18 : Those who create, invent and imagine our future

18 : Those who create, invent and imagine our future

A familiar and acceptable way to present you is as the inventor of the new Danone "yog. pot". So what are its specific characteristics?

The new pot embodies lots of innovations. Firstly, its circular shape improves the 'spoonability'. In other words, you can push the spoon right down to the rounded bottom. The KISS pot also has two opening options, one for right-handed people the other for the left-handed. This makes it easier to open for everyone.

We see it took no less than a year, together with 6 other engineers to imagine this new package.

Companies often dream of "fast track innovation", but they do not always readily accept the fact that they have to call into question the way we think and the way we make things. So, even if it only took a few weeks to come up with the new basic shape and its architecture, the project as a whole, starting with having the project approved, took several months to complete.

You have just used the term 'architecture' - is this appropriate?

Indeed, yes. I see myself, not as a designer, but as a packaging architect, somewhere half-way between the engineer and the designer.

Apart from a considerable impact on the Danone production lines, do you know if the new package has had any effect on yoghourt sales?

Well, think that those few grammes of packaging can change Danone's image round the world. In France, we hope to see a sales increase of some 5%. Again, if we limit ourselves to France, we are talking about 4.5 billion 'yoghs' a year, which represents 12 M pots a day, 65% of which will be KISS pots. In the long run, we shall be marketing 8M KISS pots a day in France.

You, Vincent, are not a beginner here - we see your name is associated with Doypacks**® and Domes of Sheba®***.

True. My passion, so to speak, for packaging came when I was still at UTC Compiegne in a design competition the aim of which was to improve day-to-day life objects. I chose the theme of the waste-bag, and proposed an automatically closing bag, which actually went on the market place two years later, as the HandyBag®. Since then the self-close concept has been largely developed ...

And your next " product " will be ...?

I have lots of ideas, but I'm sorry, I cannot reveal them today. I often find myself repeating that the crux of the matter is not to find the idea, but more to identify the problem ... The truth was that nobody had thought about yogh. pots for years, so the field was open and hence all the more attractive to me.

* Keep It Simple and Safe

** Doypack (DOYen PACKaging)

*** a well-known brand of cat-food