PackageRepublic.com: Passion for Packaging Innovation

Packaging extreme; ラムネ Ramune 200 ml bottle

ラムネ The Ramune 200 ml bottle is one of the few Codd-neck bottles still on the market. This design takes its name from its designer, Hiram Codd, who designed and patented it in 1872.

Could such a dated design still be relevant in the market? Would it stand today’s demands of package usability? These are the questions that we will try to answer.

Initial Impressions

This is a well made glass bottle, that certainly stands out at the point-of-purchase (POP). However, opening it requires reading through the six-point instructions.

Even after reading the instructions, we failed to open the package despite struggling with it for an extended duration of time. But more on that later.

As we pointed out in previous articles, the need to print instructions on how to open a package is a clear indication of package usability issues. The bottle, in addition to the opening instructions, displays five different warnings on the label, which may also indicate additional safety concerns.

The version we tested was updated in 2006 with depressions on the neck to provide means to prevent the ball from causing unintentional blockage of the flow.

Package Usability

We do not often come across packages that we are not able to open. Even the most difficult examples have never been as difficult as this one. This is despite following the instructions to the letter. In the end, we were only able to open the package by ignoring the instructions that suggest usage of your palm to press. We had to resort to heavy thumb pressure.

The opening is not reclosable. (Editor’s note: while this may be obvious to most, reclosable openings are referred to as closures.) Once open, the glass ball is contained in the neck of the bottle, and interferes with the flow if not managed properly. A ball seat in the neck (added in 2006) does not work very well.

The lip contact area is well rounded, allowing for appropriate lip contact. However, with a small opening in the middle that is often blocked, it is not easy to drink from the bottle. Pouring into a glass has its own challenges.

Once you manage to open the package, it is hard not to notice the small pile of plastic remnants.

While the package is made out glass, which is highly recyclable, and the rest of the add-on materials are plastic, which are also recyclable, this is not a package we would rate as environmentally friendly.

Conclusions

In our opinion, a package designed in 1872 does not stand up well to 21st century consumer needs well. While this package has a loyal following, we do believe that it is due to its playful challenges, which border on gimmicky.

The package is incredibly difficult to open for the uninitiated, and provides poor product access. Additionally, it is not very environmentally friendly, and it is costly to make. The only thing that is going for it is its entertaining and challenging nature, which we do not typically associate with good package design.

Our Panel: Your Rating:
Opening Star
Drinking Star
Handling Star
Overall Star
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