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Unitec bottle design wins design award, Asia export client

The Provider

Unitec bottle design wins design award, Asia export client

17 October 2016
For immediate release

An innovative redesign of the humble beer bottle by Unitec students for O-I New Zealand is currently being produced at commercial scale for exports headed to China and Hong Kong.

The bottle design, dubbed the ‘Provider’, won silver in the Best New Zealand Design awards on Fridaynight in the structural packaging category.

Now graduated Unitec design students Quentin Chan, Xin Wang, Josh Brannan were the design team for the bottle. The country’s largest institute of technology was last year approached by the world’s leading glass bottle manufacturer, O-I to design a new industry bottle specifically aimed at the export of New Zealand craft beers to Asian markets.

“It’s not only New Zealand that has a passion for craft beer. Asia has also developed a taste for these brews with more flavour and personality. And with 11 major countries in the region having a projected combined population of over 3 billion, it’s an unmissable opportunity for Kiwi craft beer producers,” said Bayard Sinnema, O-I New Zealand’s Business Sales Manager.

Unitec also took a Best Design Award, exhibition and temporary structures category, for its Glow@Artweek Auckland architectural structures and light pavilions which showed in Devonport over the weekend. And Unitec graduate Navneet Rattan won a silver award in the student interactive category for a website design.

Birkenhead Brewing Company is the first in New Zealand to fill a production run of the Provider bottles. The firm plans to distribute all its product for international and domestic markets in the design from December 2016.

“We love it and that’s why we’re putting all of our product lines into it,” said Steve Simms of Birkenhead Brewing Company. “Customers love the feel and the look of the bottle.

“We recently took it to China and the unique design was well received. The 888ml was highly regarded as an excellent sharing bottle. Its striking features set it apart from other standard beer bottles – it’s a great selling point.”

Unitec design academic Dr Cris de Groot said the original brief also presented the challenge of this design being an ‘industry’ bottle – glass packaging that is brand agnostic – enabling any craft brewery to fill it with their product and apply their labels.

As part of the students’ research, some set up online forums, chatting with potential consumers in China and South Korea to help shape the design, de Groot said.

The heel of the bottle has embossed text stating “Crafted in New Zealand”, and the bottle’s neck offers consumers the opportunity of enjoying their ale from a vessel with a unique volume of 888ml. Beer in Asia is sold mainly in larger vessels as drinking is a social occasion, where the host will pour the guests glasses using both hands and keep them filled.

In Chinese the number 888 is considered “very lucky/ triple fortune”. The smaller sampling bottle features a 258ml volume, and has similar connotations.

See Thirsty Work TV show on TV3 for a segment on Unitec’s bottle designed which aired on Saturday, October 15:

For more on the Best Design Awards win, see:


Note to Editors

About Unitec Institute of Technology
Unitec Institute of Technology is New Zealand’s largest institute of technology and a leader in adopting modern teaching and training approaches to prepare our students for success in the jobs of the future. We offer employment focused education, from certificates through to doctorates, across a wide range of professional and vocational areas. We also partner with major business and service organisations, with many co-located on our Auckland campuses, to align our vocational learning closely to industry needs.

About O-I

Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the world's largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world's leading food and beverage brands. The Company had revenues of $6.2 billion in 2015 and employs 27,000 people at 80 plants in 23 countries. With global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, O-I delivers safe, sustainable, pure, iconic, brand-building glass packaging to a growing global marketplace. For more information, visit

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