Innovation & Sustainability - The Iniquity 'Z' Box
In the whisky world, innovation can mean different things to different people.
To a marketing person it might mean flash new packaging, or a re-branding designed to sell more product. To production people like us it might mean an improved cooling system, a better way of conserving energy, or an improvement in the way we mash and brew.
Sustainability on the other hand is pretty universally accepted as meaning reducing use of resources and reducing our carbon footprint.
Often the two are in conflict. The marketing bloke wants to innovate with a heavier more meaty bottle because it feels good in the hand and makes the purchaser think he is getting value and quality. The sustainability engineer wants a lightweight bottle because it reduces the carbon footprint of the product. In recent times the sustainability engineer has been winning. Usually this is the case because the costs will be lower, rather than consideration for the carbon footprint. The right result whatever the motivation!
The Iniquity 'Z' box is a winner in both camps.
It looks OK, but subsequent editions will look better. The oversize carton gives the impression you are getting more for your money. Good things may come in small packages, but bigger is always better! It is flat packed, so we are not shipping as much air around the world in an empty box and burning more fossil fuels, nor renting as big a shed to store them in. There are no plastics, or foam, or magnets or metals involved, so it is easier to recycle. Lastly it does a wonderful job of protecting the product. Nothing is less sustainable than a bottle that breaks in transit, wasting the energy and effort that went into producing the packaging, the shipping and the spirit inside! Broken bottles don’t go down well with the customers either! In another nice touch the 'Z' box fits both our 700mL and our 500mL bottles thanks to different inserts. This means less inventory we need to buy and store - another win!
Spectrum Packaging was contacted to design and make a box that would offer superior product protection and take both the 500 and 700mL bottles we use. The brief was that the bottle had to survive being dropped onto concrete from shoulder height. The first attempt may survive an atomic blast. However it was way in excess of our budget and required a degree in origami to put together. Further consultation took place and we suggested a lighter outer box and some sort of crushable inner lining. In a surprisingly short time period Spectrum came up with the 'Z' box. The same outer decorative carton with different inserts for each size bottle. The video demonstrates quite clearly that the box does its job and laid down a challenge for Australia Post.