For its new “coffee-shot” energy drink product that delivers two regular coffee cups’ worth of caffeine in less than 2-ounce of liquid, Forto wanted packaging that came as close as possible in feel and appearance to the type of coffee cup received at popular coffee shops – only in an extremely tiny version. The design delivered by Berlin Packaging ( overcame a number of challenges with regard to filling and sealing the cup – and still produced a perfect miniature version of the coffee cups everyone loves.

 The package structure – complete with a coffee-cup-lid-style snap-on closure – instantly associates the product with coffee for easy differentiation from other energy shots. The coffee connection is reinforced with a brown closure, an embossed “FORTO Strong Coffee” logo on top of the cap, and a dominant brown color motif on the shrink sleeve. The design creates visual fun that catches the shopper’s eye.

 The first iteration of the project took the form of a more traditional blow-molded HDPE bottle with a threaded shoulder intended to be sealed by induction and accommodate a screw-cap closure.

Because Forto’s packaging must withstand a hot-fill pasteurization process on the manufacturing line, the team needed to look at solutions that were different than those used for most other energy shots. After extensive test work with the product’s filler, a material and appropriate nominal wall thickness for the cup was determined. The result is a highly manufacturable package made of a special injection-molded polypropylene resin that is capable of withstanding the 190-degree filling temperatures on the manufacturing line while maintaining full integrity and durability.

 In addition, creative thinking on the closure and seal designs resulted in a conduction-sealed lid with a custom foil-based liner. The liner is supplied in magazines and affixed to the cup before being capped off with the snap-on coffee-cup-style lid closure. The finished package is spill-proof and small enough to toss into a pocket or purse – ready for either a sip or a shot whenever the consumer needs a quick energy boost.

 The package recently won Silver recognition in the Best Use of Custom Packaging category at the 2016 NACD packaging awards.