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Listerine strips made portable, universal

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Morris Plains, NJ, introduced in the United States in October ‘01 Cool Mint Listerine PocketPaks™ of tiny hinged plastic “vials.” The vials (see sidebar) contain stamp-sized oral care strips that dissolve instantly on the tongue where they kill germs on contact. A carded blister serves as the secondary package.

PocketPaks were introduced in the U.S. Puerto Rico and West Indies in October 2001 after selling in Canada since mid-2000. The design goal was to create packaging configurations that would be universally acceptable for outlets ranging from mom-and-pop shops to Wal-Mart. The company wanted the graphics to tie into the Listerine heritage yet be modern revolutionary and exciting. Package design was by Davis & Associates (Mississauga Ontario Canada).

Pfizer informs Packaging World that a key aspect included packaging considerations for both the front- and back-ends of food drug mass merchandise and convenience stores. “Front-end racks next to candy [displays] were a challenge” Pringle reports. That’s where the 16-count sleeve pack proved to be the right solution since it stacks yet provides enough “real estate” to present the graphics.

The vial provides sufficient space for graphics that describe the product’s new way to deliver benefits. That’s done via pressure-sensitive labels printed in what appears to be five colors. The labels are affixed on the top and bottom of each vial; the bottom label is printed with tiny contact-coded lot information.

On the secondary packaging Pfizer needed to communicate what the vial is and what it does. The clear plastic blister allows consumers to easily view the product/vial while the paperboard card delivers graphics and copy.

Packaging standardization was also a goal. The same vial in fact serves as the primary packaging across all SKUs.

“Typically as you increase product quantity you need a larger container” points out Kumar Nanavati Pfizer Consumer Healthcare director of packaging design and development. “For PocketPaks even with different numbers of strips we’ve maintained one standard size of the card and the vial. There are a lot of cost benefits to keeping them the same size.” He also notes that the two sample items use the same pouch size.

-Rick Lingle

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