Operating in a highly competitive industry that offers a multitude of different brands from which consumers may choose, Indianapolis-based sun-care products manufacturer Australian Gold is always looking for fresh, new ways to differentiate its product packaging at retail. But, as the sun-care market evolves, companies like Australian Gold have to balance shelf impact with compliance to a number of new label regulations, including the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations for over-the-counter sunscreen products.
For its Moisture Max 30 sun protection factor (SPF) lotion, with an average retail price of $8.99, Australian Gold launched a redesign in March 2012 to rebrand its existing prime pressure-sensitive label. To accommodate the enhanced graphics and greater regulatory information on the curved bottle, Australian Gold selected Avery Dennison’s Curve Appeal technology, coupled with Fasson Curvy™ p-s label film.
Before the redesign, Australian Gold was using a small, p-s label on its curved, 8-oz bottle. Measuring 4 x 2 in., the label featured the brand’s signature logo—a sunglass-wearing Koloa Bear riding a surfboard—anchored at the top of the label. Just under the logo, swaying palm trees printed with gold foil were tucked behind a large golden sunburst affirming the SPF value. In addition, the label included key FDA labeling requirements, such as “Broad Spectrum SPF” and “Water Resistant (80 Minutes).”
The redesign called for a larger label panel, more prominent graphics, and additional regulatory information. However, the existing bottle shape, which was contoured with a molded handgrip in the middle, challenged Australian Gold to find the right application for their needs. Looking to stay with the graphic impact popular with consumers, Australian Gold turned to the Curve Appeal system.
Curve Appeal technology, coupled with Fasson Curvy film, allows the label to be applied to complex curved container shapes beyond the edges of the typical flat plane. For Australian Gold, the new Fasson Curvy film label created approximately 40% more labeling area.
“Competition is fierce in the sun-care market,” says Brian Starrett, general manager for Australian Gold. “The ability for more label coverage allows us to increase messaging and graphics that will help win customers at the shelf.
“Our in-house design team worked closely with Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials to ensure the new label design fully utilized the Curve Appeal technology.”
To take advantage of the larger prime label footprint Curvy affords, the Australian Gold design team slightly altered the primary label for the Moisture Max 30 SPF lotion bottle. At the top of the label lies a violator featuring the new antioxidant formula, which includes green tea. Just below, the Australian Gold logo retains its dominant position. The sunny gradient background remains, with a slight differentiation in colors from the previous label design. The lotion is packaged in a light-gold plastic bottle with a dark gold cap. All the elements work together to create a cohesive and graphically balanced front panel.
The prime label, produced by WS Packaging Group, measures 6 x 2.5 in., and is printed in nine colors, including varnish and cold foil for dimensional accents. The labels were run on a Nilpeter MO-3300 combination rotary-offset/flexo press.
The Curvy film is semi-conformable and available in white or clear. The Australian Gold application called for a top-coated white, which helped create an appropriate color bed for building the graphics of the revised label design.
“We didn't experience any issues converting the Curvy film,” says Dan Ray, technical manager, WS Packaging. “It ran like we would expect from a standard pressure-sensitive film material. Compared side-by-side to the previous label, the increase in label size is dramatic. And when you combine the foil accents with the color gradients, the label graphically pops with enhanced shelf impact.”
Available through Silgan Plastics, the Curve Appeal labeling system uses proprietary p-s film material that can be supplied through the traditional label converter channel. The linear label application equipment is manufactured under license to Harland Machine Systems Ltd. The new p-s primary labels for Australian Gold’s Moisture Max 30 were applied to the bottles at the Silgan Plastics plant in Ligonier, IN.
“The cutting-edge Avery Dennison Curve Appeal system offers our customers more labeling options on more difficult compound curved containers,” says Tim Monacella, manager, decorating and intellectual property for Silgan Plastics. “In the past, contoured containers have limited customers’ options to the use of shrink-sleeve labeling, and in many instances have forced customers to reduce their label size.”
A 5% sales increase
The newly designed Australian Gold label was launched to the marketplace in June 2012 and is currently available at a popular mass retailer and drug chains.
After the new package was launched, to assess how the new label design performs at shelf as it relates to consumer perception, Avery Dennison and Australian Gold partnered in a retail trial, run by Trade Partners Consulting Group, in the Florida market. The head-to-head comparison of the old label versus the new one concluded that the Australian Gold product with the Curvy film label has purchase interest that far exceeds the existing package. When asked which product shoppers would buy, 94% (9:1) of respondents chose the product with the newly designed Curvy label. Figures showed a 5% increase in sales over the existing bottle.
“Hands down, Curvy is a winner,” says Kerry Gould, president of Trade Partners Consulting. “We spent hours with shoppers in store, talking to them and observing behavior at shelf during the height of sun-care season in Florida. Australian Gold ‘Curvy’ scored high on every research measure we tested—preference, purchase interest, eye appeal, and ‘pop’ on shelf. Shoppers noticed and appreciated the extra information the larger Curvy label offered.”
Shoppers said, “It’s easier to read,” “It has more information,” and “It just popped.”
Says Australian Gold’s Starrett, “We were very pleased to see a sales increase for this product when we introduced the new Fasson Curvy film label design to the market. We are currently looking for new ways that our brand team can incorporate the new Avery Dennison Curve Appeal technology into future labeling opportunities.”