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The latest pumps and spray systems are stylish, precise and ergonomic.
By Janet Herlihy, Editor
Before a new fragrance can captivate, a new cosmetic can enhance or a skin care treatment can work its wonders, the formula must be dispensed. If the spray fizzles or the pump clogs, the consumer will be disappointed before ever experiencing the product.
Suppliers of spray and pump dispensers are working to develop and improve ways to deliver cosmetics, fragrances and personal care products, not only assuring that the performance will meet the need, but also providingdesign that will contribute to the look of the package.
Sales were stronger in the first half of 2003 than the second for most dispenser suppliers. Valois of America had a very strong first half this year with sales running 15% ahead of 2002, according to Jerry Whelan, director of sales. "Then demand seemed to hit a wall and now (early October), since August, we are only 8% ahead. Up until the summer slowdown, demand had been consistent and strong with no sharp spikes or drops," he said.
Valois' dispenser business for cosmetic and treatment products is growing while the fragrance spray dispenser side is fairly flat. "There are still launches but overall the (fragrance) category isn't growing, but as cosmetic and treatment products become more sophisticated and sensitive, a pump that dispenses a predetermined amount and protects the rest from contamination is in demand," said Whelan.
Sales at Rexam Dispensing Systems, Pur-chase NY, were up 5-10% in the first half compared to the same period last year, but "It looks like the second half will be down due to the total softness of the market," said Dennis Desrochers, vice president sales and marketing for the company.
Olan de Mexico, SA de CV, a manufacturer of spray pumps and dispensers, has had a record year so far in 2003, according to Israel Olegnowicz, the company's chief executive officer. Olan has gained market share due to its new product line, which is built around the X2 pump system.
Olegnowicz predicts that 2004 will be a good year. "We expect Asian currencies to start appreciating, and the U.S. to have slow, steady growth," he noted, adding, "We expect a substantial increase in our export sales."
Complex Systems Look Simple
Estée Lauder's new Beyond Paradise fragrance uses the SLPP, a super low profile crimpless pump, from Rexam that is enclosed in a clear Surlyn actuator shaped like a small ball that doubles as a cap. Rexam and its sister divisions supply the collar, pump and actuator, assemble all three and then press the complete unit onto the bottle. The actuator is turned to lock.
Valois has developed the Replica Plug, an enhanced version of the Replica, an existing fragrance pump. The Replica Plug is internally fixated; that is the base of the pump fits inside the neck of the bottle. It has been built to FEA industry standard FEA 13 mm, according Whelan, who added, "Our customer can work with stock glass or plastic bottles and use the Replica Plug as a dispenser, which is very precisely tooled to avoid any leakage."
Marketers are constantly looking for ways to make packaging unique. Pfeiffer, headquartered in Germany with U.S. offices in Princeton, NJ, has created the Side Actuation system. Pierre Chavèriat, senior vice president of fragrance and cosmetics for Pfeiffer, said the system allows the spray mechanism to function not by pressing vertically, but laterally. He noted, "The attraction of the lateral principle lies in its marketing potential. The need for a pump/protection cap becomes obsolete. But most importantly, this new ergonomic gesture allows the product to be distributed while the flacon remains in-hand—just a gentle bilateral pressure is needed."
The system is flexible. "Depending on each client's needs, varying materials—plastic or metal—and contents are possible, in addition to personalizing through original decoration," Chavèriat said. "The result is a harmonious and contemporary design, which makes the Side Actuation system no longer mere packaging, but a veritable cosmetic piece."
Olan's X2 pump system is under worldwide patent. "It uses a double coil spring to separate closure and pumping forces, which provides for an excellent spray at very low cost," explained Olegnowicz.
Described as "pre-pressurized," the X2 delivers an extremely fine mist, according to the company. It also promises "gentle ergonomics and even pressure as well as compact design, smooth atomization, competitive pricing and excellent lead times."
Being located in Mexico is an advantage, according to Olegnowicz. "Our location is closer to a big part of the U.S. than that of some of our competitors. Our size allows us to provide faster response in many instances, and because our customers include international firms, with offices both in Mexico and the U.S., we are already approved as a global supplier."
Upscale Looks in Demand
"The direction is going to upscale packaging such as airless dispensers, a package with a fine mist pump and/or dispensers built into the container," said Chris Hibbard, general manager of Drug & Cosmetic Sales Corp., Delray Beach, FL. "Marketers are looking for upscale looks—hot stamping, metal sleeves, custom colors. Even small companies want an upscale look."
Drug & Cosmetic Sales, caters to small marketers with needs in the 5,000 to 20,000 units range.
The Cosmetic Packag-ing Group, division of O. Berk Company, Union, NJ, offers an assortment of pumps and sprayers that work well with many of the glass and plastic containers in company's line. "The selection includes fine to mist spray patterns, matched to product viscosity, particulate size and desired output," said Steven J. Nussbaum, director of marketing for the company.
New Pumps Deliver the Goods
The increase in treatment products has fueled a need for pumps that can dispense a specified amount of formula in a neat, efficient manner.
From Valois, the Cocoon is an enhancement of the company's existing Evol-ution pump that adds a self-sealing technology to prevent product from drying out in the nozzle. "It's a proprietary polymeric insert that can be molded in any color to match the rest of the container or the bulk or an element of the graphics. When the pump is depressed, it dispenses formula, but once the pressure is relieved, the lips of the insert close," explained Whalen. "It adds real value to a package as it protects against leaks and clogs, helping to protect the formula from contamination."
Valois' Satine is a high dosage cosmetic pump that dispenses 500 mcl of product in a format that looks like the Evolution pump. "This addition makes it possible to design an entire line of products with dispensers that have a look in common," said Whalen.
Saint-Gobain Calmar, headquartered in City of Industry, CA, has developed a new line of pump dispensers for the cosmetic/treatment category. Cal-mar designed the new pumps with a sophisticated look and technically innovative delivery to offer cosmetics something unique, according to Francois Danielo, market technology manager for Saint-Gobain Calmar.
The Aria, created for high viscosity formulas, is a patented design that places the spring outside the fluid pathway. Because no metal parts come in contact with product formula, there is no possibility of corrosion or contamination, explained Danielo. The dispenser head has an ergonomic finger pad and locks easily for travel use. The Aria, currently in production, delivers 170 and 250 mcl.
The Sonnet, scheduled to be in production by the end of November, is a larger version of the Aria, with a medium output dispenser of 500 microliters.
The PKG Group, based in Somerset, NJ, is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Lumson and Maplast, Italian manufacturers of packaging components, according to Edward F. Csazar, vice president of sales for the company.
Lumson has recently developed Tricos, a unique trigger sprayer that is integrated smoothly into the side of the container. It is self-cleaning and especially good for lotions and treatment products such as sun lotion.
Maplast has interesting pumps designed to dispense two formulas from the same package. Called Duo, the package is suitable for holding two related products, such as a day cream and a night cream. Maplast also has a duo in a fine mist sprayer.
SeaquistPerfect Dispensing, Cary, IL, had several innovative dispensing closures that debuted at HBA. The Moritz is a twist/turn/lock aerosol actuator that eliminates the need for a hood or cap. "Consumers don't like the over cap and they get lost anyway. This is great for travel products because it locks firmly to prevent spills. It will be in the product line in January 2004," said Carleen Kreider, SeaquistPerfect vice president innovation.
Seaquist's EuroLock is a twist/lock fine mist pump with a larger, more comfortable finger pad. A bi-injection molded closure; it is available in one or two colors.
World Wide Packaging showed a new cylindrical package at HBA that dispenses very viscous products through a small orifice or flocked tip by turning from the bottom, explained Bob Reinhardt, WWP's vice president of sales.
Drug & Cosmetic Sales is a distributor of Mega Pumps' airless dispensing container that is supplied in one piece. The company also supplies fine mist spray dispensers, where low profile actuators are now the fashion.
A new tottle from Maplast features a sponge applicator for smooth, even application of foundation or products such as self-tanning products. The sponge has anti-bacterial properties and can be sealed to prevent leaks. The sponge can also be unscrewed and removed to be cleaned.
Foamers Are More Than Bubbles
Airspray International, Pompano Beach, FL, has established its foamer technology as an industry standard, according to Robert Brands, company president. "It's not just a fad," Brands stressed. At HBA, the company introduced a new concept in consumer product development—the "foaming fragrance" system.
"End-user appeal derives from perceived quality and luxury, and efficient, easy usage," stated Brands. He ex-plained that with the foaming fragrance system, the consumer can apply the precise amount of product—to exactly the correct spot—without drips, mess, stains or waste. "And, the creamy feel of instant, one-touch foam imparts a touch of luxury to the product," he added.
Airspray has shipped more than 350 million foam pumps in the past five years, according to Brands. The mechanisms produce a precise mixture of liquid and air with a single stroke of the smooth-action button.
Airspray's foamers' popularity has been expanding from one category to another. "The foamers have been especially successful with hand soaps for kids, who then started taking the containers into the shower, so now Airspray has designed WaterGuard, a line of foamers to be used in wet environments." WaterGuard includes a variety of dispenser outputs and sizes.
Bath & Body Works chose one of the Waterguard foamers to top off its Pure Simplicity body wash product.
Emsar, Stratford, CT, is launching the EcoFoam Squeeze Foamer, a completely new way to produce foam, according to Des McEttrick, global marketing director of the Stratford, CT-based supplier. The all-plastic Eco-Foam dispenses by squeezing the bottle. Because it has no metal parts, it is also recyclable. The dispensing method allows for one-handed application, making it ideal for dispensing foam directly onto skin or hair (sunless tanners, body washes and shampoo). Emsar plans on having the EcoFoam pump available in early 2004 in a 24/410 and a 28/410 neck finish.
Taplast, an Italian manufacturer with U.S. offices in Corry, PA, has developed the Nuvola, an all-plastic foamer pump that fits standard 28mm SP bottle necks. The Nuvola is also said to be more compact. It includes an external air compression chamber, which seals the bellows through an elastic manner. This double function has reduced the size, according to Taplast. The company says it is also the lightest foamer, weighing in at 17 gr. compared to others that are 24 gr.
Leakproof Portable Products
Answering consumer demand for cosmetic and toiletry packaging that is portable without spilling/leaking, Emsar has developed the Portable Anti-Clog Pump, a fine mist sprayer with a door that essentially locks the product. A hinged piece that is flipped down to open the dispenser and back up to close it, the "door" also prevents the pump from clogging while assuring complete portability. Aesthetically, the door can be made in a contrasting color from the rest of the dispenser, creating an added design element on shelf. And, because the pump has a 360° spray feature, the Portable Pump is great for one-handed applications in any direction.
Emsar developed the Minis to ad-dress the travel size issue with small complete packages in a range of bottle shapes. There are two pump options: the Mini Mist, a 15mm snap on fine mist sprayer, and the Mini Treat, an easily re-locking lotion pump. The bottles come in sizes from 7.5 to 30ml in several shapes with many decorating options.
Pfeiffer's new Rotation Dispensing Pen is the answer to perfume leaks inside purses. "The Rotation Dis-pensing Pen is both practical and easy to use," said Chavèriat. "The press button is protected and can no longer be involuntarily actuated. A poorly placed cap is no longer an issue!"
Various filling volumes and materials are available for the Pen—plastic or aluminum sheaths, or, for a unique look—ceramic or wood. The Rotation Dis-pensing Pen can also be decorated with a lacquered or anodized surface. It can be used for sprays, gels and creams.
A Solution for Timely Mixing
For products with ingredients that, once combined, limit shelf life, Elcos America, Cresskill, NJ, has developed a container and pump system, which consists of a second container within the primary cylinder that is attached to the pump. When the consumer depresses the pump the first time, the barrel of the second container opens, releasing the contents into the first container, where they mix. The package is designed to hold the right amount of ingredients to be mixed according to the time constraints of the formula, according to Sarah Choi, a sales rep at Elcos.
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