Pan Demetrakakes

March 27, 2017

5 Min Read
Zero-waste shaving cream pods are convenient and travel friendly
With a clear bottom for seeing how much product is left, this standup pouch holds 40 pods of shaving cream and is compliant with TSA airline travel regulations.

Dissolvable film has enabled single-use versions of many non-solid products that otherwise could only be packaged in bulk, including personal care and household products such as laundry detergent and shampoo, and foods like liquid flavorings.

Now shaving cream has been added to the list.

Pacific Shaving Co., a personal care products company based in San Francisco, has rolled out Single Use Minis Shaving Cream. The doses of shaving cream are packaged in water-soluble film from MonoSol LLC. Consumers hold the pod under warm water and rub their hands vigorously to produce exactly enough lather for a single shave.

Pacific Shaving claims this to be the first major innovation in shaving cream since the introduction of shaving gel in the 1970s.

“There has been a great deal of innovation and disruption happening in shaving for razors and blades—but not much for shaving creams and aftershaves,” says Stan Ades, co-founder of Pacific Shaving Co. “We strive to develop innovative and effective shaving care products for men and women, and Single-Use Shaving Cream Minis fit perfectly with that goal.”


The MonoSol film is made from 100% food grade ingredients, says P. Scott Bening, MonoSol’s president and CEO. “MonoSol’s food-grade water-soluble films help deliver precise dosing to personal and beauty care products, making them ideal for travel and waste reduction,” Bening says. “With a quick splash of water, MonoSol’s water-soluble film dissolves in the palm of your hand, providing a luxurious hand wash, shampoo and conditioner—or shaving cream.”

Forty single-serve packets come in a stand-up pouch with a clear bottom, allowing consumers to see how many are left. The pouches, with high-barrier PET film laminated to linear-low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), are supplied by Excel Packaging . Pacific Shaving chose the pouches because of their high moisture barrier, and because “Stand-up pouches are also lightweight and resealable, making them perfect for consumers who are traveling with the product,” Ades says.

Traveling with Single Use Minis is made easier because they’re compliant with the Transportation Security Administration’s airline travel regulations. “Shaving Cream Minis’ size make them ideal for travel as they take up practically no space,” Ades says. “The product falls within TSA’s carry-on liquid and personal care ounce requirements. The entire pouch of 40 shave Minis can be placed in a carry-on bag and pass through TSA [checkpoints].”

Ades says the product is also being positioned for home use, especially on environmental grounds. “The product resonates well with environmentally conscious consumers, as there is no mess and zero waste,” he says. “Single-Use Shaving Cream Minis use a fraction of the raw materials and are a fraction of the weight of traditional shaving cream cans, so the Minis reduce the amount of packaging resources needed and lessen the carbon footprint associated with supply chain distribution.”

However, home users of Single Use Minis will be asked to pay a substantial premium. It is now available only at Target and Amazon. At $5.89 (Target) and $8.99 (Amazon) for 2.8 ounces, it comes to $2.03 per ounce at the Target price, $3.21 at Amazon’s. This compares to between 14 and 17 cents per ounce for shaving cream in aerosol cans at the prices on Target’s website. (In April, Single Use Minis will be available at CVS Health and other retail outlets.) [3-27-17: SEE UPDATE ON PRICING BELOW]

Pacific Shaving did the graphics in-house. “Our graphic design is intended to reflect innovation and be aesthetically proactive, while invoking a modern nod to the products sold by traditional apothecaries years ago,” Ades says.

He says he expects the product to be a significant advance in shaving.

“By taking cues from adjacent market categories with respect to form, function and packaging, Single- Use Shaving Cream Minis are at once completely new and completely familiar to consumers,” Ades says. “Like laundry and automatic dishwasher single doses, we expect the Minis to change the way people shave, particularly in a world striving for convenience.”

Pan Demetrakakes began his trade publishing career in 1992 by covering packaging, which he has done for several publications over the years. Other areas of coverage in his career include the food supply chain from production through retailing, as well as specialty coffee retailing, gift and housewares retailing, and industrial coatings.

[UPDATED 3-27-17: Pacific Shaving Co. wanted to modify the pricing information we provided. Stan Ades, co-founder of Pacific Shaving Co., provided information on cost per shave and how this compares to other mainstream shaving products in the market.

"Consumers estimate they get about 40 shaves per can of shaving cream. Some will make it last longer, others will surely overuse, but the assumption is about 40 shaves/can. This amounts to about two months of shaving for someone who shaves five days/week.

"Here's what I can find that will help, and I'll refer to Target available products so that everything remains apples-to-apples. On that note, I took prices as they reflect today [3-21-17] on [see individual links below]. In our case, that means it is reflecting a higher price than originally reported in the article. Even with that, I think you'll see we're competitive on the price/shave."

Pacific Shaving Co. single-use shaving cream minis: $6.69 or $0.167/shave

Gillette ProGlide Shaving Gel (almost all mainstream aerosol cans contain gel, not cream): $4.99 or $0.125/shave

Other mainstream shaving creams sold in tubes:

Bull Dog: $7.29 or $0.182/shave

Cremo: $6.59 or $0.165/shave

Bevel: $14.95 or $0.374/shave

Van Der Hagan: $5.99 or $0.15/shave

Harry's GEL: $5.99 or $0.15/shave

Budget shaving cream:

Barbasol original: $1.37 or $0.034/shave]


Learn what it takes to innovate in the packaging space at the new Advanced Design & Manufacturing Cleveland event (Mar. 29-30; Cleveland, OH). Register today!

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