top of page
Green Vegetables


Zero based packaging design : A powerful physics based heuristic.

Zero based packaging design_Packaging for the Future

Physics helps describe the various phenomena that occur in nature in terms of simpler phenomena. The ability to describe something with accuracy forces us to learn more about it. We suspend assumptions about cause and effect and bring a third lens to observe, analyze and describe the components of the problem so we can derive a solution for the brand. An example of applying this approach follows, where we have developed a plastic reduction algorithm for a global leader in FMCG.

Plastic reduction algorithm

We have built a proven design tool that allows us to:

  • quickly analyse your current packs and

  • identify large opportunities for savings and plastic reduction.

Our tool harnesses our expertise in the art and the science of packaging design.

  • It can handle the full range of pack geometries and materials.

  • Optimisations tools are on hand to modify the geometry and realise plastic reductions.

  • We know that often the visual design equity associated with the brand needs to be maintained. So, we offer you strategic design options that allow you to choose the level of departure from current designs.

  • The design solutions are ready to implement within the current technology in the packaging value chain.

  • Maximisation of efficiencies and minimisation of risk are built into the design options that the tool helps you create.   

Plastic reduction case study
Gaussian curvature_Plastic Reduction Algorithm

Device business model builder:

Electrical/electronic devices are often of great interest to FMCG companies (think domestic coffee pod machines or in-home soda makers) as vehicles for delivering a step change in consumer benefit, premiumisation, sustainability and digital market development. 

However, the mortality rate of device innovation in FMCG is very high. Typically, only 1 out of 10 projects goes to the market and for every 10 projects that go to the market, only 1 meets its year 3 business goals!

And there are 3 reasons why the business model does not work.

smart coffee machine

Key Challenges :

Design to cost

Teams and stakeholders get too excited about design & technology (“cool features”). This pushes up the cost. FMCG’s have high gross margin norms compared to the devices industry.
With these, the device price can become too high for the consumers, often requiring large discounts
It is difficult to price-up the consumables and companies struggle to sell sufficient consumables to recoup device costs.

With our proven cost model tool, we will help you price the device and the consumables correctly, factor in your profitability requirements and hence set clear cost targets before we even start to design the device and consumables.

Competency Gap

FMCG companies do not have the ability or the competencies to develop, manufacture, sell and support the devices in the market-place. Projects often fail because FMCG companies do not involve the right external partners to bridge these gaps. 

With our industry-wide network, we can help you identify the correct partner roles and find the best partners for fulfilling those roles. We will help you in building the right partnerships so that you can concentrate on what you do best, that is, market and sell the consumables that work in conjunction with these devices.We have the skills to build innovation ecosystems tailored for you.

Time Horizon

a) Launching once is not enough.

You need a long-term innovation road map that regularly introduces products with the next level of benefits and create “new news”.This needs to be thought through right from the beginning. 

b) Aiming for perfection.
Often it is advisable to get a ‘good enough’ device to the market fast and bring more sophisticated features at later stages.

We help you create not just the first product to market but a road map that will last for 10 years.

All this means that your project has the maximum probability of success in the market. delivering the right quality of device and consumables at the right price and sustain it successfully through the product life-cycle. 

We help you do this via our bespoke Device development tool: 

Part 1: Financial template, which allows you to develop

  • Market segmentation strategies

  • Pricing scenarios and the associated profitability models

  • Value-chain design and the associated partnership capabilities

  • Decision framework as to what should be in your P&L versus that of your partners

  • Robust cost targets for design

Part 2: Process algorithm for building device project workflows, facilitating decision-making and managing risks.

These considerations for devices are quite different from typical FMCG products. We help your team and stakeholders understand these differences and build an integrated project management flow. This will adapt and extend where necessary to your current innovation project management system.  

Part 3: Partner relationship management tool: is all about having the right partners with capabilities that complement yours; be it device design, engineering, manufacturing, distribution, channels and after sales service. We have a deep understanding of how to build a partner ecosystem and make it succeed. We help you manage not just the ‘hard’ technical or business issues but also the ‘soft’ cultural issues.

Packaging for the future_footer image

Interested in working together?

Get in touch to discover how we can help your business save money, protect the environment and delight your customers.

bottom of page