Seeking novel technologies to enable consumer promotions using existing packaging components

Posted by PepsiCoResponsive · Specific Technical Innovation · Project Size Range : 250,000 - 1,000,000 € · Deadline at 04/12/2020 · United States

Desired outcome

PepsiCo is interested in new methods to delight and engage with regard to promotional activity using existing packaging components such as bottles, labels and closures.

PepsiCo connects with consumers in a variety of ways, such as advertising and social media. On a more personal, individualized level, PepsiCo can also connect with consumers via QR codes on labels or via unique codes added to the underside of a cap. Driven by the unique coding, these under-the-cap (UTC) codes can provide access to product or promotional information or can provide entry into a contest. Once redeemed, unique codes will need to be prohibited from further redemption.

In order to access the code, the consumer must first purchase the product and then open the container by breaking the tamper evident bands to access the unique code. Often, however, the UTC codes can be difficult to read using either the human eye or with a cell phone camera. The main challenge: the closure base color has little contrast when compared to the UTC text. This results in a decline in consumer engagement and participation.

PepsiCo is seeking:

1. Systems or technologies that can deliver a more positive consumer experience by ensuring greater visibility and legibility to unique UTC codes
2. Alternatives to the traditional UTC codes by leveraging bottles, labels or closure technologies that still require consumer purchase of the product prior to accessing the unique identifier.

While PepsiCo is primarily interested in technologies that are closer to commercial availability, early-stage solutions may also be of interest, provided a clear development pathway exists.


Key Success Criteria


  • Must be scalable and run at speeds of 1,000+ parts per minute, preferably assembled within our supply base
    • Solutions which require multiple pieces of equipment to reach desired speed will be considered
  • Must not impact current finished goods performance:
    • Bottle opening/closing
    • Label scuffing or tearing
  • Must be compatible with PepsiCo's Packaging with a Purpose goals with regard to sustainability:
    • Proposed technology must not
      • negatively impact recyclability of the bottle or closure
      • negatively impact the carbon footprint of production efforts
      • negatively impact bottle or closure weight
  • Must be compatible with 28mm diameter 1881 plastic closure
  • High degree of ease for consumers:
    • Minimal number of steps for consumers
    • Easy to follow directions
    • Codes readable by cell phone camera OR
    • Easily readable by eye for manual entering


  • Minimal impact on filling plant
  • Variety of color options
    • Custom color options highly desirable

Possible Approaches

  • Laser marking
  • Laser engraving/etching
  • Reactive polymers which exhibit color changes when exposed to lasers
  • Novel non-alphanumeric displays
  • Leveraging bottle characteristics
  • Leveraging label by potentially concealing unique codes on labels

Approaches not of interest

Unless significant advances have been established, PepsiCo is not interested in:

  • QR codes which can be redeemed prior to purchase
  • Geofencing technologies

Preferred Collaboration types

To Be Negotiated

Related keywords

  • Industrial manufacturing, Material and Transport Technologies
  • Packaging / Handling
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Technologies for the food industry
  • Food Packaging / Handling
  • Social and Economics concerns
  • Information and media, society
  • Creative services
  • Creative products
  • Communications
  • Commercial Communications
  • Other commercial communications
  • Consumer related
  • Food and Beverages
  • Soft drinks and bottling plants
  • Consumer Products
  • marketing
  • qr codes
  • social media
  • labelling
  • promotion
  • utc codes

About PepsiCo

Large Enterprise from United States

PepsiCo is one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies with a collection of global brands including Pepsi and Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana, Frito-Lay and beyond. Our broad range of more than 3,000 delicious products offer consumers convenient, nutritious and affordable options in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. We generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

PepsiCo External Innovation is an upstream, externally facing, department within PepsiCo R&D. We actively scout for, identify and develop strategic partnerships with external collaborators. Our goal is to locate key external insights, business models and technical unlocks and new capabilities that, when partnered with PepsiCo’s robust internal R&D expertise, will yield disruptive innovation in our core products and/or new and emerging products. We are currently exploring novel technology spaces that can dramatically impact our portfolio of foods and beverages. We are interested in improving all facets of our supply chain—from raw material inputs all the way to the consumer consumption—and identifying global efficiencies in areas including crop science, ingredients, processing, packaging, equipment, distribution/fleet, retail and e-commerce. We are also committed to sustainability for our planet and our communities.

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