PepsiCo Gets a Fresh Grip on Its Sodas

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If it seems like the ubiquitous 2-liter soda bottle hasn’t changed it decades … well, it hasn’t.

Until yesterday, that is, when PepsiCo unveiled the first redesign in nearly 30 years.

Why the revamp? Sure, it’ll help PepsiCo’s expansive portfolio of sodas, from Dr. Pepper and Mug Root Beer to Schweppes Ginger Ale and Crush, stand out. But as PepsiCo notes, it’s all a game of numbers: The standard 2-liter design features a uniform circumference of 13.4". That’s a problem of ergonomics when you consider that the average human hand measures between 7–8.6" (and the brand even invokes NASA data to back this up). Thus PepsiCo slimmed down the grip point of the bottle to 10.4", a reduction of more than 25 percent—which, in PepsiCo’s studies conducted in December, 90 percent of soda consumers found much easier to hold.

“We know our fans will love the PepsiCo 2-liter bottle redesign because we kept them at the center of our design process, working through thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototypes to land on the perfect solutions for our beverage portfolio,” PepsiCo SVP and Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini said in a release. “Beyond improved usability, this new bottle will be the billboard of the soda aisle, catching the eye and shouting PepsiCo, louder and prouder, from top to bottom, with branding no longer constrained to the label, and the exact right balance of form and function.”

Some of PepsiCo’s flagship brands will also feature distinct bottle designs at their grip points, providing nods to each property’s legacy branding.

The products are currently hitting Midwestern markets, with a nationwide rollout forthcoming.

As for the next redesign—let’s do something about that plastic.

Update: PepsiCo reached out regarding the plastic—and a reduction also plays into this redesign. “At PepsiCo, we ​support a circular economy by reducing ​the amount of plastic we use, ​driving increased recycling and reinventing our packaging. The redesign of the 2-l​iter bottle is another step along that journey. The design team has rebuilt the labels to use 24% less material than the previous iteration of the 2-liter, while ensuring the functionality of the grip works within existing manufacturing capabilities to prevent additional plastic use.We’ll drink to that!