Aimed squarely at on-the-go usage, Listerine Ready! Tabs from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. represents an entirely new formula and format compared to the original Listerine mouth wash that has been a staple for so many generations.
“If the targeted consumer is on-the-go, we had to come to terms with the fact that, unlike users of original Listerine, users of these tabs will not have a bathroom or sink in which to spit,” says Miguel Herrera, Global Package Development Director for North America. “So we came up with a formula for a product that can be swallowed that still has the same fundamental benefits as original Listerine.”
Both Herrera and Rafal Hrymoc, Global Package Development Director for Beauty Packaging and Innovation, describe this launch as the epitome of how JJCI now integrates packaging into the product development process. “We were there every step of the way with the formulators, design, marketing, and finance right from the beginning, working on it together,” says Herrera. “We spent a lot of time with consumers, too, and there was plenty to learn. For example, we first thought let’s put this into a Tic Tac type of container. But consumers made it clear that, because treating bad breath is a very personal thing, something more discreet was called for. This blister pack is just that. There are very tight tolerances between the size of each tab and the size of the blister in which it sits. That means you don’t have the product rattling around noisily and indiscreetly in your purse or pocket. The other thing we wanted to do is clearly differentiate this product from mints and gums. This product gets used very differently from either of those, and we wanted to make sure that the package helped educate the consumer and delivered a sense of being a premium solution.”
Essentially this is an eight-count, thermoformed, push-through blister-pack with heat-sealed foil lidding. The blister is then trapped between top and bottom layers of paperboard with high-impact graphics. Four intriguing features stand out. The “Lift to Open” tab along the right side offers a nice reclosure element. The top paperboard flap hides the torn pieces of aluminum that might compromise the premium appearance once a few tablets have been removed. The inside of the top paperboard flap carries helpful info on the chew, swish, swallow experience that is the very essence of the product. And finally, because the squared-off top and bottom paperboard portions of the rectangular package are easily removed by the consumer thanks to perforations (seephoto A), the package fits all the more easily into purses or pockets once it has left the store and no longer needs to have a hang-tab component on top.
All of this, notes Hrymoc, and the package while hanging on a retail display rack still echoes the shape of the iconic Listerine package. “It was a really cool project into which we were able to insert ourselves right from the start,” adds Herrera.