Procter & Gamble’s Air Assist pack delivers, Diamond-style
Procter & Gamble took home the coveted top honor, the Diamond Award, for its Air Assist liquid packaging technology. The Air Assist package resembles a dual-gusseted pouch; however, the pouch is selectively inflated with compressed air to create a rigid structure made from multiple layers of film. Graphics are printed on the film, eliminating the need for a label.
A proprietary valve-and-vent design enables easy, controlled dispensing and makes the package spill-proof. Product only comes out when a consumer squeezes the package. Afterward, the package automatically seals, with no drips.
Sustainability and reduced package cost are key benefits of Air Assist, which uses 50% less plastic than a conventional bottle and does not require a cap or a label. And the package requires no protective bags, tape or wrapping prior to shipping from an ecommerce vendor.
“The most innovative feature of this package is, without a doubt, the integrated one-way valve-and-vent system which yields cleaner, more precise dosing without the need for a cap. This enables one-handed dispensing without drips or messiness for nearly any liquid product,” explains Ken McGuire, research fellow at Procter & Gamble.
He adds, “The most challenging part of designing this package was making it delightful for the consumer while also being manufacturable at high speed—comparable to our current bottle filling lines. Most flexible packaging equipment operates at much slower speeds, which would render this package less attractive from a cost standpoint.”
Procter & Gamble sold Dawn dish detergent in the Air Assist package on Amazon in 2017 and has sold Old Spice body wash products through the Procter & Gamble direct-to-consumer channel. “We are part way through our first large-scale production run for sale on Amazon later this year,” McGuire says, adding that additional brands will follow.
Procter & Gamble worked with Innventure to develop the Air Assist package and has granted that partner an exclusive license to commercialize the technology for businesses outside of Procter & Gamble.