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Introducing SousZen

See how Xinova partners with PepsiCo and Innit to launch the new Seattle restaurant tech startup, SousZen, that aims to digitize ‘back of house’.

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Innovation Opportunities

Seeking innovative solutions for:

 E-commerce packaging solutions

“The partnership we have with Xinova has focused on timeless key problems to deliver on-trend solutions. We are focused on delivering technical unlocks to sharply prioritized and clearly defined R&D problems that have eluded solutions via usual ecosystems. The partnership has enabled us to tap into thinking from very different industries, to find novel approaches to these evergreen opportunities and then adapt them for our applications.”

– VR Basker, Nutrition Category VP at PepsiCo



Xinova was built for this fundamental disruption to on-site innovation and R&D processes. You can be, too. Xinova helps co-innovation partners become “Work From Home-proof.” As pioneers in distributed brainpower, we:

  • Connect experts to on-demand modular projects spanning one week to multiple years.
  • Conduct virtual management of innovation projects with a teachable methodology
  • Can tap into a bank of developed ideas
  • Offer a suite of services that help make R&D more efficient and less risky
  • Provide strategic services created to design or defend against disruption

We are helping companies re-organize R&D processes to fit this new reality. Here is one case study example of how that looks in practice.


PepsiCo products shipped via e-commerce are “touched,” (e.g. lifted, moved, and jostled) four or more times more often than those shipped via typical distribution to brick and mortar stores. This can lead to breakage, leaked product, and frustration. It also leads to added expenses.

To prevent breakage, additional packaging materials and labor to unpack and re-pack the products are currently required. This is a broad challenge that faces many CPG companies.

Xinova worked with PepsiCo to virtually ideate and prototype new packaging solutions for e-commerce that address challenges the Food & Bev company faces when shipping traditional packaging formats through their. Together we identified two relevant challenges in this space:

  1. How to design secondary and tertiary packaging to allow standard aluminum beverage cans to ship via e-commerce without damage, economically.
  2. How can PepsiCo re-think and re-design some of their primary product packaging for large-volume beverages specifically for e-commerce?

A key requirement for both of these challenges is that solutions should conform to Amazon’s Ship In Own Container (at minimum) and Frustration-Free Packaging (preferred) guidelines. 

Xinova described the two problems in the documents linked here:

Challenge 1: E-commerce & cans Challenge 2: Click, Ship,& Sip


Using a virtually-run Rapid Innovation Session and a global Request for Invention, Xinova sourced solutions and led rapid prototyping of top ideas. The entire process took a matter of weeks, from problem definition, to ideation and testing, to vetting and selection of solutions with PepsiCo.


For challenge 1
Innovators suggested improved packaging that combined secondary and tertiary-level protection, to allow aluminum cans to ship within Amazon’s guidelines for Ship In Own Container or Frustration-Free Packaging. Examples included several corrugated box designs with integrated elements that support cans, restrict movement and jostling, and absorb shock while providing an interesting unboxing experience for the consumer. 


For challenge 2 
Xinova innovators suggested new primary packaging for beverages that allows new methods for delivering products to consumers, reflecting that e-commerce allows consumers to interact with traditional products in new ways. Some solutions included:

  1. A new beverage package format that blends bag-in-box packaging with a reusable, dispensing base, creating an in-fridge drink fountain.
  2. A resealable beverage container with inflatable dunnage built into the primary packaging.

What’s your biggest R&D challenge? 

Xinova engages with companies of all sizes to solve unique and tough problems.

Learn how we engage by clicking through the stories below. 

View Case Studies

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PO Box #30873
Seattle, WA 98113


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Tokyo 104-0028 Japan


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Affiliate offices in Tel Aviv & Vienna