Lauren Hartman

February 4, 2014

4 Min Read
Double-trapped blisters bear big bones

Get out the big dogs! Nylabone Products has launched an innovative, rugged package design for its new premium brand of chew bones, Big Chews for Big Dogs. Winning an Institute of Packaging Professionals' AmeriStar award for Alloyd Co., the blister-packs were created by Alloyd, Ceradini Design and Rohrer Corp., and include a family of seven peggable, double-trapped blisters that clearly exhibit each product's key functional attributes on both sides of each package, while maintaining excellent package security.

Nylabone is a Neptune City, NJ, division of TFH (Tropical Fish Hobbyist) Publications. TFH publishes books on pets as well as TFH Magazine. Nylabone produces all sorts of pet products, including premium dog chews, treats, toys and others aimed at pleasing even picky pooches. Virtually indestructible, the hefty new Big Chew dog chews were launched worldwide in the summer of 2002.

"We are devoted to manufacturing quality chews and have great breadth, because we make a product designed for each height and size of animal," states senior vp Mark Johnson. "The line of very large, durable dog chews required a package of substance, something attractive and protective in-transit. That's how the idea of a trapped blister with powerful graphics evolved."

Johnson explains that each of the Big Chews is a large, heavy chew bone designed to keep dogs' teeth clean, to exercise their gums and jaws and satisfy their natural need to chew. Big Chews aim to satisfy even the most powerful chewer and come in seven different varieties and six fun, large shapes. The chew shapes comprise a flexible tire, a truck tire, a turkey leg, a knotted bone, a "dinosaur" bone and a ham steak. "Since large dogs are strong chewers, they need a tough, durable and rugged chew. The larger they get, the heavier the chew bone needs to be. Protecting the bones in-shipment becomes a priority," Johnson says. "These products are also rather expensive [about $20], so you have to have something that looks good at store level."

To effectively protect and contain the chew bones, Alloyd developed a streamlined set of five sturdy polyvinyl chloride double blisters in 25- and 35-ga thicknesses that support the weighty bones and allow almost the entire product to show through either side of the package.

"We wanted consumers to be able to see the product from both the front and back of the package," Johnson explains. "We manufacture the different bones in interesting shapes that we want to have stand out."

The transparent PVC is produced by Klöckner-Pentaplast. The blisters are tabbed so that when they're trapped between the two cards, the package won't pull apart. The clear blisters are trapped between two heavy-duty .024 SBS cards made by Rohrer Corp.

To meet the anticipated demand, Nylabone installed two of Alloyd's 8SC1218 automatic eight-station blister sealers to package the new Big Chew products. The sealers each have a 12 x 18-in. sealing area and operate at up to 20 cycles/min.

"The double-blister/double-card combination in which there are front and back blisters trapped between two cards is kind of rare," Alloyd's Tom Gordon relates. "Traditionally, we only include two feeding stations on the rotary sealing machines, which is the style of equipment Nylabone already had. They decided to add the two eight-station systems, which gives them three feeders."

Size matters
Gordon says Nylabone wanted a big look for the new packages. "Most marketers want to go smaller to fit more on the shelves, but Nylabone went in the other direction with big graphics and a big presentation," he says.

To provide visual consistency, add value and quality, and achieve a big look, Ceradini created streamlined graphics for the two blister-cards, which Rohrer offset-prints in four colors plus a UV coating on the inside.

151499-0803nyla2.jpg The design has an industrial-strength, three-dimensional "nuts and bolts" look, in a steel-gray color scheme that immediately conveys the bone's size advantage with the word "Big" presented in full caps, outlined at the very top of the package to "jump out" of the top of the pack. The elements also illustrate the bones' ruggedness and give depth to the pewter metallic background, Johnson adds.

The Nylabone orange dog bone logo appears just below the brand name on the face panel of each blister-card. Since the launch of Big Chews, consumers and their furry friends are biting. "The large-dog market is growing," affirms Johnson. "They are excellent consumers, and the package has done very well for us. Retailers like it, consumers like it, and it's in extensive distribution."

More information is available:

Blisters, sealing systems: Alloyd Co., 815/756-8451. Circle No. 205.

Blister cards: Rohrer Corp., 330/335-1541. Circle No. 206.

Design: Ceradini Design, Inc., 212/252-0282. Circle No. 207.

PVC blister material: Klöckner-Pentaplast of America, Inc., 540/832-3600. Circle No. 208.

Awards: Institute of Packaging Professionals, 630/544-5050. Circle No. 209.

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