One of IKEA’s more genius moves was to break down their products so they could fit into flat boxes. These flat boxes made stacking, shipping and delivering odd-shaped Malm-style dressers and such easier and cost-effective. In much the same way, we are starting to see the containers for your favorite liquids get flattened to facilitate easier shipping and delivery.

Case (pardon the pun) in point: Food and Wine reports Garçon Wines’ Flat Wine Bottle, which was just listed as a Diamond Finalist in 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation put on by Dow Chemical Company. (You know, like the Oscars, but without all the glitz.)

The Garçon flat wine bottle is pretty much what it’s name suggests: a squished wine bottle made from recycled plastic that is narrow enough to fit through the standard U.K. (where the company is located) mail slot. The company says it is made from 100 percent recycled, food-safe PET plastic. The plastic also makes the bottle lighter to ship and helps it withstand tumbles in transit as well as the drop from the mail slot to the floor.

Garçon is actually a B2B company, and has protected the intellectual property behind its bottle design. According to its website, Garçon is actively seeking out relationships with various wineries and “with those working at every stage of the drinks supply chain,” according to its website.

Garçon seems to be hitting the market at just the right time. Beverage Daily writes that by one estimate, 34 percent of beer drinkers in the U.K. buy booze online. Here in the U.S., DRINKS said that it shipped 10 million bottles of wine in the U.S. in 2017, and has 500,000 active households as customers.

Garçon is thinking bigger and partnering up with bottling facilities to expand beyond wine. Other companies are taking this flat approach as well. As we wrote about last month, Olivery’s smart olive oil bottle/system uses flat, plastic pouches that can fit through a mail slot to get you your olive oil refills.

Better packaging for shelf-stable beverage and liquid delivery will beget more types of bottled products that can be ordered online, which will beget even more types of packaging modified for easier/cheaper transport. And unlike IKEA, when the flat bottle of wine arrives, you don’t have to assemble it.

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