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Label spells it all out

A new product launch by Alberto Culver receives a major boost from an elaborate booklet/label applied to the back of the container. Now available nationwide in food, drug and mass merchandisers, the Cortexx line of two shampoos and two conditioners contain a special gelatin that can help prevent hair loss by preventing split ends.

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According to Cortexx brand manager Chris White, this represents the first time such ingredients have been available in a hair care product. Because hair loss is such a hot subject these days, White and colleagues wanted the package to carry educational information on that subject in addition to a description of how Cortexx can help. They quickly realized that the primary label would never provide adequate space for the message they had in mind. That's where an expanded-content label from CCL Label (Itasca, IL) came in. "A hang tab was an option, and we also looked at the possibility of somehow shrink wrapping the added information onto the bottle," says White. "But we wanted something more secure." CCL prints the label in five colors on a sheet-fed offset press. "Most constructions for expanded-content labels are flexo printed," observes CCL's Randy Cowan. "The use of offset printing gives four-color photographic reproduction." After printing, the sheets are cut, folded and stapled into booklets automatically. Then the booklets are placed on a clear 2-mil pressure sensitive carrier label mounted on its own release liner. An overlaminate of 1-mil polypropylene then holds the booklet to the label. The 12-oz bottle on which the CCL label is applied is a Boston Round extrusion blown of high-density polyethylene. Some are blown in-house, others are produced by outside vendors. In either case, they're shipped to contract decorators for application of the CCL label as well as the primary label. Packaging engineer Kevin Held indicates that in the future, the firm will seek a blow molder that can also handle decorating. The current arrangement allowed Alberto Culver to meet its scheduled launch date. Filling is done at Alberto Culver's Melrose Park, IL, headquarters facility on a line used for a variety of other products. The snap-top closure is supplied by several vendors. With a suggested retail price of $3.49 to $3.99, Cortexx has done well since its launch. "Scanner data through July shows it's growing rapidly," says White, which suggests, he adds, that the extended-content label has paid off. Alberto Culver will continue to use the label on Cortexx at least through the end of the year and then evaluate whether it's still needed.

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