If a picture is worth a thousand words, surely the right package will speak volumes. Consumer engagement with brands is significantly impacted by the right combination of product and packaging, meaning innovative packaging continues to matter in the beauty industry.
At a recent Cosmetic Executive Women/NPD Year in Review event in New York, James Russo, Sr., vice president, global insights, Nielsen, said that innovative packaging may indeed trump other value drivers in the beauty sector, including natural or organic, and is among the key components that help products “shine on shelf in a sea of sameness.”
Suppliers of beauty packaging components know the power of engagement that high-functioning caps, closures, prestige glass, innovative dispensing and design can provide. Advanced spray delivery, leak-proof portability and aesthetics all impact purchase, as consumers seek ease of use, elegance and solution-centered products.
Suppliers Address Innovation
Carow Packaging, specialists in caps, pumps and sprayers, offers brand enhancement with a variety of cap and closure systems. Janet Freund, marketing manager, Carow Packaging, said the company is the first and exclusive North American company to offer Snap-PET, a line of six stock caps that snap on to existing PET preform bottle necks.
According to the company, “This represents a new value proposition for customers in the health and beauty space. Traditional cap and bottle designs are expensive and labor-intensive due to custom tooling and developmental trial and error. With Snap-PET, a customer designs a bottle shape, selects one of the stock caps and they are done.”
Creating a custom package without a custom price has undeniable appeal, and Freund said cost reduction is significant with this system: “The Snap-PET closure system could reduce the cost of injection stretch blow molded containers by as much as 90% ($250,000 traditional vs. $15,000 with Snap-PET). Since the cap and bottle are produced from injection blow molding at critical snap points, the system virtually eliminates leakage, torque and back-off issues commonly found during filling and shipping, further reducing cost.”
Freund said that Carow’s dispensing system will have an overall impact on dispensing efficiency, and cites its applicability in dispensing a popular ingredient in today’s market: “With argan oil gaining in popularity in salons and mass market, our trademarked EuroDrop system is ideal for dispensing single drops of this exclusive product. The improved drop dispensing technique of the EuroDrop insert makes it a more efficient option than the dropper pipette.”
Regarding the impact of such an offering on a larger scale, Freund added, “Any aggressive product that requires glass packaging and controlled dispensing would benefit from the compact and precise EuroDrop system.”
Today’s advanced formulations require sophisticated dispensing to provide precise delivery. According to Juliana Keklik, marketing manager, NA beauty, Aptar Beauty + Home, Aptar is offering Serumony, an airless serum dropper that performs with precision and efficacy. Keklik said, “Today, we see consumers expecting to trade their hard-earned dollars for not only a quality product, but a quality experience. This breakthrough in packaging transforms the way consumers dispense formulas for skin and hair care.”
She added, “The magic happens when the airless piston is advanced with one touch of the push-button, making the process very easy. Serumony dispenses the exact amount of product every time without the need for skin contact, keeping the entire process hygienic. With standard droppers, consumers experience a dispensing process that can amount to an average of five steps. The airtight and leak-proof features are also central to a great product experience, because they protect the very formula consumers trade their money for. The latest launch came from Givenchy for [its] new serum, Doctor White 10 High-Precision Whitening Spot Eraser.”
The product, a high-tech skin care serum, targets pigmentation spots, and its design combines controlled dosage with a sensory experience.
“Another product getting a lot of recognition is our newest fragrance pump, Precious,” said Keklik. “It offers a continuous diffusion spray combined with gentle actuation. The mist is lush and lasting, with no hard points on actuation.”
L’Oreal chose Precious for La Nuit Tresor, its new Lancôme fragrance.
“Consumers will experience an enhanced spray with extreme uniformity and less wetness,” said Keklik. “Its smoother-than-usual actuation speaks to its quality and luxe characteristics, which seems to be the trend in demand right now. Just like Serumony, these applicators will have the power to transform the way consumers apply skin treatment formulas and foundations.”
Amber Ellis, vice president, beauty category marketing, MWV, is focused on dispensing innovations for the peripatetic consumer. Ellis said, “In 2015, MWV launched MiniMod, an airless pump-on-a-pouch packaging solution that provides controlled dispensing and portability for those who like to take their favorite beauty and personal care products on-the-go. Filling for MiniMod pouches will come from the experts at Marietta Corp., while the pouch technology has been developed by Ampac Packaging.”
She continued, “The pump is equipped with a unique push button for soft, easy activation, and is attached to a customizable, flexible pouch. The system uses MWV’s Pure Path metal-free dispensing technology, and is suitable for personal care and liquid product applications.”
Ellis added that the new concept and its full impact on consumers and/or brands has not yet been assessed.However, through focus testing, MWV found that consumers use multiple personal care and skin care products throughout the day, so it is not unusual to find hand sanitizer, lotion, face creams and even toothpaste in desk drawers, purses, backpacks and in the car.
Ellis said, “In fact, many consumers describe their on-the-go use of these types of products as more frequent than their in-home use. It’s in these instances, where MiniMod is most valuable. It is slim, compact and can fit almost anywhere. Most importantly, it will not leak, so it gives consumers the confidence they seek, ensuring each time they interact with the product, it will be a clean, convenient experience.”
Ellis noted, “Overall, 92% of consumers we surveyed rated MiniMod’s overall performance as ‘excellent or very good,’ while 88% said they would buy it for its on-the-go capabilities. It offers them the convenience of carrying their favorite brands with them as they go through their busy lives, without having to compromise their routines or limit the use of their favorite products.”
She continued, “Brands that can deliver an enhanced, more convenient experience for today’s busy consumer will win in the marketplace. MWV’s Packaging Matters study found that 53% of all consumers feel that packaging that allows for convenient, on-the-go use is extremely/very important. Furthermore, the study validates that packaging that can prevent spilling, leaking or breaking is the single most important packaging attribute affecting consumers’ purchasing decisions. MiniMod delivers against both of these needs: It creates a more convenient, secure packaging solution, all while creating more usage occasions for brands.”
Premium Packaging Drives Momentum
Demand for high-performance materials and technologies has resulted in profound innovation in the market. Sheherazade Chamlou, VP marketing, SGD, said these materials and technological advances are turning dreams into realities for premium packaging that will stand out on the shelf.
“In the fragrance sector, the broad spectrum of imaginatively created perfume flacons has resulted in packaging which is close to art,” she explained. “What is driving the momentum is an impressive array of high-end decorative techniques, which create impactful visual clues to reach and engage consumers.”
The effect on both consumers and brands supports the value proposition of the product.
Chamlou said, “Products that are effective create value for the consumer, as well as an experience that is fun. Packaging plays a significant role in the purchasing process, for example, trial, repeat or switch.”
Sensory engagement enhances consumer response, as Chamlou explained: “The use of multisensory packaging increases the touchpoints between the consumer and the package, and it helps with the brand storytelling. A total sensory experience will vastly improve the consumer’s ability to memorize a brand, so the more brands can appeal to sensory elements, the stronger the emotional connection with the brand.”
Chamlou highlighted trends and innovations hitting shelves now, including perfumery tailoring: “This is a new trend that major brands are trying to recall lost luxury by launching exclusive perfumes. At SGD, this trend has been interpreted through Fine Arts, which is a fine engraving in the mold. Fine engraving in a material as hard as glass is very hard to achieve. Thanks to improvements and new techniques in mold design, SGD offers 3-D engraving of ultra-fine patterns. SGD has re-created the delicacy of lace to imitate fine jewelry or a texture you might find on a bride’s wedding gown. The engraved patterns in the glass can be further magnified through various decoration techniques such as pad printing, lacquering, internal mirror finish and/or frosting.”
These trends will no doubt impact the field of packaging on a larger scale.
“A lot of decorations on recent fragrance launches are coming straight from the runway, and thanks to new and advanced decoration techniques, fashion and perfume industries are getting very close,” said Chamlou. “Sensorial packaging is all about creating experiences, and beauty, pleasure and luxury are all characteristics that packaging can reach through cues to the consumer’s eyes, fingertips, ears and nose.”