Rising tide for shrink-labeled cap

January 29, 2014

4 Min Read
Rising tide for shrink-labeled cap

In August 2005, Procter & Gamble introduced the latest addition to its best-selling Tide liquid laundry detergent line: Tide with Febreze® Freshness. To help the new product stand out on store shelves, P&G features it with a glossy, shrink-sleeve-decorated cap highlighting the familiar Febreze logo. Working in partnership with P&G, Multi-Color Corp. (www.multicolorcorp.com) helped develop the distinctive shrink-sleeve-decorated cap.

P&G wanted to use a decorated cap to attract shoppers' attention and distinguish Tide with Febreze Freshness from other Tide products. Multi-Color was involved in early discussions for the project in late 2004. Use of injection in-mold labels was an option, but the capmaker lacked the necessary capabilities. Since Multi-Color offers multiple decorating technologies, they suggested using shrink-sleeve labels. Shrink sleeves would provide the graphics, product protection and quality look the project desired.

Shrink-sleeve labels are one of Multi-Color's main product lines. However, this project presented several challenges. The caps had to be predecorated because the two plants producing Tide with Febreze Freshness did not have shrink-sleeve application capabilities on their filling lines. The predecorated caps would have to withstand travel through the cap-conveying system and the torque applied during capping.

Multi-Color's product leadership group handles new product development and provides technical support during qualification testing. Based on the results of line trials, they determined that predecorated caps could work using a specially designed shrink-sleeve label.

"We were working on several aspects of the project simultaneously," says Philip Albenice, technical representative. "While our primary focus was to develop a product that would work for this application, it also had to be a product that would fit our production capabilities. Our goal was to design an innovative shrink-sleeve label that we could produce efficiently."

The accelerated timeline for the project presented another challenge. P&G planned to launch Tide with Febreze Freshness in August, and its production schedule called for packaging to be ready in June.

"We were confident we could deliver a product that would meet their needs and their schedule," says John Voelker, vp of sales for Multi-Color. "We met with Procter & Gamble in late January and presented our plan for the project. We would handle everything in-house—product development, prepress, production and the actual decorating. Being able to handle the entire project made a big difference."

The entire Multi-Color team pulled together to make the project a success. Product leadership would continue product development and provide technical support. Laser Graphics Systems, Multi-Color's prepress facility, would produce the color separations and printing cylinders. The sleeves would be printed and finished at Multi-Color in Scottsburg, IN, and applied at Quick Pak (www.quick-pak.com), Multi-Color's packaging services division.

Quick Pak was uniquely suited for the Tide with Febreze Freshness project. A leading contract-packaging services provider, it adapts production capabilities to meet specific customer needs. Many of its fulfillment projects require manual assembly, which was an important factor during the early phase of this project.

The initial line trial of the decorated caps for Tide with Febreze Freshness took place in March 2005. The trial used samples hand-applied at Quick Pak. "The trial was to gauge the robustness of the shrink-sleeve-labeled cap," says Francene Lord, director of sales at Quick Pak. "The results confirmed that we had a product that would meet Procter & Gamble's expectations."

One plant began producing Tide with Febreze Freshness on June 1 and required 2 million decorated caps. The caps spotlight the Febreze logo and match the background color of the labels for each of two product scents available. The product went into full production and launched on schedule. The new cap developed for Tide with Febreze Freshness is unique to the marketplace. Decorated caps open up a new area on a container for graphics.

More information is available:

Multi-Color Corp., 513/381-1480. www.multicolorcorp.com.

Quick Pak Div., 513/771-0704. www.quick-pak.com.

Sign up for the Packaging Digest News & Insights newsletter.

You May Also Like