Packaging serves a very obvious, and necessary purpose: to house and protect a product, to showcase your brand, and deliver a marketing message. While necessary, product packaging is not necessarily sustainable, it creates waste. It’s something that you use once and throw away. Of course, the industry standard is creeping towards eco-consciousness, but who says that conceptualizing cardboard packaging has to be one dimensional (so to speak)?
Multipurpose packaging is packaging which can be used to both house a product, and serves an alternate use after the product has been removed. Multipurpose packaging can also elevate the experience of unboxing, making consumers excited to not only use the product they are purchasing, but the packaging itself. No longer the unicorn of the packaging world, multi-use packaging is becoming more innovative, more common, with interesting new designs entering the market. We’ve done some digging and rounded up some interesting examples of innovative multipurpose packaging.
Aptly dubbed the “Blockbuster Box”, select Hong Kong Pizza Huts began delivering their pies in a cardboard box which could be converted into a wall projector after the pizza was taken out. It even included a specialized pizza table, common in all to-go pizza boxes, doubling as a magnifying lens for the projector. After the box has been set up, slip your phone in, turn off the lights, and enjoy your movie night.
In 2016, Coca Cola released a version of their classic cardboard packaging which could be folded into virtual reality glasses after the cans had been taken out. Available to select Scandinavian countries, Coca Cola was able to meld the ever expanding tech consciousness with the beloved familiar cola.
To celebrate the 22nd birthday of the McFlurry, McDonald’s launched a limited edition cardboard drink holder which also doubled as a speaker. Called “McDonald’s Boombox”, the tray came with an adage, allowing you to flip the package upside down, pop out 2 foil-lined cones, stick your phone in, hit play and become the life of the party. Developed at the University of Waterloo, and released in Canada, the limited edition packaging was also 100% recyclable.
Kirsten Crisostomo is a freelance copy and content writer based in Vancouver, BC.