the ‘social responsible’ packaging for tobacco products.

To finish this world tour we go to Britain where we can admire the results of packaging recycling. It is seldom that a well-dressed young female executive turns up in my blog. But this is different.

Eying the current credit crunch, in which people are looking for good value and still wanting to keep up their commitment to sustainability, Debenhams, a High Street department store in the UK, introduced a female business suit created entirely (although I doubt that) out of recycled plastic bottles. According to Debenhams, the ultimate eco-friendly outfit is equally friendly priced at £55 (USD 100).
The project to create clothing from 100% recycled sources has taken the fashion retailer 12 months to perfect. The resulting expertly tailored trouser suits look and feel like any other outfit created for smart female executives. Each suit is made from 50 bottles which are put through a special process. The bottles are cleaned and have their labels removed before being ground down into chips which are melted at a plant in Taiwan. The mixture is then refined and woven into a soft but hard-wearing type of polyester. The suit is made in Vietnam.

How many women are out there willing to wear a suit made from recycled PET-bottles? According to  a spokesperson for Debenhams the single-button jacket and the boot-cut trousers will tempt the ‘fashion conscious’ shopper and ‘would not look out of place in the boardroom’.
An outfit for life as PET doesn’t biodegrade.

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