Tubes of the year!

This year's winners of the Tube Council Awards carried a strong health and beauty theme, as well as a focus on innovation.

Oral-B?s new kids? toothpaste (left) uses shaped orifices to dispense product in a variety of patterns. The Scent (above) is 
Oral-B?s new kids? toothpaste (left) uses shaped orifices to dispense product in a variety of patterns. The Scent (above) is 

What's happening in the world of tubes? Try toothpaste that squirts to resemble spaghetti. How about perfume packaged in cigar tubes? These are some of the winners cited at the recent 1997 Tube of the Year Awards. Sponsored by the New York-based Tube Council of North America, this year's winners carried a strong health and beauty theme. The winner of the Special Award is a product that uses the tube in its truest form. The Scent is a perfume marketed by New York-based Circle of Beauty, a distributor for Sears stores nationwide. The package consists of a glass vial with a pump spray that fits snugly within a cylindrical aluminum "cigar tube." "We selected a cylindrical container because it's eye-catching and distinctive. And, its durable aluminum construction protects the fragile glass vials in transit and throughout customer use," says Helen Tekulsky, package developer at Circle of Beauty. CCL Container, Tube Div. (Chester, PA), supplies the aluminum tube and twist-off aluminum cap. CCL offset-prints the tubes in two colors. Tubes are shipped to Permanent Label (Clifton, NJ), which screen-prints the tubes in an additional color to provide the color intensity desired by Circle of Beauty. A spokesperson from Permanent Label cited matching registration and handling of the small tube as some of the difficulties involved in printing the tube. Graphic design was achieved by Berard Associates (New York, NY). The 1-oz glass vial is filled and assembled by CEI Bottling and Distribution, (Orange, CT). Introduced as a promotional item last year, The Scent was successful enough to warrant a full introduction, scheduled for this summer. Innovative tube How to put a twist on kids' toothpaste? Oral-B Laboratories, Belmont, CA, found a way through a custom cap and closure system on its Nickelodeon(TM) Ice Mint Splash fluoride toothpaste. The closure system includes uniquely shaped orifices that allow the sparkled toothpaste to be dispensed in a variety of patterns. The product won awards as the Most Innovative Tube of the Year, as well as Laminate Tube of the Year. Relying heavily on visual imagery, graphics draw from signature elements of the cable network. Says product manager Marianne Sampogna Jacobson, "We worked with Nickelodeon to identify eight shapes that are associated with [the network], like the 'splat' shape and an arrow." Other shapes include a star, moon and square, as well as a three-holed pattern that forms a spaghetti-like shape. Graphic design was handled in tandem with Kornick Lindsay (Chicago, IL). The 4.2-oz inverted tube was introduced to mass markets in July 1997. It's geared to kids slightly older than its sister Rugrats line (see Packaging World, Aug. '97, p. 2). Supplied by Seaquist Closures (Mukwonago, WI), the injection-molded polypropylene cap system is a one-piece living hinge. It uses eight custom dies to create the eight different orifices. Courtaulds Packaging (Florence, KY) supplies the 300-micron (12-mil) tube, consisting of a lamination of polyethylene/ethylene vinyl alcohol/polyester. It's letterpress-printed in six colors. A TE inner seal from Lawson Mardon (Shelbyville, KY) is a foil/ionomer-resin lamination. Tubes are filled at CCL Custom Manufacturing (Rosemont, IL). Says Jacobson about both the Rugrats and Nickelodeon products: "Consumers have been going nuts about them. It's very exciting, and I'm sure the packaging has a lot to do with it." Sold as a single SKU, Oral-B Nickelodeon Ice Mint Splash toothpaste retails at about $2.19. Metal on metal Joico Laboratories, City of Industry, CA, won the Metal Tube of the Year award for its Verochrome(TM) Really Red Hair Creme. Sixteen varieties of the hair colorant were introduced in December 1997. They're sold exclusively to hair care professionals at a salon price of $2.95 for the 2-oz tube. While the general consumer rarely sees the Verochrome tube, Joico felt it necessary to decorate it. Leann L. Dake of Joico explains: "Most other manufacturers put this type of product in a simple tube designed to be discarded. It was our hope that the stylist would perceive this product as having a special quality and would feel that we were presenting to them a product of high quality at a reasonable cost." Graphic design firm Low & Associates (Westlake Village, CA) provides the "Retro" look, offset by a black high-density polyethylene cap. Montebello Packaging (Oak Park, IL) provides both the aluminum tube and cap. It's first coated with a metallic silver paint for a vibrant, metallic look, and it's then offset-printed in five colors. Both vendors worked together to provide the "ink-over-ink" look on the tube. Tubes are filled on-site at Joico. "The product is exceeding our expectations and sales forecasts," concludes Dake. Leapin' plastic "Vivid color potential" is how an Avon spokesperson describes packaging goals for Le Cirque Leapin' Lady Shower Gel. New York-based Avon took the Plastic Tube of the Year award for its new product, introduced this year and sold through Avon channels. The 6.7 fl-oz (200-mL) tube is translucent, allowing light to pass through and highlight the product. Tubed Products (Easthampton, MA) provides the Dispens-R-Tube®, made, in this case, with Montell's (Wilmington, DE) Adflex(TM) polyolefin copolymer. It's screen-printed in three colors. The tube is sold as a unit with cap that twists open and closed to dispense. The product is filled at Avon's Morton Grove, IL, plant.

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