Drinkfinity (Re)Fills Our Hearts With Joy
By: Bill McCool
When it comes to packaging design and sustainability, refill is the great white whale we’re all elusively chasing after.
Well, PepsiCo has now taken us a step closer with Drinkfinity, a disruptive beverage looking to redefine the way we drink. Consumers simply fill the branded BPA-free 20-ounce Drinkfinity vessel with water, pop the concentrated drink pod in the top of the bottle, shake it up, and voila.
It’s a fun little bit of magic watching the pods explode into the Drinkfinity vessel as they cloud over the water. Better still, keep the bottle for life and you’ll have infinite tasty beverages like Mango Chia Flow or Mandarin Orange Charge delivered right to your door, either individually or through a weekly subscription service.
Launched last week, Drinkfinity has actually been in beta testing in Brazil since 2014. With its direct to consumer model, it’s a surprising and innovative move from PepsiCo that upends the entire system of distribution, nose to tail.
Created by Hernan Marina, PepsiCo has essentially started running an internal startup company that wanted to develop a line of drinks that are not only good for you, but also for the planet—the pods use 65 percent less plastic than the typical 20-ounce drink you’d buy from your local bodega. PepsiCo also claims that because the pod is significantly smaller than the usual plastic bottle, they cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent. Not too shabby.
The only real glitch in the system is that they’re placing the onus on the consumer to ship the used pods back (at no additional charge) using their Loop recycle program. For environmentally-conscious millennials, this is an absolute must as the pods themselves cannot be taken to your local recycling center because they're too small for the sorting equipment. If Drinkfinity can develop a fully-recyclable pod, it could be a truly game-changing and disruptive brand, but for now, it seems like a well-intentioned half measure.
But it’s not just sustainability that’s fresh on PepsiCo's brain—soda sales continue to decline and the beverage stalwart has chosen to focus on developing more low-calorie options and expanding their water portfolio. Drinkfinity is loaded with natural ingredients and is free of sweeteners and additives, perfect for a younger generation of consumers that would like a little less soda in their diet.
Regardless, Drinkfinity is an exciting moment for refill and could potentially pave the way for bolder methods of production with an eye towards sustainability.
Now, back to watching videos of those pods raining down like so much magical glitter into those neat little Drinkfinity bottles.
Bill McCool is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. Though new to the world of design, he has always been a storyteller by trade and he seeks to inspire and cultivate a sense of awe with the work and artists he profiles. When he's not winning over his daughters with the art of the Dad joke, he is usually working on a pilot, watching the Phillies, or cooking an elaborate meal for his wife.