“The industrial and commercial cleaning industry is renowned for very little innovation. For as long as I can remember, the typical industrial cleaning bottle has always been a round shape,” said Frechette. “It constantly irritated me to open a shipping case with round bottles and see all the extra space. Space not utilized means using more cardboard boxes to ship a specific number of bottles. There had to be a better way.”

Project Clean also required a sustainable packaging solution that would reduce its plastic impact at the source and minimize waste leakage by creating a product that was not just single use. The company chose 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin.

“We knew we couldn’t divert from plastic because it is the best option for our industry to protect goods from damage during shipment from point A to point B,” said Siriya Couturier, sustainability, innovation, and marketing director for Project Clean. “Therefore, we chose 100% PCR resin as it has the same functionality as regular plastic but reduces our overall environmental footprint.”

Project Clean also desired an ergonomically-pleasing design to make the customer experience of handling a gallon jug more comfortable. For example, pouring a gallon jug filled with liquid can produce tension on the hands and, in turn, cause discomfort.

And finally, Project Clean wanted to incorporate a clean, unified look and feel into the redesigned product line to distinguish itself from its industrial brand competitors.

TricorBraun engaged focus groups to obtain consumer insights on the most impactful ergonomic handle placement to make product users more comfortable. Based on the research outcomes —and to distinguish the product from all the round gallon bottles in the industrial market— the TricorBraun Design & Engineering team recommended a rectangular gallon bottle with an angled handle allowing a user to maneuver an easier, more comfortable pour. TricorBraun also recommended an ergonomically friendly, squared-off, 1-liter bottle.

Both bottle designs achieved a consistent look and feel for the new product line and were also conceived to maximize space so more products could be packed into a shipping box. In addition, TricorBraun’s proposed bottle design was optimized specifically to ensure precise label placement using Project Clean’s existing equipment.

“We had a pretty tight launch timeframe which was a challenge in itself. Yet TricorBraun worked tirelessly to manage our timeline and design a solution that would move our company towards better packaging and a superior user experience,” added Frechette.

And while Project Clean swiftly approved the bottle design, both teams had to immediately address a pandemic-driven obstacle before the design could be produced.

Trigger sprayers often come with cleaning products because they are easy to use and conveniently dispense liquids. However, with the pandemic disrupting the supply chain, it was nearly impossible to source a trigger sprayer supplier.

“TricorBraun quickly pivoted to address this supply chain disruption by recommending its Halo Multi-Stream™ push-pull closure that provides an optimal user experience,” said Rachel Murphy, director, category and consumer insights, Design & Engineering, TricorBraun. “Because our team constantly prioritizes product innovation and development, we had this commercially-available solution ready when Project Clean needed it.”

Typical push-pull closures have four different holes that spray outward into a stream that merges into one. The Design and Engineering team developed the Halo Multi-Stream with the unique ability to dispense a wider spray pattern.

Overcoming One Last Obstacle

The pandemic also affected the production of PCR resin, so sourcing the material would prove to be difficult.

“Our number one priority was to ensure the success of Project Clean’s product launch the way they envisioned it,” said Shelley Keller, packaging consultant, TricorBraun. “Therefore, we proactively leveraged our existing supply chain relationships to make sure we could source PCR resin to meet Project Clean’s timeframe.”

Frechette also noted that Project Clean’s redesigned product line has been well received, referencing distributors who have indicated they like the new bottles’ shape, handle and functionality.

And the industry has taken notice. The National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) honored TricorBraun at its 2022 NACD Packaging Awards competition with a Silver Award in the Household Products Category for Project Clean.