International House of…Syrups?
When IHOP decided to allow breakfast lovers to take home its unique syrups for the first time, it had a strong design goal in mind — tradition. IHOP restaurants are known to provide a variety of flavorful syrup choices in iconic glass dispensers featuring a tapered round form, free floating handles and open spout tops. The focus of the bottle design for the launch of IHOP at Home Syrups was to recreate the restaurant experience at home, but how?
IHOP’s design goal of tradition was seen as both a blessing and a burden. The glass syrup dispensers were considered an integral part of the restaurant experience, but simply not practical for retail use. IHOP turned to Berlin Packaging’s Studio One Eleven design division for assistance in the hopes that a retail-friendly package evoking the restaurant’s feel could be found.
IHOP licensee Sorbee International delivered a five-SKU lineup of IHOP at Home Syrups that met those challenges while also providing a smooth and consistent pour.
“IHOP is recognized for its variety of flavorful syrups and understands their importance in making breakfast items taste even better. Based on the popularity of IHOP syrups with consumers, IHOP identified retail grocery products as a way to expand the brand's footprint and allow consumers to enjoy the iconic syrups at home,” says Michael Wiser, director of marketing of Sorbee. “A key challenge was determining how to transform the IHOP syrups used in the restaurants into products that would meet consumers' expectations at home. Another challenge was creating a retail bottle that would replicate the syrup pouring experience that consumers love when dining at IHOP. Extensive market research was conducted to really understand what key attributes mattered most to consumers. From that input, products and packaging were developed with the goal of delivering great syrups for use at home. The pouring experience was replicated with the larger opening cap on the retail bottle.”
The new 12oz and 24oz custom packages:
- Use a heavy-gauge polypropylene that allows IHOP’s signature strawberry- and blueberry-flavored syrups to be filled at the required 180-degree temperature.
- Feature a unique near-right-angled handle reminiscent of the restaurant dispenser.
- Utilize an off-the-shelf blue Weatherchem LiquiFlapper flip-top closure with a specially designed teardrop orifice that provides an even flow, a butterfly hinge that stays open when pouring, a cut-off spout that controls the flow rate and helps prevent drips and a one-piece construction that opens and closes with one hand.
- A dramatic large-panel label with strong IHOP at Home branding that matches the blue closure.
Introduced just a few months ago, the new syrups have had success with distribution in Walmart and other major retail chains, and have also garnered attention amongst design award presenters. The National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) recently announced its 2012 Packages of the Year Awards, and this year’s Bronze Award for the food category was awarded to IHOP at Home Syrup for its Weatherchem's LiquiFlapper cap. Judges evaluated packages’ innovation, sustainability, graphics, decoration, shape, closure, texture, ease-of-use, consumer appeal and technical merit.
The award-winning LiquiFlapper closure flips open and securely closes with an audible snap. The tight, leak-resistant seal is designed to lock in freshness and provide security. This closure reportedly provides mess- and drip-free pouring for the product. LiquiFlapper’s flat top aims to ensure easy integration into existing capping lines, and the cap’s contemporary look helps the package be perceived as a more upscale item, driving brand preference through improved shelf impact.
Thanks to the innovative technology of the LiquiFlapper as well as the design effort from Sorbee and Berlin Packaging’s Studio One Eleven, griddle enthusiasts can now enjoy the tastes of their favorite IHOP syrups from the comfort of their own kitchen.