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Within the Lines

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: October 3, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 2 of 7

In the quest for a better understanding of the impact of packaging on color cosmetics, I posed questions to Thomas Pfaff, sales and marketing director, Seufert; Steve Pearlman, president, CROWN Risdon; Gary Fagan, director of sales and marketing, CROWN Risdon; and Pete Prusak, director of technology, color business, PolyOne.

Fashion and Trends

As explored in GCI’s November 2005 Global Report, color cosmetics is influenced by fashion and emerging short-lived trends, and this forces packagers to deal with requirements of current trends such as speed-to-market, evolving designs and materials, and to anticipate upcoming trends. As Pfaff puts it, the challenge for packagers is flexibility.

“Short-lived trends play havoc on manufacturers of packaging components in two ways,” said Pearlman. “(First), speed-to-market launches strain our development capabilities, particularly if all marketers are seeking to capture a particular trend. It is very difficult to create a brand new concept in less than six months. The way around this short time frame is the use of stock or previously used tooling with modifications to existing tools.

“(Second), cost of development and cost of tooling is difficult to recapture if trends are short lived. Here again, if existing tooling is used to capture a trend with little or no tooling costs, both sides can benefit,” Pearlman said.

Because these trends are short-lived, it is beneficial for packagers to stay ahead of their customers—spotting trends and then presenting ideas and proposals. Fagan states that customers select CROWN Risdon, in many cases, to develop the package.