Finalist 2021

Smash Blue

Nicholas Bow / Smash Enterprises

Smash Blue - an eco-conscious lunchware range from Smash Enterprises Australia.

Smash Blue is an eco-conscious lunchware range developed by Smash Enterprises Australia – sophisticated lunch and hydration options built to replace single use and low quality re-usable plastics at a price point accessible to all.

Smash Blue uses a food grade stainless steel that has been engineered to be microwave and oven safe, a new innovation in stainless steel lunchware and user behaviour.

Design Brief

To build an eco-conscious product range for the highly competitive grocery channel. Encouraging consumers that are not yet seeking out greener alternatives to make the step away from single and short-term use plastics.

Market research highlighted that several key features are required to consider making the switch; The item/s must be sized correctly, have accessible price points, be visually appealing but most importantly, there must be ease of use with regard to re-heating food, leak proof ability and cleaning.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

Once our internal ranging brief was completed and we had an understanding of the product requirements from sizing, features and usage to price points and SKU count.

The next step was to gain an understanding of stainless steel as a material, everything from its molecular structure to manufacturing techniques and capabilities so we could find a way to meet this brief. We spent two weeks in China meeting with countless suppliers, asking questions, looking and searching for inspiration and ideas.

We returned with a good understanding of what we could achieve and a plan to mix materials and parts from multiple manufacturers. Our sizing and functionality was put to the test with multiple concepts and prototypes until we landed on solution that achieved our goals and had consumer confidence when presented in focus groups.

The biggest challenges for the project was transferring the functionality of traditional plastics to an eco-friendly material like stainless steel that is significantly more difficult and costly to manufacture. The consumer’s need to reheat food challenged us to engineer a food grade stainless steel that is microwave and oven safe.

To ensure no leaks and spills, we designed each container with a silicone perimeter and a hidden release valve to create a leak proof seal that accommodates the manufacturing inconsistencies of the stainless steel base. We elected to use a BPA FREE, 100% recyclable glass-like Tritan material for the lid.

Research showed that being able to see inside the vessel and the aesthetics it provided expanded the products reach to non eco warriors, assisting some consumers to adopt a new format and begin their eco journey. Little Drops make Big Waves after all.

Design Excellence

This range had the difficult task of taking a niche product and re-inventing it for success in the mass grocery channel. It needed to appeal to more than just the converted eco warrior!

Designed with simplicity in mind, we let the polished food grade stainless steel come to life under a glass-like Tritan lid, creating a food storage and transportation solution that evokes quality and style.

The intended consumer ranges from young children right through to adults so the styling needed to have mass appeal. A clear lid was necessary for younger children to identify what they were packed by parents and was also very well received by older consumers as it added a strong aesthetic value to the range.

We believe this encourages non eco warriors to make the step away from low quality plastics to a more sustainable and higher quality product. Significant market testing also identified that clips were required for our consumer to trust that the range would remain leak proof during transport, so these were added as subtly as possible.

The function of the product is simple yet tricky when combining multiple materials from different suppliers that are all manufactured in different ways. The range needed to be leak proof, durable, easy to use and have a solution for re-heating food on the go. The Smash Blue range ticks all of these boxes, we know this from the consumers acceptance across age brackets.

The benefits of stainless steel over low quality plastics are well known, we built this range to be durable, long lasting and timeless in design for a long lifetime. The lid is also 100% recyclable and the use of the product encourages a shift away from single use plastic food wrappers to buying in bulk and decanting food serves into these vessels.

Design Innovation

The biggest innovation for the Smash Blue range is the engineered food grade stainless steel bases that are safe for Microwave and Oven use.

By have a solution that allows you to heat meals easily leaves less of a reason for our consumers to use plastics over our stainless steel. We have proved this key innovation with independent International testing reports.

The materials used in the production of the Smash Blue range are all tested to International Food Grade standards. We use a food grade stainless steel for the base and a food grade BPA FREE Tritan lid.

Design Impact

The Smash Blue range impacts socially, environmentally and commercially. It provides a vehicle that encourages healthy eating on the go at all ages. The price points of the Smash Blue range when compared to other stainless steel lunch and food storage in the market offers significant value providing a sustainable option for a wider consumer base.

The primary reason for the creation of this range was for an environmental impact and with sales to date, we believe we are doing our part to encourage a move from single and short time use plastics, reducing the impact of single use plastics on our oceans and landfill around the world.

The commercial impact on the business has been phenomenal in our launch pad country Australia, already returning sales in excess of 250,000 units in its first year. We have additional sales and more commitments for international distribution into the USA, UK, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa and the Middle East over the next 12 months.

A complex development process combined with creating an eco-conscious, sophisticated lunchware solution that has been adopted by global retailers definitely builds on and contributes to the reputation of Victoria’s design and creative culture.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

The primary reason for the creation of this range was for an environmental impact and with sales to date, we believe we are doing our part to encourage a move from single and short time use plastics, reducing the impact of single use plastics on our oceans and landfill around the world.

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