Household products have come a long way in the last few years – from stand-up and flat-bottom pouches to bigger, brighter labels and innovative closures. The unfortunate truth is that we must keep innovating the packaging to come out on top.
O-Cedar® conducted a survey recently, with results showing that 61% of U.S. households deep clean when the kids are back at school. With the kids out of the house, parents find it easier to tackle the more time-consuming cleaning chores. Here is a look at some products that could benefit from their recent release time.
An indoor focus
As stated in Mintel’s (mintel.com) Household Packaging Trends Study (January 2016), new launches consisting of only new packaging have risen steadily. This new packaging can consist of a new logo, refreshed graphics or feature new product claims or highlight its value.
To steer clear of the typical cylindrical jars that were functional, but not inspiring, Henkel Consumer Goods asked Berlin Packaging’s (berlinpackaging.com) Studio One Eleven design group to revamp the next evolution of air freshener package design. Targeting female consumers, Henkel wanted a product attractive enough for shoppers to not only purchase, but to proudly display in their home or office.
Studio designers responded with a sculptured interpretation of the classic hourglass silhouette – featuring smooth curves and a stable base that resolves to a flared top. The jar’s latticed screw cap makes it easy for odors to be absorbed and for the product’s scent to fill a room. In order to ensure controlled scent release, the Studio’s engineering team tested numerous lattice patterns driven by optimal airflow calculations.
The new Renuzit Pearl Scents package met Henkel’s requirements for both utility and aesthetics. The contemporary design, produced in clear PET plastic, is versatile enough to fit any home or office décor while also satisfying manufacturing requirements for automated filling. Pearl Scents comes in five scents: Sparkling Rain, Serenity, Seductive Pineapple, AromaTranquil and Blue Sky Breeze.
TricorBraun (tricorbraun.com) partnered with Envirocon Technologies, makers of Lemi Shine cleaning products, to engineer a package unlike any other in its category. Envirocon came to TricorBraun’s Custom Package Design and Engineering team with research that revealed consumers today want to squirt a little dish soap, wash, rinse and put their kitchen items in the drying rack. A speedy clean-up is of the utmost importance.
The research revealed what consumers look for in a dish soap: having the bottle handy or nearby on the kitchen counter, one-handed use, controlled dispensing and ease of evacuation were all deemed critical. Design engineers were tasked with these ideas: an invertible bottle that was sturdy, a leak-proof closure with a lock-back feature, practical one-hand control, a more sustainable cap, control of flow, full evacuation, a counter-worthy design and a clear bottle.
Stability was critical given the repeated action of grab-and-go use. The arc of the bottle needed to be flush with the closure for both aesthetics and stability. Because the thickness of the closure increased with the arc of the bottle, achieving a uniform wall thickness became a molding challenge. The engineering team solved this by developing a more sustainable closure by cutting out two sections of the cap, one on either side of the latch.
Dispensing also played a tremendous role in the functionality of the design. TricorBraun’s exclusive rights to the Aptar Sure Snap™ Valve provided exactly what Lemi Shine needed. The engineering of this silicone valve accommodates a clean flow and secure cut off. As well, the clear bottle allows for a two-sided back label.
Cleaning specialist Jeyes commissioned Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Bury (clondalkingroup.com) to produce shrink sleeves for its new Smart Brush concentrated gel mould and mildew remover. The sleeve needed to accommodate the bottles cylindrical shape and necessary pushing action when using the brush.
The Smart Brush comes in two variants – Limescale Remover and Mould & Mildew. Both feature an innovative angled brush designed to make application easier and more effective. Two variants of the sleeves were printed in 8-color UV Flexo for the 300ml containers.
The great outdoors
Within the lawn and garden market, growth media – the biological cultures in which plants grow including various types of soil – have benefitted significantly from the boom in gardening both as a hobby and as a way to grow fruits, herbs and vegetables, according to Lawn and Garden Supplies in the U.S., 10th Edition, a report by market research firm Packaged Facts (packagedfacts.com). Growth media products are also usually natural or organic, which plays to the growing consumer trend of avoiding synthetic chemicals.
Answering the call for gardening newbies is Seedlingers. The father-son team of Jim and James Messina, founders and co-owners of Seedlingers gardening products, wanted to create a new line aimed at novice gardeners that stood out for its turnkey simplicity. They wanted the new line to evoke nostalgia for a time when gardening and lawn care weren’t so specialized, complicated and intimidating.
The Seedlingers packaging needed to convey a vintage feel but, like the products, be highly durable and cost-effective. The Messinas had an ideal partner – Andover, NJ-based Sutherland Packaging (sutherlandpackaging.com).
One of the main pieces in the gardening line is the Start and Sprout corrugated sleeve for the Seedlingers cow pot planter. Sutherland faced a little challenge to create something unique to wrap around this somewhat trapezoidal pot, which is made out of cow manure. Sutherland fashioned a sleeve to fit four different sizes.
The “corrugated crate” to hold bagged fertilizer or bottle products mimicked an old-fashioned wooden crate very convincingly. The new packaging and display saved Seedlingers roughly 75% on production, shipping and storage costs compared to heavier, less disposable wood or metal containers or displays.
WestRock (westrock.com) and CDF Corp. (cdf1.com) recently launched Meta® Pail, a sustainable replacement to rigid pails and designed for semi-viscous dry products. The Meta Pail System combines WestRock’s unique and patented Meta® 8 box design and the Smart Pail® developed by CDF. It incorporates an easy open top for access to pour, pump, stir or scoop products. Customers receive a lighter, environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging, helping users to reach sustainability goals via less packaging weight, reduced space footprint and lower carbon footprint vs. a typical 5-gallon plastic pail.
The WestRock - CDF alliance is the integration of two innovative products. The Meta Pail was created to be a more sustainable, efficient and cost effective alternative to plastic pails, allowing for excellent pallet stack strength and efficiencies, branding opportunity and ease of disposal. The Smart Pail by CDF is a semi-rigid thermoformed collapsible insert with a peel/reseal lidding film that allows the end-user to collapse the pail system creating a four to one space savings over a rigid plastic pail while reducing packaging weight.
Overall, household packaging for indoor cleaning products and the like will not move the needle forward in terms of growth. Outdoor household packaging for lawn and garden, however, could see increased growth due to more consumers growing their own fruits and vegetables as farm-to-table becomes ever popular. Package your outdoor products right, and you will aptly target the younger consumers who are the vast majority of this group.