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Plastic carton shows off new Aquafresh tube

A folding carton made of 15-mil polyvinyl chloride is helping new Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste fly off store shelves. For a time since its introduction early this summer, the new brand was reportedly the top-selling item in Wal-Mart’s toothpaste aisle.

Pw 14041 Aquafresh1

Marketed by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Moon Township, PA, Aquafresh Extreme Clean is available in 4.3- and 5.6-oz tubes of metallized silver with a unique stand-up cap. “When we selected this package, we really wanted this product to stand out from others,” says Lori Lukus, corporate communications specialist at GSK. She declined to identify the source for either the tube or the closure.

The folding carton is supplied by AGI/Klearfold. It’s printed offset in eight colors, including orange and white that mimic the color of the product. The front of the carton features an opaque white oval that vignettes into a transparent blue field that provides a glimpse of the sleek silver tube.

“The ability of this carton to run on our high-speed packaging lines was an important issue to us,” Lukus says. “We ran some trials with unprinted plastic cartons, and they performed the same as standard paperboard.” Lukus couldn’t specify the speeds of the cartoning lines, but says they’re within GSK’s tolerances. AGI/Klearfold’s marketing manager Pat McGee says that this application may be the highest-speed cartoning operation ever for plastic cartons.

What makes this possible, McGee says, is his company’s SoftCrease® process that uses a radio-frequency-heated die to displace material from the crease areas. “This is what helps the carton stay square on automated cartoners, once it’s set up,” he says.

“We’ve had a very positive reaction to the product and package from both the trade and the consumer,” Lukus says. “It’s selling extremely well.” —AO

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