ST. LOUIS, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- TricorBraun partnered with Envirocon Technologies, makers of Lemi Shine cleaning products, to understand, explore and engineer a package that is unlike any other in its category. Once again, the result is disruptive on shelf, counter-worthy and loaded with enhanced functionality that outperforms consumer expectations.
Envirocon came to TricorBraun's Custom Package Design and Engineering team with some secondary and primary research that revealed consumers today want to squirt a little dish soap, wash, rinse and put their kitchen items in the drying rack. Gone are the days of filling the sink basin with soapy water, letting dishes soak and then rinsing them and drying them by hand. A speedy clean-up is of the utmost importance.
The research indicated several things that consumers are looking for in a dish soap. Having the bottle handy or nearby on the kitchen counter, one-handed use, controlled dispensing and ease of evacuation are all critical. It seems that consumers found both counter-worthy designs without the functionality desired and likewise some but not all of the functionality in a bottle that they didn't want to leave on their counter. Envirocon saw this as an opportunity. Further, the Lemi Shine brand is firm on "Products that get the job done better, with plenty of peace of mind and no questionable chemicals."
In an attractive $3 billion dollar category, $1.7 billion belongs to liquid dish soap. This sounds like an amazing opportunity until you stop and think about the long history of brands that have dominated in dishwashing and dishwasher products. "We're smaller, we wanted differentiation and we knew we had to work with the best to get there," says Lemi Shine Marketing Director John Gunning. He goes on to say, "We're a challenger brand, we are building momentum and brand awareness is increasing. The first interaction or FMOT takes place in the store so we have to do a lot at the shelf. We knew that along with the performance of the formula, the engineering of the package would play a huge role in the success of gaining retail interest."
The initial ideas that Lemi Shine had for the design were inspired by other forms found in health and beauty aids. The bottle was to contain 22 fluid ounces, just slightly over the standard 21.6 ounces. The design would be used for three SKUs including liquid dish concentrate, dish and hand soap and gentle on hands with aloe and vitamin E formulas. Design engineering objectives were developed around the following ideas: an invertible bottle that was sturdy, a leak-proof closure with a lock-back feature, practical one-hand control, a more sustainable cap, control of flow, full evacuation, a counter-worthy design and a clear bottle.
The invertible bottle needed to be sturdy with a leak-proof closure and dispensing system plus a lock-back feature that would allow the consumer to keep the bottle on the counter for fast, grab-and-go use. It could not leak, with or without the latch, in the closed or lock-back position. According to TricorBraun Design Engineer Jonathan Bolda, "Designing the whole custom closure was a welcome engineering challenge because it involved more creativity than most engineering projects and customer feedback was quick so the process was smooth – they knew what they wanted."
Stability was critical given the repeated action of grab-and-go use. The arc of the bottle needed to be flush with the closure for both aesthetics and stability. Because the thickness of the closure increased with the arc of the bottle, achieving a uniform wall thickness became a molding challenge. The engineering team was able to solve this challenge and develop a more sustainable closure by cutting out two sections of the cap, one on either side of the latch.
Dispensing would also play a tremendous role in the desired functionality of the design. TricorBraun's exclusive rights to the Aptar Sure Snap™ Valve provided exactly what the Lemi Shine team was looking for in terms of innovative dispensing technology. The phenomenal engineering of this silicone valve accommodates a clean flow and secure cut off – it provided the precise control that consumers were asking for during the research process.
According to TricorBraun Packaging Consultant Joseph Caldwell, "Engineering a bottle containing liquid soap that could remain in an inverted position when shipped, at retail and on the kitchen counter without leaking while meeting a very tight timeline was a challenge we were geared up for and were able to achieve. The Aptar Sure Snap™ Valve helped us get there." Leak testing was conducted at TricorBraun and at Aptar to validate.
Caldwell goes on to say, "It took a village. TricorBraun managed all of the technical aspects of the tool building and sampling in addition to the coordination with all of our trusted outside development partners." Dhaliwal Labs is the filler, Poly-Tainer manufacturers the bottle, PSG makes the closure, Aptar makes the valve and Consolidated Labeling handles the deco. TricorBraun was also able to leverage international and domestic tool builders to achieve speed-to-market.
Once a prototype was ready, Lemi Shine was able to validate all of the functionality and the aesthetic appeal with consumers first hand and its sales force was also able to land an agreement with Walmart and Kmart that began in January. Currently, they are in 1,000 of their store locations. In March, the company also landed HEB. With just a few months of sales, the number of retail commitments has increased to 17 major retailers. The Target launch is in September.
The clear bottle allows for a two-sided back label. According to Lemi Shine Creative Director Chris Merriam, "The geometric background patterns were inspired by the crystal structure of citric acid, which provides the power in our formula. The graphics are shown in three different colors with one for each SKU and provide a fish eye effect that is distinct on shelf." The clear bottle provides a view to the clear formula which also highlights the chemical-free formula.
Gunning says, "I highly recommend working with TricorBraun because of their commitment to finding a way to make things work. Every bump in the road was solved in a way that pushed the project forward and allowed us to develop a package that is unlike any others in the category – reinvented to meet the preferences of consumers both in form and function." According to Merriam, "As a result of this project, we are now working on a custom design with TricorBraun for our rinse agent."
About Lemi Shine
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Lemi Shine is a family-owned family-owned household cleaning products company that provides a Clean Freak-approved clean for the home without harsh chemicals. Established in 1994 with the original Lemi Shine Detergent Booster, the company has since grown to include a wide range of kitchen, household and laundry cleaning products including detergent, appliance cleaners, glass and surface cleaners and more. More information can be found at www.lemishine.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
TricorBraun Design & Innovation Group is a business unit of TricorBraun, one of North America's leading providers of rigid, corrugated and flexible packaging. The Design Group's primary mission is to design, engineer and manage the development, production and commercialization of custom packaging solutions for personal care, cosmetics, healthcare, food and beverage, industrial household chemical and animal health products. It is supported by TricorBraun's more than 40 offices globally, holding one of the largest inventories of rigid packaging components worldwide. For more information about TricorBraun Design & Innovation, contact Charmaine Laine, Marketing Communications Manager, at [email protected] or 630-645-1208.