Closure and Dispensing Systems Differentiate on Shelf
By Jennifer Acevedo
Across virtually every product category, closure and dispensing systems offer consumers convenient and creative ways to access and use the products they’ve purchased. We’ve taken a look at four packages with different closure types that present a point of difference against the competition on crowded store shelves. Not only do these systems offer reclosability and ease of use, but they meld seamlessly with sophisticated package design and boost shelf life.
1. Differentiate your brand with convenience features
Being first to market with an innovative packaging style that enhances product quality and consumer convenience is a powerful way to differentiate your brand. In the pet food category, Hartz recently launched what is reportedly the first standup pet food bag to feature slider zipper technology. It’s in response to focus groups that indicate product freshness and packaging convenience are top priorities for consumers making a pet food purchase.
The slider, supplied by Zip-Pak, appears on the Hartz NUTRITION Bonanza and L/M Animal Farms Bonanza Bounti-Buffet sub-brands, which are for birds and small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, parakeets, cockatiels and parrots) and are available in two-, four- and five-pound bags.
“The Zip-Pak Slider represents a very user friendly way for pet owners to ensure their pet food remains fresh,” says Kristin Ruff, divisional vice president of marketing at Hartz. “Often the owners of small pets are children. While press-to-close zippers protect product freshness, the slider zipper is easier for small hands to use. Of course, all users benefit from this enhanced convenience.”
According to Ruff, the ease of use provided by the slider makes consumers more likely to leave pet food in its original packaging rather than store it in secondary plastic containers. The added benefit is that it keeps the Hartz brand message in front of consumers throughout the product’s use.
Where to go for more information...
Slider closures. At Zip-Pak, contact Melanie Gravelle at 815.468.6500 or

2. Make sure the packaging delivers
Packaging for Schick Xtreme3 disposable triple-blade razors was designed to offer consumers a clear view of the stylish new product within. However, access to the product was unreliable; the packaging failed to reflect the same level of performance as the razors.
In fact, results upon opening the packaging included inconsistent peel force, delamination of the lidstock upon peel, and occasional tearing of the lidstock—not exactly consumer-friendly features. Enter Curwood’s EZ Peel polyester lidstock, which delivered the easy-open feature consumers demand, while enabling Schick to realize efficiency gains by decreasing downtime on production lines and reducing startup waste.
The new Schick Xtreme3 high-heat-resistant exterior provides a high-gloss, highly stable surface for both reverse and surface printing. Marketers can use specialized structures (clear, white, metallized, holographic, two-side printed), specialty inks (thermochromic, glow-in-the-dark, metallic) and individualized seal strength/performance for each product to expand promotional opportunities.
The packaging can accommodate up to eight-color process graphics and information on the product face, while still allowing consumers a clear view of the product inside. The ability to see the razors prevents consumers from opening or destroying a package in the store to view the product before buying it. Once purchased, the packaging’s easy-open lidstock ensures the consumer’s experience accessing the product is consistent with his high performance expectations for the razors within.
Where to go for more information...
Easy-open lidstock. At Curwood Inc., contact Melissa Schumacher at 920.303.7300 or

3. Communicate brand identity seamlessly
Eternity Moment, the latest fragrance package by Calvin Klein, draws inspiration from the original Eternity scent introduced in 1988. But the new package features a taller, more slender profile crowned with a transparent rectangular cap and an upscale spray pump from Rexam Dispensing Systems.
“Elegance and classic beauty are the hallmarks of Calvin Klein’s ‘Eternity Moment’ fragrance packaging,” says Nancy Lamensdorf, Rexam key account manager. “Our low profile pumps are an excellent fit for this sophisticated look. We not only produce fragrance sprays with a graceful appearance; we also deliver dispensers with superior technical dependability.”
The Rexam super low profile pump (SLPP) graces the product’s 50-mL and 100-mL sizes. Rexam also supplies the fragrance’s deluxe mini 15-mL size and an SP5K ‘invisible’ pump for sampling the scent, which is from Unilever Cosmetics International. The SLPP pump delivers one of the most low-profile, compact dispensers available in the United States or Europe. It provides maximum flexibility for customizable elegance.
Where to go for more information...
Fragrance cap and spray pump. At Rexam Dispensing Systems, contact Eric Desmaris at 914.251.8435 or

4. Incorporate functionality appropriate to your audience
In an effort to make bath time a “quality time” for kids and their parents, Johnson & Johnson has introduced Johnson’s Buddies, a line of easy-lather, easy-rinse, easy-comb hair and body products designed specifically for smaller hands.
“Our customers have told us that Johnson’s Buddies products fill a real need for them,” says brand representative Yann Pigeaire, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co., division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies. “Our research shows, for example, that when babies become toddlers, parents put away baby shampoos and use shampoos that are formulated for adults, which can be inappropriate for young children. Johnson’s Buddies products give toddlers a line of bath and grooming products that are just right for them—and that’s just right for parents.”
Product packaging is designed for tiny hands and sports whimsical cartoon designs that are toddler friendly. The colorful bottles feature Airspray’s WaterGuard instant-foam mechanical dispenser technology, which includes a specially designed base cap, nozzle and (in some versions) protective shell that work together to direct water away from the contents of the dispenser. As a result, both microbial buildup and “watering” of the product in tub and shower environments are reduced.
The seven new Johnson’s Buddies products eliminate bath time troubles brought on by tangled hair, rough washcloths and shampoo in kids’ eyes by using innovations such as kid-friendly foam; mom-beloved and child-soothing tearless formulas; and special shampoo, conditioner and hair-detangling spray formulations.
Where to go for more information...
Dispenser technology. At Airspray International Inc., contact David Stob at 954.972.7750 or