Thanks to a tip from reader Dylan Bannister via the BevReview Facebook Page, while I was traveling through North Carolina on vacation recently, I came across a couple examples of PepsiCo's new "Sidekick" bottle, which reminds me a lot of Dr Pepper Snapple Group's "Legacy" bottle.
The folks at FoodProcessing.com provided this description of the bottle during their coverage of the Institute of Packaging Professionals 2011 AmeriStar Package Awards competition, at which the "Sidekick" was honored:
In the summer of 2010, PepsiCo launched a new 20-oz. bottle specifically designed for Mountain Dew with the goals of enhancing brand image, improving functionality and gaining better shelf impact. This unique bottle was designed to work within the existing manufacturing and distribution infrastructure while using the same amount of resin as the previous bottle, and achieving material reduction by reducing the size of the label.
Like the "Legacy" bottle, "Sidekick" also uses a very narrow band for the
label, which as noted reduces material cost. Additionally, it puts the brand above any sort of rack/holder that might be found in a convenience store, making it more visible.
In the case of Mountain Dew, I think this actually works quite well, since the brand's logo can be easily condensed for that space. In the case of DPSG's implementation with "Legacy", some of the brands don't translate as well. Long time Dew fans might remember Mountain Dew MDX which had a smaller, 14 oz bottle shape that looked a lot like the Legacy/Sidekick design.
The "Sidekick" seems to be currently implemented in just a few markets at the moment. Thanks to Dylan, we have a look at all the Mountain Dew flavors in this new bottle design. Note that only the flagship flavor uses a green-tinted bottle, while the other flavors are clear.
If you look closely at the bottle itself, you'll note that there is a grip design in use, with triple ridges implemented on opposite sides below the label band. An embossed "MD" logo also appears on sides that don't feature the ridges.
It will be interesting to see if this bottle shows up on a broader basis. It seems like all the big players are reshaping their plastic bottles beyond what we've become accustomed to, all for the sake of being distinctive and more visible. Do you think this strategy will work? Post your thoughts in the comments!