Bottled water is the most popular beverage in the United States. This is most likely a combination of a variety of factors, including its convenient and cold, an increased focus on healthy beverage options, and large-scale marketing pushes from manufacturers like PepsiCo and Coca Cola.
Regardless of the reason, one thing is clear – bottled water is extremely popular. Consumers bought 12.8 billion gallons of bottled water in 2016! This represents a 9% growth from 2015, and researchers predict that sales will continue to grow.
Bottled Water – Ground Zero For The Packaging War
Given its popularity with consumers, bottled water is an increasingly competitive market. This leads to an interesting situation – a wide variety of beverage corporations want to make money selling bottled water (especially because profit margins are astronomical, ranging from 35-60%), but they need a way to differentiate their products from others.
Because (let’s be honest) all bottled water is the same basic product, this has led to a variety of innovations in the packaging industry. Instead of focusing on the product itself, product manufacturers have focused on user experience – creating water bottles that are unique, have a sense of identity, and appeal to a user’s emotions.
This is why there is such a huge variety in the packaging of water. Think about products like VOSS, SmartWater, or FIJI. These products are primarily marketed based on their packaging and the lifestyle that they advertise – rather than the (boring) product that’s actually inside.
That’s why, for anyone interested in competing in the world of bottled water, user experience must come first. And user experience is far more than just a beautiful bottle – user interactions with the packaging must be smooth, streamlined, and efficient.
This leads to our second point. Ease of use is the single most cited issue that consumers talk about when they discuss how packaging design could be improved.
That’s why the dreaded “stuck cap effect” is so feared in the packaging industry. Even if a user is drawn to your water product, a stuck cap can lead to a negative user experience. Twist, pull, use a vice-grip – if you can’t open your water bottle easily, it doesn’t matter how great it looks. The package is failing to serve its purpose. And once the consumer has had a negative experience with your product, they will most likely choose another brand next time they are standing in front of the refrigerated water cooler at their local convenience store.
How Can Packaging Companies Provide A Streamlined, Effective User Experience?
It all begins with the packaging and design of the product. But that’s only the beginning – once your bottle has been designed, it must actually be manufactured. This is where problems can occur. If your tooling and manufacturing capabilities are lacking, you could suffer from poor bottle and label quality, and a bad user experience.
Much of this comes down to the knives – using the correct material and cutting profile are key components in achieving precise cuts for your application. Dull knives simply can’t cut it (pun intended) when it comes to manufacturing modern water bottle packaging.
If your knives are poor quality, dull, not properly rotating, or otherwise faulty, you may have issues like caps that don’t separate from collars, ugly seams, and a variety of other problems. To avoid this, contact TGW International today. We pride ourselves on crafting only the best knives for packaging manufacturers.
So don’t get left behind. Create a water bottle that offers a beautiful appearance and provides an incredible user experience, and you’re sure to find success!