Winning Packaging...More or Less

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | June 2, 2014

The best bottles, tubes, tubs and dispensers look great, work right and improve a product’s environmental profile, say industry experts.

What garners the most attention, captures the most awards and wins over consumers these days? Is it the package replete with bangles and beads that inspires consumers to aspire? Or maybe it’s one of those fully functional formats that get the job done right the first time and every time? Or perhaps, it’s a sustainable package that promises to work like magic and then, literally, disappear?
Successful packaging today means more than product protection. Consumers have come to expect much, much more from less and less packaging. After all, according to L’Oréal’s estimate, beauty and personal care packaging alone, accounts for a third of landfill content.

In response, marketers are delivering more, while putting less into waste streams—even as demand for packaging grows in emerging markets. The global demand for personal care packaging is expected to reach nearly $25.8 billion according to a study by Transparency Market Research, which predicts increasing demand for personal care products in BRIC and other emerging markets provide growth opportunities in the near future. Unilever Personal Care president Dave Lewis couldn’t agree more; 60% of his business is in emerging markets.

At last month’s WWD Beauty CEO Summit he explained that the ambition is to continue to build a more premium portfolio of personal care brands, while still growing the business at the bottom of the pyramid:

“We built our success by making our products accessible to billions of people around the world. But the opportunity to think up through the pyramid is clear, the case to build a more premium portfolio compelling,” he said. “We are therefore making beauty as much a part of our personal care business as the need for cleanliness and the bars of soap that helped build the foundation of our business.”

Whether at the top of the pyramid or the bottom, all gains will be tempered, however, by new regulations. In this environment, flexible packaging is expected to be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period, because it offers lightweight, low-cost solutions, along with high durability and aesthetic appeal, according to the study.

However, Unilever relies on HDPE for its new Vaseline Intensive Care range of lotions, which contain a blend of humectants and micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly to deeply moisturize dry skin. The formula may be new, but the packaging maintains a similar pack and cap color, to make it easy for loyal customers to find the line on crowded store shelves.

“We have taken steps to modernize the front label to reflect our new positioning,” explained Dawn Hedgepeth, Unilever US skin director. “Additionally, we’ve moved to make the product claims on pack clearer, including a visual of the healing micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly to help customers understand the formula innovation.”

Despite the new look and new formulas, the Vaseline Intensive Care range still targets the same consumer—a woman who believes that taking care of herself, especially her skin, is important, said Hedgepeth. 

“She is willing to put in the effort needed to get real results. She isn’t looking for superficial lotions, quick fixes, or products making exaggerated promises. She wants substantive skin care that delivers real results.”

Glass Acts
Plastic options may be okay for some personal care applications, but when it comes to high-end CFT packaging, glass remains at the top of the heap. Stroll through any Sephora these days and you’ll find premium rollerball formats for best-selling fragrances from Marc Jacobs, Chloé, Jimmy Choo and many others.

“Rollerballs address the consumer demand for convenience,” explained Virginia Lee, an analyst at Euromonitor International. “The cost on a per ounce basis is ridiculously high, but women have a fragrance wardrobe and usually don’t wear the same fragrance every day.”

In the case of fragrance, it may make sense to purchase small quantities. After all, regardless of the package, the juice starts to lose its luster after a couple of years in the boudoir.

Small, glass bottles have found their way into skin care packaging too. Brands such as Darphin, Josie Maran and Fresh have rolled out formulas that contain oils such as argan, passion fruit, marula and maracuja, which are dispensed with droppers from small glass bottles. These containers showcase the beauty of the oil and ensure the right amount of oil is dispensed.

“In the past, it was considered taboo to apply oil to the face,” recalled Lee. “But facial oils can enhance even oily skin.”

The Spray’s the Thing
Just in time for summer is new Vaseline Spray & Go Aloe Fresh, a convenient 360° continuous spray lotion for post-sun use and moisturization. It’s just one example of how marketers are finding new uses for aerosol products. A couple of years ago, continuous sprays revolutionized the sun care category, and now they’re finding their way into other personal care segments.

The success of continuous sprays helped North American aerosol product production rose 1.8% in 2013 to an all-time high, with an estimated 4.453 billion units filled, according to the Consumer Specialty Products Association’s (CSPA) Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey. The findings are an annual indicator of the business strength of the aerosol products industry.  For the first time, CSPA reported total bag-on-valve (BOV) products as a separate category. An estimated 297 million BOV components were shipped to fillers in the US and Puerto Rico in 2013. This is 8.4% of the total 3.54 billion valves shipped to those fillers.

Let’s Get Small
Good things come in small packages—especially when they’re from Birchbox or one of the other beauty subscription services that have soared in popularity in recent years.  Their success has been a boon to sample-size packaging suppliers.

“There’s been an explosion in mini sample-sized packaging, due to the success of Birchbox, Glossy Box and Julep,” observed Lee. “Sampling has always been big in US prestige channels, but with thousands of men and women are now receiving packages every month, it has created a huge demand for sample size packaging.”

That demand is only going to grow as more startups invade the mail order space with even more product offerings, observed Tim Barrett of Euromonitor International, who noted that Dollar Shave Club has expanded its portfolio to include wipes.

“Shipping is expensive, so once they get a customer it makes sense to expand the product offering,” he explained.

Once they’re hooked, Birchbox and other subscription service customers can buy full-size items from hundreds of brands on the service’s website. Company officials say more than half of Birchbox subscribers ultimately buy full-size products off the site. That buying pattern surprised even the Birchbox founders, Katia Beauchamp and Haley Barna, but then, consumer habits having been stumping consumer product executives for decades. Nowhere is the more evident than in the area of environmentalism, where consumers say one thing…and do something completely different. Just like the weather, consumers talk about going green, but nobody does anything about it!

“Look at the success of Keurig,” offered Lee. “Individual servings of coffee aren’t environmentally friendly, but consumers want convenience.”

That quest for convenience may ultimately convince more multinationals to jump into the subscription service space and, if Gillette starts shipping razors to your average Joe in New Jersey, you can bet that will impact Dollar Shave Club and others.

Green…and Gray
Consumers may be fickle when it comes to making green purchasing decisions, but that hasn’t stopped multinationals from rolling out post-consumer recyclable packaging and innovative programs to go with it. Unilever, for example, is committed to reducing plastic in its personal care packaging. It’s done just that by utilizing the MuCell Technology for Extrusion Blow Molding, which it developed in collaboration with two of its packaging suppliers ALPLA and MuCell Extrusion. Injecting gas to create gas bubbles in the middle layer of the bottle wall reduces the density of the bottle and the amount of plastic required.

Unilever is deploying the technology first in Europe across the Dove Body Wash range, before rolling the technology out into other regions and brands. With up to 33 million Dove Body Wash bottles sold across Europe in 2013, the new technology stands to save up to 275 tons of plastic a year; whereas a full roll-out across every Unilever product and packaging format could save up to 27,000 tons of plastic and contribute significantly to the target set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to halve waste footprint by 2020. But Unilever isn’t keeping a good thing all for itself. The company will waive specific exclusivity rights by January 2015 so that other manufacturers can start to use the technology across their brands and products.

“We’re always on the search for new technologies that can help us achieve our ambition to build a more sustainable business and halve our environmental footprint, and working with our two partners, we’ve created a unique technology that will transform our portfolio,” said Paul Howells, VP-R&D packaging in a statement. “But there’s only so much that Unilever can achieve on our own; and by opening up access to other manufacturers we will really start to see an impact. We very much hope that our peers in the industry will take advantage of this technology too and apply it to their products.”

L’Oréal’s corporate sustainability commitment, Sharing Beauty with All, is focused on innovating, producing, living and developing sustainably.  One part of that program is Garnier’s Personal Care and Beauty Brigade. The brand formed a partnership with TerraCycle, a specialist in making consumer products from post-consumer materials. Last year, Garnier and TerraCycle transformed over 1,500 pounds of recycled personal care waste into a one-of-a-kind Garnier Green Garden in New York City.  This year, the program is going national in an effort to create gardens for deserving communities. Each Garnier Green Garden will be made from 100% completely recycled materials.

According to Lauren Taylor, US director of public relations for TerraCycle, the unique challenge that Garnier’s program presented was developing a solution for the entire personal care and beauty product category’s waste stream, not just waste from Garnier-branded products. TerraCycle had to create a recycling process that was not only robust enough to handle all sorts of personal care and beauty product residue, but also versatile enough to accept the packaging from hundreds of different products—all while keeping it economically feasible for TerraCycle and Garnier.

“Luckily, the ‘easy’ to recycle components of the program are indeed the most common,” she said.

About 70% of the products collected in this waste stream are either #1 (PET) or #2 (PE, HDPE) plastic. This category contains primarily the personal care portion of the program—bottles and jars for shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body washes, and miscellaneous hair and skin products.

It’s the beauty portion of the program that makes the program more difficult. This category contains either #5 (PP) plastics, or “other,” which includes cardboard/paper, #6 or #7 plastics, cosmetic residue, cosmetic brushes and applicators, and other miscellaneous cosmetic products. This portion is most difficult because it requires additional separation, cleaning and processing steps in the recycling process, which is why this category is not accepted by municipal recycling systems, according to Taylor.

The Green Garden project isn’t Garnier’s sole answer to reducing packaging waste. It uses 30-50% PCR PET in all of its bottles.
Multinationals aren’t the only companies making big environmental gains in the packaging realm. Pravana’s Nevo brand, which was recently expanded with new styling products, is packaged in 100% biodegradable bottles and jars. Nevo (New Evolution) formulas are 100%vegan and available only in salons.

Unlike plastic bottles that take an estimated 500 to 1,000 years to break down and which do not ever really biodegrade (they only break down to smaller pieces), the plastic bottles in the Nevo line contain a special ingredient that attracts bacteria to eat and fully digest the bottles. This process starts approximately 250 days after the bottle is introduced into the landfill. Depending on the type of landfill and the associated bacteria types and levels, the total biodegrading process takes from 2-8 years.

Once complete, there is no residual plastic. During the process, the digestion of the bottles produces methane gas, which can be captured at the landfill and converted to electrical energy.

Since it takes years for products to breakdown in landfills, with today’s aging consumer base, it’s a safe bet that a lot people won’t be around to benefit from all that biodegradability.

With that in mind, it’s key for marketers and their suppliers to think about how older consumers, as well as the disabled and able-bodied, interact with their products and packages, according to Barrett.

At last month’s CSPA Midyear meeting (see p. 82 in this issue) he offered suggestions on designing home care products for aging populations around the world. He defined Universal Design as product design based on the core value of inherent and equal accessibility for the elderly, disabled and able-bodied alike. He noted that Japan has the oldest population in the world, with Germany at No. 2 and the US and China not far behind. But even as consumers grow older, they want things done faster and easier. These demands led to the creation of unit dose packs, concentrated liquids and even auto-stop caps such as Tesco’s Flash all-purpose cleaner. Age-conscious manufacturers are also putting more detailed pictures on product labels and making fill lines clearly visible so that older consumers know when they are running out of product.

For arthritis sufferers, SC Johnson added electric trigger sprays to Scrubbing Bubbles and Raid brands, while Guangzhou Liby launched new packaging for its Venwin cleaner, whereby the inner spray nozzle is pointed upward at a 45º angle rather than straight. In the US, Clorox added a dispensing tube that tracks along the bottle wall so that cash-strapped consumers can get every drop of liquid from their cleaner.

“Innovation must save consumers money, or not cost them any more,” he warned.

Beyond the packaging, formulas and formats are changing too, to meet the special requirements of older and disabled consumers. Formulas like Kaboom Foam-Tastic change color to show that they’re working, while devices like P&G’s Swiffer Vac provide greater reach and clean more surfaces.

And, just as in personal care, marketers are rolling out greener packages that use less plastic or are available with refill packages. For example, in China, SC Johnson rolled out a Mr. Muscle bottle that is 9% lighter than the traditional package, which will save more than 900,000 pounds of resin annually.

With retail channels in flux, sustainability on the rise and a population getting older, marketers must grapple with a range of issues that impact their packaging decisions. 

What’s in Your Suitcase?
Bathing suit. Check. Sandals. Check. Pantene. Check. TripAdvisor has announced the winners of its third annual Travelers’ Choice awards for Travel Favorites–highlighting the top brands that travelers around the world prefer for their trips. Here are the winners:
  • Nivea (body lotion)
  • Pantene (shampoo & conditioner)
  • Dove (soap, deodorant)
  • L’Oréal (hair gel)
  • Paul Mitchell (hair spray)
  • Purell (hand sanitizer)
  • Off! (insect repellent)
  • Burt’s Bees (lip balm)
  • Listerine (mouthwash)
  • Gillette (razors)
  • Neutrogena (sunscreen)
  • Colgate (toothpaste)
The results stem from surveys conducted using a panel of more than 5,500 TripAdvisor travelers to select a shortlist of brands/products in each category. A total of 95,056 travelers (including 30,146 US respondents) then selected their favorites from the shortlist.

With world travel setting new records every year, you can be sure that travel-size packaging options are becoming even more important.

Here is a list of packaging suppliers to the global cosmetic, fragrance and toiletry industry. To learn more about their products and services, contact the company using the information provided.

ABA Packaging Corporation
Holtsville, NY
Tel: 631-758-4200 or  800-443-9799
Email: info@abapackaging.com
Website: www.abapackaging.com            
Description: ABA Packaging Corporation has been a trusted full service stocking supplier to the cosmetic packaging industry for over three decades. It supplies primary packaging components for the cosmetic, personal care, fragrance markets.  ABA’s offers one of the best sales teams in the industry boasting over 200 years of combined experience in glass, plastic, and metal packaging components, ABA is also now the exclusive US supplier of OekaBeauty, Ramone Clemente, M&R Cosmetics and Inotech.  Come visit and see what’s new at ABA.

Aptar Cary
Cary, IL
Tel: 847-639- 2124
Website: www.aptar.com

Arkay Packaging
New York, NY
Tel: 212-223-1010
Email: info@arkay.com
Website: www.arkay.com
Description: One of the world’s premier folding carton companies for 92 years, Arkay provides top global cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies with highly creative, cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging solutions. Using the most advanced cutting-edge technologies in the business and working with a palette of decorative special effects, Arkay partners with designers to meet any visual challenge.

Baralan USA/Arrowpak
Richmond Hill, New York
Tel: 718-849-1600
Email: mail@baralanusa.com
Website: www.baralanusa.com
Description: A passion for cosmetic packaging for over 30 years, Baralan USA formerly Arrowpak, a Baralan Company, continues to grow and expand its range. Starting as a leading supplier of nail polish packaging, Baralan USA has channeled that experience into plastic items. From lipgloss to airless, acrylics to tubes, Baralan USA offers the same quality and dependability the industry has come to demand.  A luxury products division supplies the world’s most discerning companies with innovative packaging in both glass and plastic. An expert in bottle design, the company continues to design and create both custom and stock packaging for the industry. Call to see how its experienced sales staff can help you lower your costs and increase your productivity.

Brad-Pak Enterprises, Inc. 
Garwood, NJ
Tel: 908-233-1234
Email: info@ brad-pak.com
Website: www.brad-pak.com
Description: Brad-Pak is a full service distributor of glass, plastic, and aluminum containers, closures, pumps and numerous other items that can be used to showcase your products.  With an extensive knowledge of the chemical, cosmetic, fragrance, aromatherapy and personal care markets, Brad-Pak can help you select the package that is right for your product or market niche.

Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43-18-17-33 
Email: cosmogen@cosmogen.fr
Website: www.cosmogen.fr
Description: Cosmogen is a pioneer in the design and production of cosmetic brushes, accessories and packaging for 30 years. Constant research on new, patented concepts in application for makeup and skin care lines. Cosmogen offers innovative and smart packs that drive customer sales. Continuous collaboration between technical and market trend teams contributes to constant flow of innovations, enabling Cosmogen to offer new concepts and application gesture in line with future market trends in makeup and skin care.       

Cospack America Corp
Edison, NJ
Tel: 732-548-5858
Email: cospack@cospackamerica.com
Website: www.cospackamerica.com
Description: Entrusted by clients worldwide, from the up-start brands to the most recognized beauty companies, to provide packaging solutions that deliver beauty and function. This trust is what fuels the company’s focus and commitment to supply superior packaging that accentuates your product and promotes brand recognition. With its network of global R&D, manufacturing, sourcing and logistics capabilities, Cospack America is able to offer a wide range of packaging solutions for treatment, color cosmetics, fragrance and ancillary products, tailored to meet any design and cost objectives.

CoValence Laboratories
Chandler, AZ
Tel: 480-897-0551
Email: customerservice@covalence.com
Website: www.covalence.com
Description: CoValence is an FDA registered and ISO22716 certified contract and private label manufacturer. Its extremely low minimums with the ability to quickly scale up along with an ingredient supply that dominates most laboratories, has made CoValence a prominent leader in the global skin care industry.

DS Containers
Batavia, IL
Tel: 630-406-9600
Email: info@dscontainers.com
Website: www.dscontainers.com
Description: DS Containers produces a two-piece container with no side-seam, an integral dome, corrosion resistant interior, and a contemporary shape. Customized printing in up to eight colors, as well as a pressure release option, is available. DS Containers offers the shortest lead times and lowest minimum orders for printed cans. Four sizes, 205x604, 205x710, 211x604, and 211x713, are currently produced.

Express Tubes, Inc.
Kent, WA
Tel: 253-850-5270
Email: Sales@expresstubes.com
Website: www.expresstubes.com
Description: Express Tubes has been producing high quality tubes to clients worldwide since 2003 and now produces PET & HDPE bottles, aluminum cans, shrink sleeves, pouches and airless components.  With low minimums, excellent customer service and great prices, Express Tubes is the solution to all of your custom packaging needs.

Fusion Packaging
Dallas, TX
Tel: 214-747-2004
Email: sales@fusionpkg.com
Website: www.fusionpkg.com
Description: Fusion Packaging is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of luxury packaging for the beauty industry. It operates facilities around the globe to provide beautiful, innovative and functional packages. Fusion’s airless expertise, faultless engineering and quick project turnaround consistently makes it the preferred choice for leading cosmetics companies.

JSN Cosmetic Packaging
Irvine, CA
Tel: 949-458-0050
Email: info@jsn.com
Website: www.jsn.com
Description: JSN is an established West Coast manufacturer of plastic squeeze tubes and custom injection molded products, primarily serving the personal care and cosmetic markets. JSN manufactures tubes in LDPE, MDPE, and HDPE materials, with in-house decorating services, including 8-color offset printing, silkscreening, labeling, and foil stamping. 

Capergnanica, Italy
Tel: +39 0373-2331
Email: lumson@lumson.it
Website:  www.lumson.com
Description: Lumson is one of the leading European companies in defining, developing, manufacturing and decorating complete packaging solutions for the cosmetic and makeup market. Founded in 1975, Lumson ensures a high level of quality by supplying standard or custom packaging solutions such as: glass jars and bottles, plastic bottles, airless systems, cosmetic pumps, dispensing systems, accessories and a wide range of traditional and special unique decorations. Lumson is a reliable partner, remaining close to the clients’ and market’s needs, that always tries to anticipate new trends and to offer innovative solutions.

McKernan Packaging Clearing House
Reno, NV  
Tel:  800-787-7587
Email:  sales@mckernan.com
Website:  www.mckernan.com
Description: For 55 years, McKernan Packaging Clearing House has been dedicated to providing quality discount packaging to the packaging industry. The MPCH inventory includes millions of components on the floor ready to ship by the case or by the truckload. As the years passed, McKernan saw the need to add a complete line of wholesale packaging. This ever-growing line includes over 800 line items in their continuous stock program.
McKernan can actually be looked at more as a service corporation helping smaller businesses, startups, and even larger businesses find quality packaging components. At the same time, McKernan also helps businesses “precycle” packaging by purchasing unused and unbranded components, such as bottles, jars, closures and more. This program allows those companies the opportunity to recapture some of their inventory investment on any surplus packaging.

Mid-Continent Packaging, Inc.
Enid, OK
Email: steven.epstein@midcontinentpkg.com
Website: www.midcontinentpkg.com
Description: Contract blenders and fillers of liquids, tablets, powders, and granulars. FDA/EPA/cGMP/Class 1 medical device registered. Three rotary open/fill/seal machines to fill stand up pouches with liquid or dry products. Duplex machine has ultrasonic seals. Dry rooms for moisture sensitive products.

The Penthouse Group
Freeport, NY
Tel: 516-379-1300
Email: info@thepenthousegroup.com
Website: www.thepenthousegroup.com
Description: This 62 year-old, three-generation, family-owned business offers a range of products including Yukilon sponges, Tera Venus sponges, applicators, silicone applicators, brushes, puffs, foot and nail care implements and kits, sewn pouches, bath products and creative novelties.  The Penthouse Group is positioned globally to provide the highest quality and most cost-effective products (USA, China, Japan, Thailand and Korea). In addition, it is the exclusive American sales company for Yoshino of Japan. Yoshino is the largest cosmetic packaging manufacturer in Japan. It manufactures tubes, closures, bottles, compacts, lipstick cases, airless components and much more.

Pro-Motion Industries
Sicklerville, NJ
Tel: 856-809-0040
Email: jim@pro-motion.ws
Website: www.pro-motion.ws
Description: Pro-Motion Industries offers both contract labeling services as well as multiple lines of pressure sensitive labeling equipment. Promotion delivers high quality contract decorating from simple applications to the most complex applications that others might shy away from. Simply stated, Pro-Motion Industries gets your job done.

Montvale, NJ
Tel: 201-507-0555
Email: jwilson@taikiusa.net       
Website: www.taikiusabeauty.com
Description: For over 80 years, Taiki has been a global leader in skin care and makeup beauty tools, products and containers. With a strong emphasis on R&D, Taiki continues to improve products and solutions to provide the best application experience for the consumer. Taiki’s technical advancements have changed the landscape of the beauty industry.

3C Inc.
Wyckoff, NJ
Tel: 973-310-3416
Website: www.c3cinc.com
Description: 3C Inc. has been servicing the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry for 30 years with packaging for the most famous names and those who will become famous.  The many options 3C offers its customer separates it from the ordinary packaging suppliers. Featuring the new “Twister” mascara case and the “Connect’em” brushes and applicators.  3C has more than 16 applicators for its automatic pens.  3C offers a complete line of stock containers and the option for a custom made compact, lipstick case, tube, bottle or jar.

Topline Products
Wayne, NJ
Tel: 973-785-1600
Email: info@topline-usa.com
Website: www.topline-usa.com
Description: Topline Products is a global company that produces and delivers world-class innovative packaging and full service solutions for the beauty industry. Its unique expertise is problem solving, from design, engineering and manufacturing of primary packaging to the conception, development and filing of formulations.
The company focuses on innovation and has consistently invested in the development of breakthrough ideas. It works with clients all over the world and for all distribution networks/retail sectors.

Unit Pack Co., Inc.
Cedar Grove, NJ
Tel:  973-239-4112
Email: info@unitpack.com
Website www.unitpack.com
Description: Unit Pack is a contract packager producing unit of use pouches in a size range of .5ML. through 60ML.  Unit Pack is the effective way to fulfill your sampling, unit dose and single use packaging needs. Unit Packs are well designed, cost effective and environmentally efficient. Select the perfect size and shape, from 1/2cc and up, to hold precisely the amount of product desired. Unit Pack specializes in unit dose filling, for single use applications. It offers a variety of unidose vials, and ampules for trial size packaging.  Applications for its contract unit dose packaging services include travel size toiletry packaging, cosmetic and cosmetic tester packaging, personal care and pharmaceutical unit dose packaging. Select a size and shape from 1/2 ML. and up, to hold the precise amount of product desired. Contact Unit Pack for with your contract unit dose packaging needs.

Verla International, Ltd.
New Windsor, NY
Tel:  845-561-2440
Email:  maryellen@verlainternational.com
Website:  www.verlainternational.com
Description: Private label manufacturer and contract packaging company providing quality turnkey service since 1980. Over 45 nail polish lines, 30 semi/fully automated lines for color cosmetics, personal care, lotions and fragrances. Turnkey options range from marketing assistance, cosmetic/bath manufacturing, packaging, blister/shrink/cello wrapping, kits and pack outs to shipment of finished product.

Looking for even more supplier options for your product package? Peruse our Buyers’ Guide, published in February, or view the online version, which is updated throughout the year, on Happi.com.