Where Great Ideas Come From…

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | September 27, 2013

That plastic wrap keeping your sandwich fresh wasn’t designed to protect bologna. After Ralph Wiley, a Dow Chemical chemist, accidentally discovered polyvinylidene in 1933, the military sprayed it on fighter planes to guard against corrosion and carmakers used it for upholstery.

Prior to World War II, coal was commonly used to heat homes, which left soot stains on walls. Noah and Joseph McVicker of Kutol Products, a Cincinnati-based soap manufacturer, created a doughy material to rub the soot off wallpaper. As natural gas replaced coal as a home heating source, Kutol faced bankruptcy. But after McVicker learned that his sister, a schoolteacher, used the material in her classroom as modeling dough—Play-Doh was born.

What do playthings and plastic have to do with the household and personal care industry? They’re just reminders that we never know where the next great idea will come from, and that’s what makes this issue with our Contract Manufacturing/Private Label Directory so important.

Each week, the Happi staff gets at least a couple of emails and phone calls from entrepreneurs who are eager to make their product dreams a reality. With encouragement and a few caveats, we guide them to our directory where they’ll find hundreds of companies that have the manufacturing skills they seek.

Now, will all of these entrepreneurs become the next Estée Lauder, William Procter or James Gamble? Of course not. But there’s no doubt that the next great idea is bubbling and the next great company is on its way. 

So, if you’re looking for a production partner for your novel product, begin your search on p. 82, and be sure to check in online too at Happi.com.

Tom Branna
Editorial Director