Passion for Packaging Innovation

Beer-in-a-box concept

Brand X (via Gizmodo) is showing a beer-in-a-box concept by Thomas Hussey. This concept has an unusual pump feature that keeps air out to prevent oxidation.

We like the concept, but we also recognize that there are fundamental issues with it. The reason why wine-in-a-box exists today is because it saves cost. In fact, it saves a lot of cost.

Wine, and in general alcohol, do not need all the protection that an absolute barrier like glass offers. Therefore, from a packing point-of-view, wine can be packed in a bag-in-a-box, and even in regular, smaller carton packages. Creating a bit of a moral hazard, it can even be found in some countries in kiddie sized carton packages that normally pack Hi-C, or similar juice drinks. In other countries, even hard liquor like rum can be found in 250ml cartons.

The essential features of this concept are a high-gauge corrugate structure, with a tap, and a hidden pump. There is also a handle at the top. This clearly is not a low-cost package. Re-using the corrugate box while replacing the inner bag with a refill is out of question, since beer is typically under pressure, and the bag itself can not withstand the pressure without external structure.


From a usability point-of-view, this concept, as any beer tap, requires two handed operation. Having both the tap and the pump, however, creates an issue of double mental models.

Filling a glass involves opening the tap, and then pumping, then closing the tab, whilst holding the glass firmly under the tap. Sounds complicated.

Apart from usability and cost issues, we do like the renewable and recyclable corrugate structure. The handle itself is also a good addition.

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