Passion for Packaging Innovation

Miller Punch Top™: innovation or bust?

Miller recently introduced a new can design that incorporates a breathing hole on top. This design allows the consumer to punch a hole at the top to reduce / eliminate gulping.

While this seems like a noble idea, we see numerous problems with this package.

Is Gulping a Consumer Problem?

The answer is a strong yes. However, this is the wrong category, and the wrong package. Gulping can be a huge consumer problem for family packs with sizes up to a gallon and beyond.

However, gulping is mostly a non-problem when it comes to drink-from packages and portion packs. Why is that? Because the consumer, using different drinking modes, can adapt to the opening to regulate gulping.

While gulping can indeed be a consumer problem in some portion packs and drink-from packages, gulping is a real problem when it comes to family packs.

Is This A Good Solution?

Using a tool (i.e. a key) to punch open a hole on top of a can is a poor idea from every conceivable angle. To add insult to the injury, printing instructions on the package not only on one spot, but on two spots clearly highlights the usability issue.

In general, we believe that if you had to print any instructions on a package on how to open or close it, your usability already has issues. Good design needs to be obvious and simple without needing instructions.

But even after you read the instructions, punching a hole on the top is anything but simple. In our tests, consumers struggled with it every time.

Looking at our usual usability metrics for packages, both efficiency and effectiveness had very low scores.

Is There Anything Good With This?

Sadly, this is a marketing gimmick and it does not improve packaging or usability. In fact, it reduces usability by sending confusing signals to consumers. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Innovation or Bust?

Bust. We need innovation in packaging, not gimmicks.

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