A big business at the 400 Costa Coffee cafés in the UK is selling coffee to take away. Up until December 2005 they were using grey pulp-moulded trays, which are boring and space-hungry. The challenge they faced was to find an alternative multi-cup carrier which was cost effective, eye-catching, safe, user-friendly, space efficient and environmentally sustainable. Perhaps most important of all was the branding possibilities; can you find a better advertising than people on the street carrying coffee in carriers with your own colour and logo?

The answer was PortaDrink™ from PortaBrands, innovators in carrying solutions. "We are very pragmatic, and one of the cornerstones in our business idea is understanding of our customers’ functional needs," says Ian Bates, inventor and CEO of PortaBrands. "We can provide a way of speeding up bar / café service by up to 25%, and in this case, where the alternative earlier was pulp-moulded trays, we could offer double the space utilisation.

"When it comes to coffee, you buy as much as you need right now; but for selling wine we have other solutions, and there we simply can offer increased sales to the retailers, as people buy what they can carry. It is also important that the consumer can easily flatten the carrier after use."


Another cornerstone in the business idea is the use of cartonboard from FSC-managed forests, which means that the raw material is sourced in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. "Here - and in many other solutions - we use Frövi Carry," stated Mr Bates. "The board is light, strong and offers excellent wet and tear strength properties - vital for a safe and sturdy hot drinks carrier. We have a long experience of Korsnäs board. Our policy and their board go hand-in-hand."

PortaDrink™ is a one-handed carrier, designed for two, three or four cups. They are sheet-fed litho or reel-fed flexo printed in up to six colours. Printing and converting takes place in Belfast and Manchester, under licence, by the MSO Group.