Packaging Innovation
June 27, 2016

Do the best packaging designs really come in pairs?  

Earlier this year, packaging designers for Kirin Company (a Japanese beverage company) and Glico (a Japanese candy manufacturer) released the fruits of their cooperation into the world. The design teams had worked together to create inspiring packaging for Kirin’s ‘Teagurt’ (a mixture of yogurt and tea) and Glico’s ‘Pocky Lemon Love’ (lemon-flavored biscuit sticks). Which, apparently, taste like an amazing piece of cheesecake when eaten together. Hence the decision to sell the products as a pair. And they do make quite the pair! Seriously, how adorable is this packaging design? Let’s have a closer look!

A “heart-fluttering” packaging design

The Pocky box design comes in both a male and a female edition. On the left side of the Pocky box we see either a woman or a man. The Teagurt design features six different characters (three male and three female) on the right side of the label. Put two and two (or, better said, one and one) together and the Teagurt and the Pocky character end up kissing. Cute, right? Kirin and Glico explained: “We wanted to express in the package design that heart-fluttering feeling when men and women meet and fall for each other. When you pair these packagings, you complete the package design of men and women in love.”

An innovative packaging design… with a hint of homophobia

At first sight, the design comes across cute and clever. So far, so good. But wait. Let’s recapitulate: they said ‘men and women’. Surely they don’t mean you can’t pair up two men or two women? We hate to disappoint you, but yes. It’s exactly what they mean. Because when you snap a picture of your Teagurt bottle and Pocky box with an app called ‘COCOAR2’, you can watch a video of your couple together, telling their story. Interestingly enough, Kirin and Glico emphasize in these videos that all of the same-sex combinations are of a non-romantic nature. Yup. In short: kudos for this innovative packaging design! But for the storytelling… not so much.   Inspired by I’ll Make it Myself!