Selecting paperboard for packaging:
The image of personal care
The first aesthetic consideration for the packaging of toiletries is to present a clean and fresh appeal and an image of personal care. For exclusive toiletry products, such as expensive soaps, an image of glamour and luxury may be added. This need is further enhanced for exclusive lotions, shampoos, balms and bath oils, packed together in elegant gift packages. Toiletries often occur in the form of creams and liquids and are therefore packed in suitable primary containers. Since brand image and shelf appeal are highly important, toiletries require attractive packages which distinguish them from competitive brands. Strength, together with characteristics that allow for the design of attractive packages with a hygienic appeal are the main criteria when choosing paperboard for toiletry cartons.
Choice of paperboard
Toiletries are often purchased from self-service displays, hence the design of the package is the main aid for identifying and choosing the product. Since many of these products are highly promoted by advertising, the brand image displayed by the package is of vital importance. The visual impact is achieved through the shape of the package and its surface expression. The graphical design is usually topical, informative and creative, characterised by hygiene with a touch of luxury or naturalness, depending on the target group. In order to create attractive packages use is also made of lamination or windowing. In some cases blister packs for hanging display are used.
Important promotional characteristics of the paperboard for toiletries are whiteness, smoothness and surface finish. A high print quality, with good contrast between the surface of the paperboard and the print, is needed to achieve a high standard of graphical presentation. The graphical presentation and the hygienic appeal call for pure virgin fibres. Together with selected coating ingredients, the use of virgin fibres also ensures good light stability to prevent fading. The hygienic appeal is emphasised by a white or cream reverse side.
The main purpose of the carton is to provide physical protection for its contents from hazards in distribution, storage and handling. Also, a flawless carton is vital for the shelf appeal. The strength of the carton is therefore critically important. It is also important that some form of tamper evidence, to ensure product integrity, is incorporated in the package design. The carton is usually disposed of immediately when first opened. An exclusive package, though, may be kept throughout the life of the product.
Important protective characteristics of the paperboard are compression strength and, where necessary, folding endurance. Exclusive packages which may be opened and closed many times require closures that can withstand the handling without failing in function or appearance. A smooth surface provides for ease of handling. It also provides for good rub and abrasion resistance, thereby preserving the graphical presentation. Virgin fibres provide these characteristics.
Printing and conversion
To obtain efficiency in printing and conversion a flat, stable and dust-free paperboard is required. Good absorption and drying properties, as well as good cutting, creasing and gluing properties are important. Thereby high print quality is ensured, whilst process stoppages and material waste are minimised.
Usually the cartons for toiletries are rectangular in cross section with tuck-in-flap closures. Gift packages and packages for products such as toothbrushes may have display windows and supporting fitments. The more exclusive products and gift packages are often hand packed, whereas high volume products are packed mechanically, sometimes at high speed. The cartons are usually provided with the side seam glued for erection, filling and closing on the packing line. The packaging machines require low opening force and consistency in thickness and folding characteristics.