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Ecolab's club store cleaner earns NACD award

Ecolab's bundled cleaning package sold at Sam’s wins NACD's top honors for 2007.

A panel of judges awarded Best of Show in the National Association of Container Distributor’s ( 2007 Packaging Awards Competition to a cleaner package from Ecolab, St. Paul, MN. Ecolab’s ProForce Cleaning Products Line is a multicomponent package sold at Sam’s Club Stores. Designed and supplied by TricorBraun (www.tricorbraun), the package:


  • Uses space efficiently with a square footprint
  • Meets a retailer’s specific criteria with its palletizing pattern, and
  • Delivers convenience to users with a cleaning “kit” approach
Judges cited that the package provides all those advantages and provides a compact, stable pallet for club store use.

The package required six components including dispensing fitments and bottles, all designed and supplied by TricorBraun. The main 1.25-gal high-density polyethylene container of ready-to-use solution is blowmolded by Fortco Plastics Inc. ( A 16-oz HDPE spray bottle from MGS Mfg. Group Inc. ( filled with the solution is included; it fits neatly into the indent on the larger container. A PVC shrink band from AmeriSeal ( unitizes the package.
[Note: See May 2007 update of more suppliers at end.]

Sam’s Club sells ProForce for the building service contractor market. Because of that, packaging was designed with Wal-Mart’s sustainability initiative in mind. It was introduced at Sam's Club in April 2006.

Tina Outlaw, Ecolab's director of global supply quality, says the packaging replaces and improves in packaging efficiency and formulation the cleaning solutions Ecolab had sold in bag-in-box containers several years before, but had been discontinued.

Computer modeling and simulations

Design studies and computer modeling and simulations were performed to predict problematic areas and adjustments to the package were made accordingly. A particularly effective feature is the load-locking nubs at the top of each container that fit into corresponding indents on the package positioned above it. The design helps stabilize the load and contribute to a case-free pallet.

In a design that adds efficiency on filling lines, the package footprint was optimized for in-line fillers with little changeover required. The package is space-efficient for in-line handling, shipment, and store display due to its cube shape as well as the indented “pocket” area in the package for the sprayer bottle and spigot. Outlaw says an 80-count, two-layer high unit load achieves 98.5% pallet utilization. Merchandising is maximized whether left on the pallet, put on the shelf, or placed on end-cap in store.

The judging for the 44th Annual competition was held February 20, 2007 in Cleveland, OH. The competition drew more than 150 entries in seven categories. 21 NACD member companies participated in this year’s event.

The NACD Packaging Awards Committee will announce and honor all of the winners during its Annual Convention Awards Banquet on April 28, 2007 in Tucson, AZ.


* UPDATE MAY 1, 2007 *
Outlaw also wanted to credit the other vendors involved in this complex, but successful project:
o Trigger sprayer for 16-oz bottle: Calmar Mead-Westvaco (
o 28-400 closure for 1.5-gal bottle: O-I (
o 18-mm vent closure for 1.5-gal bottle: Berry Plastics (
o Spigot-Fastex (

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