In the realm of new packaging for household cleaning products, reusable packaging and concentrated products for greater sustainability have stolen the show of late. But a new bottle from Procter & Gamble for its Dawn liquid dish soap takes a different approach, tackling the issue of ease-of-use for consumers, including those with disabilities, and giving new meaning to the moniker “frustration-free packaging.” New Dawn EZ-Squeeze comprises an inverted bottle with patented no-flip cap technology that allows the bottle to stand on its “head” and dispense from the bottom with a self-sealing valve that protects against leaks.
According to Corey Brugh, Senior Brand Manager, North America Hand Dish at P&G, the impetus for the design came from what the brand saw consumers doing every day: turning the bottle upside down. “We began iterating from there—knowing we wanted to solve the frustration that comes from trying to get the last drop of soap out, in a bottle that would stay clean and wouldn’t require a cap to flip,” he shares.
|Watch this video of the new Dawn EZ-Squeeze bottle in use.|
Dawn reports that it devoted more than five years, hundreds of designs, and thousands of hours of testing in the development of Dawn EZ-Squeeze, making it one of P&G’s most researched and rigorously tested products in the company’s 50-year history within the dish soap category. According to Brugh, the goal of P&G’s in-house design, packaging, and manufacturing teams was to create something with beautiful, functional aesthetics that would meet consumer needs and that could also be made at scale.
“We are truly consumer-obsessed,” he says, “so our first area of focus was consumer behavior and how we could make the ease of use better and more efficient.” The answer was an inverted bottle with a multi-patented, no-flip, no-mess cap technology that allows consumers to dispense product with one hand and enables them to get every last drop of the Dawn dish liquid out of the bottle.
The proprietary closure is a round, opaque, screw-on cap measuring a bit over 5.5 mm in dia that acts as a base for the bottle to stand upon. In the center of the cap is the dispensing valve. Before use, consumers remove an adhesive seal over the valve. To dispense the dish soap, consumers squeeze the bottle, which causes pressure to build up and results in the valve opening to release product. When the consumer stops squeezing the bottle, the pressure applied to the bottle is released, which results in change in the direction of the flow of product. The dish soap then stops dispensing, and any residual product is sucked back into the bottle, along with air, to reach an equilibrium pressure. This mechanism allows the bottle to return to its original shape, and the valve returns to a closed position without any product being wasted.
During its extensive consumer testing of the bottle, Dawn found that the package’s unique valve design not only delivered a mess-free experience, but the lack of a cap also improved ease of use for populations who have challenges with existing bottle designs since it can be dispensed easily with one hand.
|Read this story on Chico Honey's mess-free inverted standup pouch.|
In engineering the bottle, Brugh shares that the P&G team wanted to create a counter-worthy design that would be easy to use. The custom,14.7-oz, clear PET bottle has an oblong shape with vertical ridges along each side that aid in gripping the bottle and provide consistency with the existing Dawn packaging design. The cap sports a label reading, “No Flip No Mess,” and a How2Recycle icon on the back of the container indicates the bottle can be recycled once the cap is removed.
The new packaging design, which P&G promises will eliminate time spent by the consumer in “shaking, flipping, and banging their dish soap bottle on the countertop in a messy attempt to make the most of every drop,” was launched in mid-January. With the debut of the new bottle, P&G also introduced an enhanced product formula, updated to help dissolve both everyday grease and tough, cooked-on messes quickly and easily. Says Dawn, when compared with its non-concentrate products, the new Dawn Platinum formula removes 99% of grease and food residues with 4x faster grease-cleaning.
Dawn EZ-Squeeze is now available at mass retailers nationwide in Platinum and Original formulas.