Sphere or Cuboid – The Cubis

My article about the ball-shaped two-compartment PET-bottle received quite some comments regarding the inefficiency of this packaging format in the supply chain. And indeed the ball-shape isn’t the best partner for an efficient shipping case, requiring considerable more space in relation to the volume of the content and consequently has a higher CO2 footprint.

At the other hand the spherical or ball shape is a perfect marketing platform as the sphere has the highest volume to surface ratio. The lowest is a cube. Cylindrical bottles come somewhere in between. The question is: Which costs more, the plastic for the container or the extra space in the supply chain?

To optimize the mentioned shortcomings a beverage bottle (or packaging in general) should be a rectangular cuboid (six rectangular faces), also called a rectangular hexahedron, or rectangular parallelepiped. And that’s exactly what Cubis, a Swedish/Cyprian company in cooperation with the Swedish design studio ‘Love for Art and Business‘ came up with long ago and almost forgotten.

More than a year ago I wrote about the Cubis, a revolutionary cubical drinking container. As said, it has been silent for a long time, but recently the Cubis-company informed me that the first commercial Cubis went to market for Ceethree, an energy drink based on green coffee and guaraná, manufactured by IO Drinks AB in Sweden. The 25 cl HDPE Cubis bottle is extrusion blow moulded, while the cap is made with injection moulding. Both are manufactured in Denmark.

The patented Cubis container is based on a square box shape and has a flip-top cap mounted in the upper corner. The result is a stackable and a user-friendly container with a unique and exclusive look. The “drinking” corner is moulded in such a way, that the lips easily and comfortably fit when the flip-top is lifted, to allow the consumer to drink conveniently.

As three 250ml Cubis containers stacked on top of each other occupy about the same space as a single conventional 500ml PET bottle, the high volume efficiency of the Cubis containers makes them substantially more transport effective than traditional plastic containers and offers the producers a more environmentally friendly logistical solution.

The challenge due to its above mentioned ratio, of course, is using the least possible amount of plastic. The weight of the Cubis, as described above, is between 20 and 25 grams for the bottle and about 6 grams for the cap. The final bottle weight is determined by the requirements of the liquid inside. It would be interesting to see the trade-off of some extra weight in the container versus less volume (some 25%) reducing the costs and the CO2 footprint of moving bottles in the supply chain.

The containers, in conventional plastic materials, like HDPE and PP, are initially available in a 250ml portion size version but the company plans to increase the product range by adding more sizes (500ml and 1000ml primarily) and more materials (e.g. transparent PP, and biodegradable materials).

The Cubis containers can be handled by traditional filling, capping, labelling and packing machinery, however some adaptation is necessary.

It is obvious, that the unique and eye-catching design of the Cubis container can serve as a powerful tool when building an identity for a new product or brand. Market studies show, according to the company, a strong acceptance in all age groups and an exclusively positive response from ages 10 to 20.

One response to “Sphere or Cuboid – The Cubis

  1. Always good to see a re-usable container. And with a considerate detail for drinking as well as pouring!

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