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Article | August 31, 1998
Clear pouch cuts through personal care clutter
A clear stand-up pouch differentiates shampoo and bath products for a youthful demographic in the U.K.
An upscale drug chain in the U.K. is hoping a clear stand-up pouch holding boldly colored translucent shampoo and bath products will entice teenage girls the products' targeted demographic to part with their pocket money. Introduced in upscale British drug store chain Superdrug in February the products are made and filled under a private-label arrangement by Dewhirst Toiletries in Bedfordshire England.
The products are sold under Superdrug's Secret Weapon brand name at a mass-market price of £1.99 each (US$3.20). The clear pouch holds 300 mL of product and showcases the translucent product that's formulated in vibrant colors such as blue yellow purple and red. It also includes a reclosable hinged polypropylene closure. Both the premade pouches and closures are supplied by Innovative Packaging Netherlands represented in the U.S. by Scholle Corp. (Northlake IL). The pouches have an outside layer of 12-micron (48-ga) polyester reverse-printed via gravure in three colors that's adhesively laminated to 100-micron (4-mil) low-density polyethylene.
According to Andrea Walters account executive at Dewhirst the company chose a stand-up pouch for its novelty as it would stand out from the rigid containers typically found in the category. Dewhirst believes this is the first stand-up pouch for personal care products in the U.K. that's not a refill pouch. Indeed Dewhirst's market research showed that girls responded very positively to stand-up pouches on the market for other products such as drinks.
To further appeal to the teenage girls the package gravure-printed in three colors contains lively irreverent copy such as "Body treats and funky accessories to bring out the devil in you" and "Tried and tested on men." Each of the four varieties has its own version of a stylized devil character screen-printed with fluorescent inks on a clear p-s label supplied locally.
The pouches arrive at Dewhirst with IPN's patented Clean-Clic® Connectors already heat-sealed into the top center of the pouch. These medium- to high-density PE connectors act as valves that allow pouches to be easily filled and capped. The filling equipment also supplied by IPN has a special nozzle that locks into the connector and permits an airless fill. An operator manually places the nozzle into the connector of the flattened pouch initiates the fill and removes the nozzle. Filling speed ranges from 12 to 14 pouches/min.
Because the pouch is flat before filling very little air is taken into the filled package. "The fill is right up to the top" says Glen Steele packaging technologist for Dewhirst.
That was an important feature for Dewhirst since the clear pouch allows consumers to see the fill quantity. A less-than-full pouch might lead consumers to believe that the pouch doesn't contain the full 300 mL of product.
After filling a special PP closure that IPN dubs Clean-Clic® Cap is manually applied to each pouch via a special hand tool also supplied by IPN. The bottom of the closure is a nozzle that's shaped just like the filling nozzle locking into the connector. The top of the closure has a hinged lid that snap-fits into an orifice.
Walters says the packaging "is probably more economical than buying a separate bottle cap and label for that size." The private-label toiletry products manufacturer chose IPN because it supplies both the packaging materials as well as the machine. "We thought it would be easier if we just dealt with one company" says Walters. "IPN offers the whole service."
Walters says response to the new product and package has been favorable. "It certainly seems to arouse a lot of interest" says Walters. "It has had fabulous PR coverage. We're very happy with it."
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