There seems no limit to packaging's adaptability to new situations. If the package can be conceived, it very likely can be made.
Underlining this message is the job given several winners in the New Jersey Packaging Executives Club's (www.njpec.com) annual packaging competition. Of the 79 entries judged in this year's contest, more than a few highlight packaging's role in accessorizing while serving all of its other functions successfully.
Perfectly illustrating this ability is the Package of the Year winner, emerging from the recent judging at the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, NJ, and presented last month. The Island Michael Kors eau de parfum package marketed by New York City-based Estée Lauder captures not only the top spot, but also the gold award in the fragrance category.
Named for the leading American fashion designer, the fragrance for women is aimed, Estée Lauder says, at creating a feeling of relaxed luxury. The island image captured in the packaging is a symbol of ease and indulgence.
Communicating the Michael Kors style are the folding cartons submitted by Cartondruck USA (www.cartondruck.com). Under the direction of Estée Lauder executives, including director of package development Kevin MacCarthy, design firm Chad Lavigne LLC (www.chadlavigne.com) requests a true clothlike feeling to Kors' fashions.
Cartondruck responds with a white .018 SBS board laminated to a 100-percent cotton linen weave fabric, believed to be the first use of this material for a major fragrance line's outer package. The fabric is ultraviolet-printed, and an attractive, silvery plaque is combination-hot-stamped and embossed, with the fragrance and designer name also hot-stamped in white relief. With its turquoise color and four-color-printed island imagery on the inside surfaces, the carton combines tactile and visual sensations linking fashion to fragrance.
The eau de parfum bottle, marketed in 100-, 50- and 30-mL sizes, is inspired by "the sparkling water of the Caribbean," Estée Lauder notes. "Layers of turquoise-color glass shimmer like waves beneath the clear bright surface of the rectangular bottle..."
Achieving this effect with perfect edges, with the 100-mL bottle weighing in at a remarkable 250 g, is Pochet of America, which also does the decorating by screen printing an end panel and then masking and spraying the base.
A tight-seal pump produced by Valois (www.valois.com) sits beneath the closure from Rexam (www.rexam.com/closures). Almost as decorative as the bottle, the rectangular closure is injection-molded of a Surlyn ionomer from DuPont (www.dupont.com/packaging). Applied at one end is an aluminum plate stamped and debossed with the logotype. The closure's base is decorated in turquoise via tampography, Kevin MacCarthy says. The total effect is playful and prismatic, with the turquoise shade radiating from several planes at once.
Somewhat simpler but no less impressive is another dual-award winner. A perfect capsule shape distinguishes the package for Quease Ease(TM) from Soothing Scents, Inc. of Enterprise, AL. The aluminum package captures both the gold award in pharmaceutical/medical device and in packaging innovation.
In test markets since June, Soothing Scents president Roy Nichols tells PD, the capsule contains a drug-free anti-nauseant for patients undergoing chemotherapy, recovering from surgery and even for motion sickness. A blend of three essential oils in a saturated membrane filled into a 2-g glass vial, the product is inhaled through a custom aluminum collar with holes that thread onto the vial.
The vial with collar is loaded into a polypropylene-lined aluminum base, and a similarly lined, tight-friction-fitting aluminum closure discourages evaporation. A single package reportedly can last up to six months when tightly capped and kept away from excessive heat. All components of this patent-pending package are provided by HCT Packaging (www.hctpackaging.com), which also silk-screens the capsule in purple; another decorative touch is the gleaming ring that sits at the base of the overcap. It's part of the collar fitted on the vial.
Nichols says he's conducting tests with Quease Ease at some independent pharmacies, where reception to date has been "very positive." However, he adds, "I have a sister who is a nurse who urged me to start testing among hospital patients, and the response there has been tremendous."
Initially, he adds, he accessorized the capsule with a supply of black lanyards with cords that he bought from a promotional company. Whether that continues as Quease Ease expands distribution is undecided. "They don't go over well in hospitals," he confesses.
Another significant winner in the NJPEC competition personifies the remarkable expansion of aluminum containers beyond their traditional markets. This is the gold award winner in the food/beverage category, Mazola(R) Pure(TM) cooking spray aerosol marketed by Memphis-based ACH Food Companies.
Dispensing 5-oz quantities of nonsticking cooking oil in olive oil, butter and canola oil varieties, the package represents rebirth for a venerable brand sold to ACH by Unilever in 2003. The impact-extruded aluminum bottle, already finding numerous applications in personal care products, is the ComfortHold(TM) from CCL Container (www.cclcontainer.com).
Through an automated necking process, CCL uses a relatively soft, 1070 aluminum alloy that starts with a standard 53-mm lined canister that tapers to a rounded shoulder and then to a 35-mm neck. During filling and pressurizing, the container is fitted with a rounded, injection-molded PP-copolymer actuator made by Summit Packaging Systems attached to Summit's SV-77 vertical action pressure-fill valve system used with its aluminum lathe-cut gasket-mounting cup. Summit's custom-domed overcap is molded of clarified PP and is an economical, single-shell, snap-fitting style.
The color-coded containers are lithographed in six colors with a pearl basecoat and a semi-matte finish. Entering them in the competition, CCL executive Joe Iapelli cites"the distinctive benefits of aluminum, as it is lightweight, shatterproof, UV-light-resistant and preserves flavor."
More information is available:
New Jersey Packaging Executives Club, 908/233-1234. www.njpec.com
Cartondruck USA, 201/313-4790. www.cartondruck.com
Chad Lavigne LLC, 646/244-5450.www.chadlavigne.com
Pochet of America, 973/942-4923.
Valois of America, 845/639-3700. www.valois.com
Rexam Closures & Containers, 914/251-8431. www.rexam.com/closures.
DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, 800/628-6208. www.dupont.com/packaging.
HCT Packaging, 908/203-8610. www.hctusa.com
CCL Container, 724/981-4420. www.cclcontainer.com
Summit Packaging Systems, 603/759-1150.