Finalist 2021

Oasis Reusable Spice Shaker

qDesign Enterprises / Be Tribe / Oasis

The Oasis Reusable Spice Shaker - A circular packaging design system for herbs & spices - Refillable, Reusable and Recyclable.

The Oasis Spice Shaker is a fully refillable, re-usable and recyclable packaging solution. The 200ml spice shaker is designed using circular principles; designed for durability and links to an integrated in-store collection system for both shaker and refill bags.

The bespoke 200ml package is a unique rectangular footprint and features a dual opening dispensing system that is neatly protected under a tamper-evident label.

The package is made from durable plastic that can be reused many times and recycled at end of life. Its highly polished finish parades the array of 200+ spices and the wrapped label completes a quality finish.

Design Brief

The Oasis brand reflects integrity, trust, and traditional values paying homage to the Makool families Middle Eastern heritage. With a focus on selling unique, delicious, and authentic food, selling packaged spices have always been part of the offering.

Initially packed in a generic, tamper-evident round plastic package, it failed to reflect the uniqueness of the Oasis brand. With the expansion and maturity of the business, the timing was ripe for change to reflect this growth. 3 key objectives were outlined for the new design:

  1. The package would serve as a vehicle for telling stories.
  2. A package that presentations better in-store shelf and customers pantries
  3. A package that can become part of a larger sustainability system

The inspiration of the design was to reflect a book on a bookshelf - a mini placard to tell stories and provide the dual functionality of a small or large dose of product.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

The development of the Reusable shaker was undertaken through a design and user-led approach over a 2.5-year period. Design support was from brief through trialling to production launch and supply.

A visual study of the development flow and a final case study outlining the key steps below can be found in the "Additional Info" tab.

Key steps undertaken were as follows:

Empathy

  • A deep study was undertaken of the spice category locally and abroad.
  • Short ergonomic exercises were conducted reviewing various dispensing methods. Aligned category review occurred in other one-handed dispensing formats
  • In-home Ethnographic research was conducted to verify usability and storage methods by a small sample of local consumers

Define

  • Pivoting off the form vision of Ely Makool, key visuals were created to validate the offer to the target audience.
  • Here mechanical tamper evidence features were explored and replaced with more friendly over-wrap labels and a removable press-fit lid began to be explored as an option for "reusability"

Ideate

  • With a direction made around reusability initial 3D CAD was created to validate the form, fit and volume targets for the spice range could be attained.
  • Here the design begins its early refinement for proportion and balance.

Prototype

  • Early 3D Printed functional models were created to validate the operation of the double integral hinged lid, press-fit feature, and decanting methods.
  • Adjustments were made on the design to better suit teaspoon decanting which impacted the overall proportion and size of the package.
  • The looped phase between CAD and Prototype development was conducted 3 times as we refined the design

Test

  • We conducted 2 Tool trial runs refining the press-fit and the closure to control spice egress

Launch

  • Final production was only cleared once approved by Ely and meeting their needs for appearance, usability, filling speed and refill ability in store.

Design Excellence

Filling
The packaging base (clear container) is designed to nest tightly for import shipping but easy enough to be manually dispensed for tabletop hand filling.

Body Labelling
The Packaging is delivered to the back of house where all packages are hand filled, lidded, and then labelled. A series of laser etch marks on the container body and lid provide alignment points for the fillers to easily apply the label wrap and variant side label.

Lidding
Sealing of the herb and spices is secured without the need for a secondary membrane. This is achieved by introducing a press-fit feature on the lid lower perimeter. The raised bead interlocks with the recessed groove on the inner face of the container base.

This reduces the movement of fine particles out from the container as well as securing the lid in place during filling. Additional features are added on each of the 8 lid bosses that interlock with the shaker end of the lower lid.

TE Labelling
The press-fit inner fitting lid is secured in place with an over-wrap Tamper evident one-piece label. The label has located perforations for easier opening of either side of the dual flip-top lid. This secure fitment and Tamper evident feature via a label stock removes the need for fiddly Tamper evident mechanical features or additional sealing via a membrane or foil seal.

Use
Usability of the package is clean and simple. The one-handed activation of the dual hinged closure is as simple as a lift of your thumb, while the navigation for shaking or spooning is indicated by the subtle quality of embossing on the lid.

The pouring end (indicated with an open rectangular icon) has been designed to allow a teaspoon on an angle to enter and dispense a measured dose if so desired.

Design Innovation

The new design is a bespoke dual opening, 200ml shaker package, which is unique to the standard Herb and Spice range found in the Australian market. It features a rectangular footprint and has a 2-sided flip-top lid offering a large dispensing hole on one side and a standard shaker pattern on the other.

The proportion of the pack has been designed to balance both functions in hand and in transport and the aesthetic, making the product colour and texture the hero. The depth of the pack is narrow enough to still ensure stability on the shelf and at home; yet wide enough to allow teaspoon access to one side of the shaker for scooping.

The package features a streamlined geometric finish acting as an excellent advertising placard of the Oasis brand on the shelf. The high polish finish to the rigid container showcases the kaleidoscope of colours the middle eastern herb and spice range offers to the consumer.

The usability of the package is clean and simple. The one-handed activation of the dual hinged closure is as simple as a lift of your thumb, while the navigation for shaking or spooning is indicated by the subtle quality of embossing on the lid.

Branding
A rebrand of Oasis was completed by BeTribe reflecting integrity, trust, and traditional values. The housing device pays homage to the Makool's Middle Eastern heritage.

Recognition
The design has been recognised at the recent Australian PIDA (Packaging Innovation Design Awards) recognised as a 3-time winner - Double Gold for Sustainability (Closed Loop) and Marketing and a Bronze for Food package design of the year. It has qualified for the international World Star packaging awards in all 3 categories.

Sales of the packaging and the supporting refill packages have increased +50% beyond the original forecast.

Design Impact

The Reusable shaker's impact within the Oasis business has been the lead example of the Oasis Loop model. It is the primary tactile object that highlights the sustainable ethos that Oasis have built in their purpose-built store and becomes a living commercial pilot model for major brands and retailers to look to when looking to commercialise a circular model.

The impact of the end solution is both subtle in pack execution, yet powerful by leveraging circularity principles and applying supportive systems in place.

The smart design of the package is not only 22% lighter than the previous package but both 30% & 62% more efficient in shipping & shelf utilisation respectively. This collective efficient use of materials has equated to a direct saving of 600kg of plastic packaging.

This material saving is compounded once the circularity principles outlined below are applied. For the sake of impact, let's assume a person uses 1 Reusable shaker for every 1 Refill bag purchased. The reality would be far more than this.

Let's assume the shaker has been refilled a minimum of 5 to 10 times per refill bag based on the product. This would save between 5 to10 shakers or 90-180g of virgin plastics needed per Refill bag of use.

Based on this calculation, refilling one shaker per Refill bag before recycling prevents between 600k and 1.2M extra shakers from being made per annum. This is a material saving alone of 3000 to 6000Kg of plastic added to the original 600kgs of savings on the design efficiency alone.

Changing the material used in the stand-up pouches to a mono-polymer material will divert 2000kg of plastic per year from landfills.

Oasis has begun implementing store-wide packaging reuse & collection models under the OASIS Loop initiative, including food waste reduction, soft plastics and coffee grounds.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

Closed Loop Collection model
As the Brand owner controls the retail environment, the package was designed around a "refill, reuse, recycle" model. On pack messaging via the "Oasis Loop" logo is in sync with instructions at purchase to encourage the return of the primary package to the store. Once returned to the store a discount is applied on the next purchase and the original package is collected for cleaning and re-filling or recycling in-store.

Consumer Education
The Oasis Loop logo was created to help communicate the circular solution to the customers. Both shaker and refill packs wear this label.

Refillable
The shakers are sold alongside 1KG refill bags. The “Oasis Loop brandmark indicates the connected system and encourages consumers to refill the shaker from the refill bag, reducing the need to buy another shaker. This saves 3 to 6 tonnes of plastic.

Reusable
The shakers lid system was designed as a press-fit and enables easy refilling. Once the package is empty a consumer can either fill the shaker through the spoon opening or pull the label back, remove the lid, fill and replace the lid and label.

Recyclable
To close the loop, it is recognised that at end of life the package material value must be retained. An evaluation was conducted to verify that the assembled package and selected materials would be recycled via kerbside recycling. It was critical to achieving this recyclability to ensure maximum circularity of the package at end of life.

Circularity for Refill bags
The refill bags are made from a mono-polymer PE to simplify recycling and labelled to encourage its return to the store for soft plastic recycling. - They are collected with the coffee grinds by Reground who supply the bags to Close the Loop where they are processed to replace road bitumen.

Product Design 2021 Finalists

KUTITJI Mobile Isolation Unit

Health Forge / Purple House

Smash Blue

Nicholas Bow / Smash Enterprises

Wall Mounted Refill aquaBUBBLER

aquaBUBBLER / Berry Design

:Dsmile

Dentismile Australia Pty Ltd / Charlwood Design / Floating Books / R-Co

TernX Carry On

Tern-x / Tack Lee / Hoe Ping Lo / Tricycle Developments

Brutalis Collection by Acustico Lighting

Acustico Lighting / Envirorubber Solutions / Tyre Stewardship Australia

OKTI

Outerspace Design Group Pty Ltd / Compumedics Limited

Savic Motorcycles

Savic Motorcycles / Dennis Savic / Dave Hendroff

CFX Opus Real-Time PCR System

Cobalt Design / Bio-Rad Laboratories

ROVing Intelligence T7

Matt Millar / Matt Curtain

Evo Tablet Platform

Bosstab / Whistle Design Group

LIZ SMART BOTTLE

Liam Johnston / Cecile Villien / NOERDEN / UCC Australia

ACMI Lens

ACMI / Swinburne University Centre for Design Innovation / Publicis Sapient (Australia)

Christie Barbecues ICON Cabinet

Christie Barbecues / Rory Sangster, Product Development Manager / Paul Conradie, Head of Sales