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Airless Packaging Brings Form, Function

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: January 9, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Slowey: Airless technology allows formulations to maintain integrity longer, as they are not exposed to air or contaminants with every use. This allows new formulations that contain less [amounts of] preservatives to be brought to market and expansion of product lines.

Sweeney: Airless dispensers meet the needs of consumers by providing a superior product experience over traditional packaging. Airless dispensers offer product protection from air, provide precise and repeatable dosing, and allow consumers to get the most product from the packaging by dispensing nearly all of the contents—a notable contrast to tubes and bottles with dip tube pumps.

Marketers and brand managers also find that airless dispensers are meeting the need to provide consumers with a package that increases the perceived value of the product purchased. Many of the new skin care products, including antiaging and wrinkle-reducing products, contain expensive ingredients. Asking consumers to pay higher retail prices for these products without upgrading the dispensing system produces weak retail results. Brand managers are finding that packaging these expensive formulas in higher end packages helps consumers justify the retail purchase.

GCI: Are there limitations to the kinds of formulas or product types that can be dispensed with airless packaging?

Gabilanes: Yes. Testing should be the first step in the development of every project.

Simon: There are a few limitations to what can be dispensed with an airless systems, such as scrubs. There are also some liquids that may be used but should go through stringent testing beforehand.

Sweeney: Airless dispensers are well-suited for medium to thicker viscosity formulas. This allows marketers to sell a more concentrated formula, giving consumers a better product and using less packaging.

GCI: What has been the consumer response? Do they actively seek airless packaging?