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Operations Management Case Study

Case Title:

Tropicana’s Product (Re)Design: The Packaging Mistake

Publication Month and Year : December 2009

Authors: Syed Abdul Samad Dr. V. Srinivas

Industry: General Business

Region: India

Case Code: OM0022

Teaching Note:  Available

Structured Assignment: Available


Product design is an important aspect of any manufacturing company. It has to take care of the external influencing factors like consumers’ requirements and appeal, and internal constraints like manufacturing process, economies of scale, etc. In January 2009, Tropicana North America changed the look or design of its flagship Tropicana Pure Premium brand cartons. The original image of an orange and the drinking straw was replaced by a new image which showed the actual orange juice in a clear glass and redesigned the cap to look like the outside of an orange. However, Tropicana’s product (packaging) redesign became a marketing debacle as consumers and professional designers criticised the new design and termed it as confusing and generic in its looks and appeal. It also resulted in a 20% drop in the company’s sales. In less than two months, the company decided to switch back to its original design. The case tries to analyse the importance of product design for any product and the various factors that need to be addressed while designing a product.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • Understand the process of product design
  • Product design issues from consumer and manufacturing points of view
  • Various approaches to bring customer’s opinion into the product design.

Keywords : Operation Management, Product Design, Cocurrent Engineering, Designing for customer, Designing for Manufacture, Revolutionary Product Design Cahnges, Consumer shopping Behaviour, Visibilty of the Product, Acceptability of the Product, value Engineering, Product Equities, Key Design Elements, Quality Function Deployment, Emotional Bond of Consumers, Tropicana Juice, Product PAckaging, Generic Brands


  • Tropicana Products, Inc.
  • Tropicana Packaging: The Redesign Exercise
  • Suggested Questions for Discussion

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