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PepsiCo is interested in new methods to delight and engage with regard to promotional activity using existing packaging components such as bottles, labels and closures.


PepsiCo connects with consumers in a variety of ways, such as advertising and social media. On a more personal, individualized level, PepsiCo can also connect with consumers via QR codes on labels or via unique codes added to the underside of a cap. Driven by the unique coding, these under-the-cap (UTC) codes can provide access to product or promotional information or can provide entry into a contest.  Once redeemed, unique codes will need to be prohibited from further redemption.

In order to access the code, the consumer must first purchase the product and then open the container by breaking the tamper evident bands to access the unique code.  Often, however, the UTC codes can be difficult to read using either the human eye or with a cell phone camera.  The main challenge: the closure base color has little contrast when compared to the UTC text.  This results in a decline in consumer engagement and participation.

PepsiCo is seeking:

  • a) systems or technologies that can deliver a more positive consumer experience by ensuring greater visibility and legibility to unique UTC codes
  • b) alternatives to the traditional UTC codes by leveraging bottles, labels or closure technologies that still require consumer purchase of the product prior to accessing the unique identifier.

While PepsiCo is primarily interested in technologies that are closer to commercial availability, early-stage solutions may also be of interest, provided a clear development pathway exists.



  • Must be scalable and run at speeds of 1,000+ parts per minute, preferably assembled within PepsiCo’s supply base
    • Solutions which require multiple pieces of equipment to reach desired speed will be considered
  • Must not impact current finished goods performance:
    • Bottle opening/closing
    • Label scuffing or tearing
  • Must be compatible with PepsiCo’s Packaging with a Purpose goals with regard to sustainability:
    • Proposed technology must not
      • negatively impact recyclability of the bottle or closure
      • negatively impact the carbon footprint of production efforts
      • negatively impact bottle or closure weight
    • Must be compatible with 28mm diameter 1881 plastic closure
    • High degree of ease for consumers:
      • Minimal number of steps for consumers
      • Easy to follow directions
      • Codes readable by cell phone camera OR
      • Easily readable by eye for manual entering


  • Minimal impact on filling plant
  • Variety of color options
    • Custom color options highly desirable


Possible Solution Areas:

  • Laser marking
  • Laser engraving/etching
  • Reactive polymers which exhibit color changes when exposed to lasers
  • Novel non-alphanumeric displays
  • Leveraging bottle characteristics
  • Leveraging label by potentially concealing unique codes on labels


Approaches not of Interest

Unless significant advances have been established, PepsiCo is not interested in:

  • QR codes which can be redeemed prior to purchase
  • Geofencing technologies

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