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Airless Packaging Brings Form, Function

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

page 4 of 5

GCI: Is it getting more difficult to “wow” consumers?

Simon: No. I think many marketers are still not using airless packaging, so there are so many other formulas that can be introduced into airless systems that will then wow the consumers of those products, because they are much less messy and allow more product evacuation.

Slowey: It often appears that we have “done every shape,” and the next day a new line of packaging is introduced that allows for some personalization or privatization of a brand. Our designers and development people are always at the drawing board trying to put the next great family of packaging together. The introduction of so many new decorating processes have also allowed the consumers to still be wowed.

Sweeney: It is always a challenge to wow consumers, and marketers continue to look for ways to accomplish that. Recently, several brands—including Olay, Sunsilk, DDF and Avon—have utilized airless packaging to fill a dual phase “swirl” product. This is a two-part product filled in a swirl pattern. Because the piston inside the airless dispenser rises as the product is dispensed, the active ingredient consistently doses and the swirl effect remains intact until the package is fully evacuated.

GCI: How has airless packaging evolved over the past five years, and what evolution has this, in turn, fostered in product/formula development?

Gabilanes: There are more and more custom designs (custom caps, custom actuators or custom shells), as well as more stock packaging options. In addition, piston packages and airless pouch bottles, as well as airless jars, are available.

Simon: Airless systems now offer the “no metal part” feature, which allows more hydroquinone and SPF products to be dispensed using an airless (no metal parts touch the actual product). Also, airless bottles always have to be cylinder shaped, but we can now create an oval or other shape as the outer packaging, hiding an inner cylindrical bottle. We now also offer airless components that feature roller-ball applications, brush and sponge applications, airless jars and even dual syringe applications, offering a wider variety of choices to the customer.

Slowey: Airless packaging has become more affordable as we see more manufacturers entering the field. This has allowed more companies the ability to package their products in airless packaging. We have also seen the technology expanded into other shapes, rather than just round, and also the introduction of airless dispensing jars.