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L'Oréal's bottle fishes for kids

Streamlined and decorated to resemble a fish, it's easy to imagine kids getting hooked on the new L'Oréal Kids squeezable bottle. Aimed at kids between the ages of 3 and 10, the bottle fits easily into small hands, it floats in the bathtub and it allows the sweet-smelling shampoo and conditioner aroma to emanate through the bottle itself.

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The New York, NY-based L'Oréal Care Division of Cosmair introduced the bottle in April. Silgan Plastics (Chesterfield, MO) extrusion/blow-molds the bottle from 80% linear low-density polyethylene and 20% LDPE that it blends together. Custom tooling and a proprietary mold handling system are used by Silgan to mold and handle the unusually shaped bottle. L'Oréal fills the bottles at speeds of 78/min at its Florence, KY, facility. Three bottle colors are used for three product varieties. All three bottles include front and back in-mold labels. Injection-molded polypropylene closures are supplied by Captive Plastics (Piscataway, NJ). The closure's hinged top makes opening, dispensing and closing easy for kids. Graphically, orange, green and blue closures top red, orange and yellow bottles, respectively. The container was designed so that all its components would combine to give the appearance that the fish is smiling. From the top down, the distinctive closure, the bottle's one rounded shoulder, and the front label's prominently displayed eye- and smile-shaped violator create the desired effect. "The children in our focus groups went nuts for the packaging," proclaims James Viera, senior vice president and corporate technical director. "The overall feeling is fun, not babyish." In keeping with that feeling, the bottles are sold in regular shampoo aisles, not in baby sections, of chain drug, food and mass market retailers nationwide. The suggested retail price is $2.99 for the 9-oz product.

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