Who doesn’t love eating potato chips? They’re crunchy and salty and delicious and good luck trying to stop yourself from eating an entire bag in one sitting. But they’re also greasy and messy and can easily get smashed up while travelling around in a foil bag. Proctor & Gamble wanted to change that, by bringing a line of chips to market that wouldn’t be easily flattened. The result was the Pringles can, something that’s become so well-loved, it was voted as British millennials’ 2nd favourite packaging shape, just behind the Coca-Cola bottle. If that’s not worthy of the iconic packaging title, we don’t know what is.
Designed by Fredric Baur in 1966, he envisioned the packaging as something that would ensure freshness, prevent damage and stand all on its own. The Pringles can, a resealable container made from a paperboard tube, a metal bottom cap and a plastic top cap, satisfied all 3 requirements. Baur loved the design so much, that he insisted he be buried in one. Upon his death in 2008, his family followed his wishes, and he now rests in a Pringles can. Original flavour, of course.
It isn’t just the packaging that’s iconic. The distinctive saddle shape of a Pringles chip is mathematically known as a hyperbolic paraboloid. Creating that shape means forming both potato and potato flour together, so Pringles are more like formed crisps than chips. And as a fun little aside, did you know the mascot’s got a name of his own? Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to Julius Pringle.
The Pringles can is so well-known and so useful, that the main product line hasn’t had to change its main shape. Ever. Instead, Pringles has concentrated on complementary packaging to experiment and augment its family, while also creating scores of varied and unique chip flavours. In fact, there have been over 100 different flavours, with roughly 29 varieties currently available.
Let’s check out some of the more interesting things Pringles has done with, and for, it’s iconic packaging.
Pringles International Flavours
As a globally-enjoyed brand, it makes sense to create versions of your product that would best appeal to specific markets. Some of Pringles’ most interesting flavours come from overseas nations. As seen in the picture above, these 3 options were popular in Asian and Pacific nations. As an added and interesting touch, the chips themselves were tinted appropriate colours.
Pringles Holiday Flavours
Not ones to miss the chance to have some fun, Pringles releases unique, limited-time flavours during the year. Some of their most noteable releases have come about during the later parts of a year, including Halloween and the Christmas holidays. As seen in the picture above, these 3 options were drenched in sugary sweetness and proved to be popular creations.
Pringles Grab & Go Cans
Sometimes you want a snack, but not a huge snack. And you know if you dig into a full-sized can of Pringles, you’re probably going to overindulge. That’s why the Grab & Go can was introduced, as a quick, hunger-destroying option for people on the move. The smaller cans also fit on gas station and convenience store shelves better, making them a smart extension to their product line.
Pringles Snack Stacks
Upping the on-the-go ante, snack stacks are how Pringles makes themselves an easy part of lunch. Much like the Grab & Go cans, these are easier to cart around. Part of what makes them a mainstay of the Pringles family is their focus on a few select flavours (and of course, buying them in pseudo-bulk).
Pringles Snack Pots
These were a hit around the playground while growing up. A small plastic container, full of a perfectly-sized stack of Pringles chips. If you pulled one of these out of your backpack, you got a lot of attention. Originally released in the 90s for a limited time, they’ve recently been brought back once or twice in a handful of countries.
Here’s where Pringles experimented with changing the shape of their crispy goodies. Instead of the saddle-shaped morsel everyone recognizes easily, Pringles Stix are literally shaped like little sticks. We think they’d be fun as drumsticks, wizard wands or vampire teeth.
Even with all the interesting products that’ve joined the Pringles family, the original can remains the brand’s most popular packaging. Its tall cylinder, both functional and distinctive, makes a worthy addition to our favourite iconic packaging. If there’s any product packaging that you think is worth of iconic packaging status, be sure to let us know!