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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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Seeking innovative solutions for:

  • COVID-19: Defining a generational problemCOVID-19 is a problem whose location and features seem to change and mutate every day. We are asking you to volunteer your expertise and perspective at this time.
  • COVID-19 DiariesThese are unprecedented times. We wish to help document and understand this crisis as it touches everyone, everywhere--and develop solutions. Share your stories and ideas.
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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 worked with PepsiCo to invent and prototype new packaging formats for e-commerce that address challenges the Food & Bev company faces when shipping traditional packaging formats through their e-commerce channel.


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 identify 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 Rapid Innovation Session and Request for Invention, Xinova sourced solutions from our network of global innovators.


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 bagin-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. 

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