The Design Features of a Starbucks Cold Cup

If you’ve worked in structural package design, you may have noticed recent changes to Starbucks’ cups for cold drinks. If not, here’s a look at the new design features, added to make baristas’ lives easier.

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“Accessibility features were folded in. Raised dots signify different sizes that can be felt by a swipe of the thumb, for those with low visibility.”

“Letters are embossed on the bottom of the cup, so baristas can quickly confirm what size they’re grabbing during a busy rush when all the cups are stacked upside down.”

“Black and white ‘fill lines,’ indicating measurement specifications, allow for contrast against both light- and dark-colored drinks.”

There’s another design change you can’t see, one that makes things easier for both baristas and supply chain managers: “The tall, grande and venti cups all use the same size lid. To achieve this, the tall cup was redesigned with a wider mouth and profile, to still hold the same 12 ounces. Previously, the tall cup had multiple lid options, and the grande and venti cups shared a different lid.”

The earlier arrangement meant the company had to stock three different lid sizes, which needed to be arranged in-store so that baristas could tell them apart. Unifying the lids simplifies storage, identification and of course, sourcing and ordering. (The trenta cup, however, still requires its own lid.)

The polypropylene sip lids were designed by thermoforming manufacturer Plastic Ingenuity and meant to obviate the need for straws. “The lid was successfully designed to reduce spilling, splashing, and ice migration through the drink opening with the same effectiveness as a straw,” Plastic Ingenuity writes.

And finally, a change you also cannot see, but might be able to feel: They’ve lightweighted the cups, removing as much material as possible while still hitting structural integrity targets. The new cups cost less, and use less plastic (somewhere around 20% less, the company reckons).

Source: core77

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