Chores. No one wants to do them, and no one wants them to be more complicated than they have to be. This is where the nearly $2 billion a year household products market strives to better the lives of consumers. A Reportlinker (reportlinker.com) report on the global household products market showed the industry had total revenues of $177.58 billion in 2013 and was expected to reach $208.69 billion by the end of 2018. As the industry grows, so do the product and packaging innovations that make everything around the house a little simpler and a little more sustainable.
No more measuring
Purex PowerShot laundry detergent has simplified laundry with a flip of the wrist. New Purex bottles come with auto-dosing technology. This means consumers need only to open the bottle and flip it upside down to dispense the detergent directly into the washing machine. One “shot” of detergent will clean a regular load of laundry. Purex developed the innovative packaging because they realized the struggle consumers had with measuring detergent. Between the difficult to read measuring lines and the mess created by dripping or sticky caps, the process needed a solution. While single dose laundry packaging addresses these issues, Purex found that consumers weren’t always willing to pay a higher price for convenience packaging or they still wanted to be able stay with their liquid detergent. The Purex PowerShot made liquid detergent more convenient.
The PowerShot packaging may be simple for consumers to use, but it took time—two years of time—for Purex to put together the ideal package. The company worked to refine the ergonomics, appearance and durability while also making sure the right amount of detergent dispensed each time. The new package started appearing on store shelves in February and March of this year. The company reports that consumers like the easy to use package and say it allows them to have children help with the laundry now that they don’t have to worry about measuring or spilling detergent.
Replenishing a revolution
Consumers demand convenience, but they also demand sustainability. Consumers want an easy-to-use product that takes it easy on the environment. Many household cleaning products come in a spray bottle. When the bottle is empty, the entire package finds its way to a landfill. Replenish Bottling found a way to eliminate some of that packaging waste by creating a refill system.
To use Replenish, consumers need only to attach a refill pod to the bottom of the Replenish bottle, turn the bottle upside down, squeeze the concentrated product into the built-in measuring cup then add water. Each refill pod will make several full containers of product. By using this system, consumers can reuse the bottle over and over to save multiple bottles from landfills. The refill system is also lighter to transport and does not involve shipping product that contains extra water consumers could easily add at home.
The Replenish Refill system launched last year in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores under the CleanPath brand. CleanPath helps reduce C02 emissions and plastic waste by over 80% while providing greater value to the consumer. CleanPath grew out of two years of collaboration. Replenish worked with senior retail executives, leading private label manufacturer Vi-Jon Laboratories and plastic bottle manufacturing firm Berry Plastics (berryplastics.com) to prepare the product and packaging for the market. CleanPath offers five products including a multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner and glass cleaner, which help consumers reduce their environmental impact and reuse a portion of the packaging.
“The innovative Replenish system saves money in distribution and packaging,” says Shawn Townzen, vice president of personal care at Walmart. “Plus, the refill pods help consumers minimize waste, which aligns with Walmart’s sustainability goal to sell products that sustain people and the environment.”
Taking out the tube
Bath tissue has pretty minimal packaging. Most of it is covered in a plastic wrap and rolled around a paper tube. It doesn’t seem like there is much opportunity to remove any of the packaging, but Scott Naturals took on that challenge and took out the tube. By eliminating the tube, Scott Naturals also helps eliminate a portion of the 17 billion bath tissue tubes that are disposed of annually. The Scott Natural Tube-Free bath tissue has been on the market since 2010, but just last year launched nationwide.
“Kimberly-Clark is thrilled to be able to release Scott Naturals Tube-Free bath tissue nationally, providing consumers across the country with a product that contributes to a better, cleaner world, without sacrificing quality,” says Jared Mackrory, brand manager for Scott.
Eliminating litter litter
Pet products are no exception to demands for both convenience and sustainability. Pet owners want a low-mess, low-impact solution for everything from puppy chow to kitty litter. Nestle Purina’s Pro Plan brand worked Ecologic Brands (ecologicbrands.com) to make just such a solution for every family’s feline friend. Pro Plan Renew, a premium cat litter, pours from Ecologic Brand’s recyclable paper jug. The package is plastic free and made from 100% recycled paper. It is free of coating and plastic. Even the cap is paper.
The jugs are made from recycled, molded pulp material. Heat and pressure are applied to give the material the strength it needs to hold the litter and keep out moisture. The entire package is completely recyclable in most communities.
“Ultimately, the Purina Pro Plan Renew jug delivers a packaging solution that goes beyond addressing one component of sustainability, and instead looks to revolutionize the packaging industry by confronting the entire life cycle of the package,” says Julie Corbett, founder of Ecologic Brands.
Whether tackling a mountain of laundry, cleaning the kitchen, tiding up the bathroom or changing the kitty litter, packaging innovations bring consumers more sustainable and more convenient ways to clean house.