Delivery Makes the Difference
Florabotanica by Balenciaga used Aptar Beauty + Home’s VP4 pump with a customized design for its launch.
Many brands are leveraging delivery systems to capture prospective buyers and turn them into loyal customers.
There was a time when a dispensing solution likely meant an orifice at the mouth of a bottle or tube. Times have changed, and an orifice is now one of a virtually endless array of dispensing options. Across all beauty categories, dispensing systems have become a key way for brands to differentiate products and offer consumers additional value. Whether it’s through a special decorative touch or an innovative way to apply, delivery systems are serving as one way to attract—and keep—beauty product buyers.
While plastic screw and dispensing closures still dominate personal care segments, according to Packaging: Global Closures in Beauty and Home Care, a report published by market research firm Euromonitor International, “closures are increasingly a point of difference.” The report found that adding value to a package that would enhance product delivery and performance was “especially important in mature developed economies, where growth is increasingly hard to come by.”
Following is a look at four trends in dispensing. Although strikingly different in their execution, they all focus on similar goals: offering consumers increased functionality and meeting performance demands while expanding package design opportunities.
Beauty brands increasingly incorporate “functional add-ons” to appeal to consumer interest in premium products, as well as to enhance beauty routines, according to Euromonitor’s report.
These functional add-ons take on many shapes and sizes, but often, they include an enhancement to the closure.
Increasingly, brands are introducing products with dispensing applicator tips that directly apply formulas to the face or other target area. Applicator tips come in a wide assortment, and can include items such as sponges, brushes and roll-ons.
Taiki USA, for example, offers its customers a range of different tip applicators such as a triple roller ball, a sponge, a brush or a silicone head. The company focuses efforts on designing customizable packages to meet its customers’ needs. “The industry is focused on new innovations to set them apart from the competition. Designing a new delivery system that includes a unique tip that offers superior performance is a huge benefit,” states Jan Wilson, vice president of sales and development. “Depending on the product, the tip selection is key to creating a positive [experience]—a flawless application for the consumer.”
Aside from marketing advantages, the incorporation of an applicator tip has other benefits, which are leading to growth. Specialty tips are growing in popularity due to the increase in products requiring specific usages and because they mitigate the possibility of contamination by reducing product to hand contact, says David Hou, director of marketing and sales for Cospack America Corp.
Aptar Beauty + Home recently worked with German brand Jean D’Arcel on the launch of its Renover Expert anti-wrinkle treatment.
Hands-free application is a key benefit, agrees Des McEttrick, market development director, North America Beauty, for Aptar Beauty + Home. Other benefits regarding applicator tips include a soft, massaging effect from some types of applicators, as well as ease of dispensing and control.
While applicator tips have found their way into many different beauty segments, skin care is one particularly suitable application. Aptar recently worked with German brand Jean D’Arcel on the launch of its Renover Expert anti-wrinkle treatment. The brand chose an airless package complete with Aptar’s applicator Caresse, a bi-injected, flexible applicator that works like a fingertip, providing a gentle application that massages the skin.
“For this special new treatment, we were seeking an applicator suited to our product’s professional formula, which would enable a gentle and precise application on the most delicate areas of the face such as the eye contour,” according to a Jean D’Arcel spokesperson.
Similarly, Cospack America has launched a new airless series called Lucern, designed with a specialty applicator for spot treatment products. “The narrow nozzle on the applicator, along with the controlled output dispensing mechanism allows for direct application of the formula to the targeted area without the need for hand application,” comments Hou.
A trend that is as strong as ever, airless dispensers continue to be a popular choice among beauty brands.
Although found across a wide swath of the beauty industry, there are some product categories in particular that gravitate toward an airless solution. “In our experience, they are primarily used for facial skincare, cosmetic products and hair care products, though airless packaging is used in a very broad range of product categories,” says McEttrick.
Airless dispensers boast a variety of benefits. Airtight properties protect the most sensitive and volatile formulas. Product is dispensed precisely and formulations are fully evacuated to avoid waste. In addition to its positive functional traits, the packaging also looks good, a plus for brands that want to be perceived as premium or luxurious choices.
Many people who think of airless dispensers imagine a plain white pump, but today’s newest designs demonstrate packaging’s tendency to continually improve and evolve. The airless examples already mentioned above demonstrate the use of airless systems with specialty tips, but there are other changes to observe as well.
Cospack America’s Lucern airless dispenser includes a specialty applicatorfor spot treatments.
While airless itself is a notable trend, several suppliers are noting a sub-trend within the category regarding dressed-up looks. “I have noticed the functional benefits of using airless is no longer in question. Brands are now looking for airless dispensers that are distinctive and also available in stock. A simple and plain airless no longer cuts it anymore. Now brands are looking for airless dispensers that come with glitz and glamour with quick turnaround,” says Hou. Cospack has launched its Duo Series as one solution. The in-stock package features two separate airless systems that are stylishly positioned together.
Decoration is another way to differentiate airless systems. “We
Cospack has launched its Duo Series as a stylish airless solution.
see a very strong trend towards visible differentiation and so we see a lot of focus on decorating possibilities that create a more premium or unique design,” says McEttrick.
In response to this trend, Aptar Beauty + Home has recently launched new decorating possibilities for key products in its airless range, such as a metallic look option for its Eden airless line.
In the fragrance world, design is king. Low profile actuators are one way to expand opportunities with regard to bottle and cap design.
“The need for low profile pumps is all about design flexibility. The lower the overall height of the pump, the more flexibility the designer has to create the right look for the fragrance. Because the package is such an integral part of the communication of the fragrance, the lower profile pump allows for more flexibility, or fewer constraints, in creating a perfect package,” explains McEttrick.
Aptar Beauty + Home offers its low-profile VP4 fragrance pump, which is widely used by fragrance brands. For example, Florabotanica by Balenciaga used the VP4 pump with a customized design for its launch. The bottle included a customized collar, cap and over-dip tube, resulting in a striking look with strong graphic lines and dimension.
Utilizing the same pump to create an entirely different look, the Diesel brand called upon Aptar Beauty + Home to create its woman’s fragrance Loverdose. The fragrance called for a customized over-dip tube and the brand’s name was engraved on the top of the metal actuator. The bottle itself is shaped like a heart, housing an oriental, woody scent.
While low-profile pumps are primarily in demand within the fragrance sector, there are other thriving niche applications. Experts in aerosol dispensing, the Lindal Group sees a demand for low-profile dispensers in the aerosol category. Again, this option leads to design flexibility.
“The low-profile dispenser opens design opportunities, appeals to consumers and enhances the on-shelf look. To this end, you will see aerosol packs without an overcap, and with a locking device in the actuator itself,” says Phillip Brand, global marketing director for Lindal Group.
A collection of aerosol packages from Lindal Group
Lindal Group has introduced a number of aerosol-based technologies to market. Another example of its innovation is the introduction of its advanced powder valve technology. The ability to dispense solids via aerosol has revolutionized specialty segments such as the dry shampoo category.“We see continued category growth in Europe and new levels of consumer acceptance in the U.S. and Pacific Rim,” adds Brand.
The beauty industry is full of examples of organic and natural formulations. In addition to introducing more eco-conscious formulas to market, some brands also seek to source packaging with environmental merits.
Lindal Group has introduced advanced powder valve technology to dispense solids via aerosol.
What makes a dispenser environmentally friendly? McEttrick lists three factors: recyclability, reduction of plastic and reduction of the type of materials used—for example, using one type of plastic instead of two types and a metal. Many airless dispensers on the market today fit the bill, such as Aptar’s Eden airless system.
There are other eco-conscious options. As an answer to customers desiring more environmentally friendly and natural formulas, Taiki has introduced a new, patented technology called EcoG+ that can be incorporated into any package or delivery system. EcoG+ is an antimicrobial resin that reduces and can even eliminate the need for preservatives in a formula while still offering formula protection. In addition, it reduced the use of petrochemical resin by 40-70%.
In the aerosol category, Lindal works to reduce the material used for actuators as well as reduce scrap rates. It has also pioneered “new breed aerosols and biodegradable materials,” says Brand. An example is its Truspray technology, designed to handle highly viscous formulas while cutting propellant and solvent use by as much as 50%, according to Brand.
Demand for eco-friendly options will likely only increase in the future. “Customers and consumers understand the importance of sustainability,” says Brand. “In time, we expect that ‘green’ dispensing will become the norm, rather than the exception.”