August – Seven Packaging Innovations

It still is summertime, and consequently holiday time, so we keep it light-hearted. Not the generally five, but this time seven new packaging innovations, recently launched.

Aquafresh Ultimate Toothpaste
The category convention of the tubes being horizontally merchandised within a secondary carton has been challenged by Aquafresh Ultimate dispensing with the need for the carton and the distinctive tubes being displayed vertically in a shelf-ready tray. The effect is to standout from the wall of competitor cartons.

Aquafresh ‘Ultimate’, the new “Whole Tooth Protection” brand of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is the result of a close collaboration between GSK in-house PacXperience & Consumer Healthcare Futures and design consultancy Webb deVlam.
The shelf ready pack eliminates the carton, while innovations in the tube itself and the closure offer consumer benefits that include ease for storage, cleanliness and tidiness. Complex printing techniques have enabled the use of the Fresnel lens which captures consumer attention and emphasises the product benefits which are further expressed through the use of semiotic codes employed in the branding graphics.

The SRP features a 3-dimensional fresnel lens to highlight the benefits, this is another first in the category and draws upon Webb deVlam’s experience of using this cutting edge technology for Bombay Sapphire packaging.
The “stay clean” flip top cap features a distinctive white nozzle indicating a healthy tooth surrounded by an Aquafresh wave shaped translucent hinged cap to represent a healthy gum and “whole tooth protection” above and below the gum line.

The tube itself is made from polymer barrier laminate (PBL) which keeps it’s shape even when most of the product is dispensed and features a rounded end seal, that emphasises the circular  benefit illustration.

The Variblend Custom Blending Container
The dual-chamber pump is designed to enable consumers to custom-create their own personal care product formulas by simply turning a dial. The patented system features two separate chambers, each of which holds a different formula; for instance, a skin care product with a lotion and a serum, or a cosmetic product with two different shades.

Based on the technology of variable ratio dispensing, VariBlend, Inc., has made it possible for a consumer to create a formula that is uniquely their own by simply turning a dial.

As the dispenser head is rotated, it changes the position of the actuating disc which interacts with the pump pistons. When actuated, this disc pushes each pump piston at different angles depending upon the selected mixing ratio (see diagram). The mixing ratios can be variable or fixed at specific settings. The volumetric pumps allow for precise delivery of two formulas of varying viscosities and rheologies.

In other words, when the rotating dial is set in the middle (50/50), the actuating disc depresses both pistons equally. Equal amounts of product will be dispensed. When the dial is turned to 100% (100/0) of one side, the actuating disc depresses one piston completely and does not touch the other piston. Only one product will be dispensed or by setting for any other mixing ratios, the selected ratio will be dispensed.

Said to be the best PET bottle in the world
Carlsberg Export is to be sold in 500ml PET bottles exclusively through Sainsbury’s Local stores. The bottles will be moulded to include the Carlsberg logo down the length of the body and be sealed with a traditional crown cap.

According to Carlsberg, there is huge, untapped potential in chilled beer. Consumer research showed that an in-store chiller is likely to attract four times the footfall of an ambient fixture in a convenience store or supermarket.

In a partnership Carlsberg and Schmalbach Lubeca developed a PET-bottle solution for Carlsberg Lager in PET superior to that on limited distribution at the time. The bottle provides easy-open for the consumer and ultimately is able to meet the shelf life criteria, both microbiologically and organoleptically, needed to enter markets outside of limited events.

The 500-mL bottle weighs 29 g, and is a one-way plastic beer bottle, made by Schmalbach-Lubeca in its Manchester/UK plant. It is co-injection/stretch blow-moulded and consists of “modified” nylon between two layers of polyethylene terephthalate. Schmalbach-Lubeca didn’t disclose whether the bottle incorporates an oxygen scavenger.

The new bottle, with the Carlsberg logo down its length, is not intended for retail distribution, unlike the monolayer PET beer bottle it replaces. It’s for outdoor stadiums and similar venues where distribution can be more carefully controlled. The new barrier bottle provides a six-month shelf life at ambient temperatures, while the monolayer PET-bottle’s shelf life is little more than a month.

Interesting is the aluminium crown closure with PE ring-pull overmoulded onto it. Supplied by Japan Crown Cork (Tokyo, Japan), it’s the same closure used by Carlsberg on its returnable/refillable bottle in Denmark, and it incorporates an oxygen absorber.

The new bottle design has a lower carbon footprint than glass, but the main benefit lies in convenience and portability, targeting outdoor summer occasions to drive impulse sales, while the contemporary design reinforces the premium positioning of the brand.

Opening a screw cap of a jar
Everybody knows the frustration caused by opening a screw cap of a jar. Brand owners now can add a new level of convenience for hotfill and retort applications such as soup, nutritional beverages, coffee and tea with the 40mm Ideal Closure from Crown Closures Americas. Compatible with plastic or glass containers, the Ideal Closure delivers superior barrier performance, easier opening and brand differentiation on the retail shelf.

The Ideal Closure is a unique hybrid of a plastisol-lined metal disk and a plastic band. The metal disk forms an airtight seal against the container to guard against oxygen ingress while the consumer-friendly plastic band is easy to grip, enhancing the opening experience. The closure’s two-stage opening mechanism separates the force required to overcome the friction between the closure threads and the container from that required to release the vacuum in the package.

The Ideal Closure is also fully recyclable, allowing consumers to include it in the same recycling stream as the rest of the packaging.

Nostalgic product decoration
As nostalgic product decoration, the one with the fabric cap, neatly kept together with a piece of rope or an elastic band, was the one jar conveying the idea of handicraft, grandmother’s secret recipe and the proven quality of times gone by.

Abarka, member of CH Food in Holland, introduced this retro design as an industrial translation of this authentic design, the fabric cap neatly kept together with a piece of rope.
The Skirt All design is the 21st century variant of the authentic packaging as we know it from traditional grocery stores. Skirt All design is a key element in product presentation, a look that expresses good old quality in an authentic and sincere way.

Using Skirt All design means using a fully automated process to form an oversized top foil into an old fashioned cap and sealing it onto a container. The oversized cap is then pressed down and sealed at the side to create a creased look. This is a unique and modern way of packaging, inspired by originality.

Skirt All is easy to peal with the hand, and also available with a re-closable label, a lid under the foil or in a peal-able solution on round, oval and square trays. All plastic materials and films are useable followed by any process. Abarka delivers no material just a license of this design.

Thin candy wraps
Moneta S in Ruzomberok, Slovak Republic, focuses on producing thin, economic flexible packaging materials and various boxes for the confectionery and dairy markets, and printing those structures on gravure and flexo presses. Converter’s unique machine adjustments allow it to laminate materials starting from 4-micron aluminium foil and 3-micron BOPP film.

For confectionery firm Walter Heindl GmbH, in Vienna, Austria, Moneta S developed the technology to gravure-print on 3-micron bi-axially oriented polypropylene film in eight colours. Its Yango AL is reverse-printed and laminated with 7-micron foil that allows for the printed side of the aluminium foil to be in direct contact with the food.

In its statement Moneta S explains, that the 3-micron is designed so that the foil won’t lose the dead fold properties since it is the very thin material of only 2.7 grams per square meter, which aluminium foil takes as a lacquer. It is very important for the aluminium foil material to have strong dead fold properties. The unsupported aluminium foil has the perfect dead fold, but once it is laminated with oriented polypropylene or paper, it significantly loses those properties. In developing the material Moneta had to find the balance to avoid the BOPP impact on the foil.

Moneta S started with 10-micron film, which was the lowest possible thickness that was allowed in its printing line by the manufacturer, but it was not workable since the packaging did not wrap the product tightly enough due to the dead fold impact of the BOPP layer on the foil. Therefore, Moneta S decided to adjust its printing machine to be able to print the lightest possible material that is available on the market, which is the 3-micron BOPP film.

The BOPP layer also delivers strength and tearing protection, and prevents scratching of the foil, resulting in waste reduction and extra protection of the product. The tearing strength also allows for higher-speed packaging machine-ability.

Allen’s Beer Packaging
One of the interesting aspects of packaging is, that designers often create a new design without having a client, often using well-known brands as Coca-Cola, but as often also creating imaginative brand names. Their goal is to enlarge their portfolio and show potential customers their capabilities.

In this context Trace Thoma, a graphic designer from Texas/USA created the fictitious brewery William B. Allen based in Broomfield, Colorado, with other locations in Oklahoma and Nebraska, while the packaging designed showcases the five imaginative signature beers.

The family reunion style of the five-pack highlights each individual beer in a hexagonal shaped box. Once separated, each panel tells the consumer a little about the beers contained within.

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