Concept Creators: VBAT & Heineken Design
Design Director: Erik Wadman
Brand Director: Elseline Ploem
Senior Designer: Peter Eisen
Designer: Stephane Castets
Account: Kim Hogenbirk & Marisca Wood
Model Maker: NPK
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Heineken International
Location: The Netherlands
Packaging Contents: Beer
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass
Printing Process: Gravure

To reduce Heineken’s carbon footprint it would in many cases be best to switch from one-way to returnable / refillable bottles. But, returnable bottles are seen as less premium, they scuff, get damaged and consumers perceive them less appealing.

The brief was to design a bottle that changes the paradigm that returnable bottles are less attractive: Develop a returnable bottle that becomes more attractive with ageing.

Bring the beauty of age and authenticity to life in 2 dimensions:
1)The physical bottle should become more beautiful and attractive the older it gets; the scuffing should add value to the design.

2)Connect each individual bottle through a simple etched unique code to the internet of things. Enable consumers to see online where the bottle has been, what it has experienced. And enable them to upload their own message in a bottle for the next user.

The returnable bottle is re-named to get rid of the backward looking old fashioned idea of returnable bottles. It’s called the FOBO; forwardable bottle.

The shape is completely new for a beer bottle, without placing it in another category; it’s still lager beer, and not water, juice or olive oil.

The hero is not a label, but the large embossing. And the embossing will start to get scuffed over time. The more it scuffs, the whiter it becomes, the more it will stand out, the more attractive it gets.

What’s Unique?
In the white screenprinted area each bottle has a unique etched code. Via consumers can see where that particular bottle has been, what it experienced, which special cool night, or which surprising encounters it witnessed. And you can add your own message to forward to the next consumer, as a chapter of the connected story chains.

The more each FOBO is being forwarded, the more legendary it becomes.

Over time all FOBOs will be connected chains of true consumer stories. Over time all FOBOs look unique and authentic. And, over time, all FOBOs reduced Heinekens carbon footprint significantly.