Small and sustainable

7 December 2018

Exhibitors at ADF & PCD New York 2018 were split equally across packaging and dispensing. What they all had in common was providing solutions that offered sustainability, with a focus on challenger brands looking to disrupt the market.

Indie and global brand representatives attended ADF & PCD New York 2018 at the Altman Building & Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, 5–6 September, just a couple of days after Labour Day. ADF & PCD New York is billed as North and South America’s only dedicated event for the aerosol, dispensing, perfume and cosmetic packaging and design community.

Show management put an emphasis on indies this year, with a number of specially designed programmes showcasing the increasing demand for more sophisticated and innovative packaging, and the need to compete with the larger brands. Organisers also strived to create an upbeat environment complete with piped-in music and an indie designer fashion show with models who paraded through the exhibit areas on day one.

Alli McEntyre-Gaharan, event director of the ADF & PCD Portfolio, said that the show was a huge success, with the aerosol and packaging portions equally divided among this year’s 130 exhibitors. In 2019, however, the show will move to a later date, 17–18 September, and plans are to take over the second floor of the Altman Building in order to expand the aerosol and dispensing elements of the show.

With content in mind, ADF & PCD New York also ran a very popular two-day educational seminar programme. Sustainability was the major focus for 2018, with sessions packed with visitors eager to learn more about this overriding topic of interest.

On the show floor

A walk around the PCD section of the show floor revealed lots of first-time New York packaging exhibitors, with representatives from Asia, Croatia, France and Italy, and with many companies selling direct to the US. A number of suppliers were positioning themselves as disruptors in dispensing and decorative solutions, and there was also talk of tariffs in the air.

The MiniMist system from Alternative Packaging Solutions drew interest for what the company calls “a new dispensing system to disrupt the aerosol industry”. Robert Tate, chief operating officer, explained how it uses a very fine spring rather than a traditional dispensing system, so “you get pure product, nothing else”. You just press down for four to five seconds, he said, and spray in any orientation.

Tate also said that MiniMist produces a continuous spray without any chemical propellants, adding, “Its innovative construction remains cost-competitive with a significantly lower carbon footprint than aerosols”. Tate explained that MiniMist’s spray characteristics and customisable design allow for almost any packaging shape and material to suit different brands and product categories.

While custom designs were certainly available at the show, there was an emphasis on stock packaging.

ABA Packaging showcased a complete line of simple-shaped, stock-line glass bottles, which included roll-ons and treatment bottles. Liana Marchese, account executive at ABA Packaging, displayed five new lines of high-end fragrance glass available in low quantities – particularly noteworthy for indie brands – in sizes ranging 50–100ml and available in six to eight weeks. An assortment of suitable pumps and various decorative options were also available.

At New High Glass, Alonso Herrera spoke of how the company was moving towards “a lot more green choices” such as using recyclable materials including PE green and plastic from sugarcane. Herrera said Europe is far ahead of the US in this way, “but they also have superior recycling capabilities and facilities”. New High offers jars made of 60–90% recycled glass, which in some cases have a green tint. A number of attractive glass bottles featured wooden cap combos.

Hangzhou XINLI Plastic & Hardware, which specialises in perfume packaging, offered a selection of bottles, caps and deco for fragrance, plastic, glass, metal and wood.

Plastics plus

Made in the US and low MOQs were special points of interest at Colt’s Plastics, where Mark Egan, vice-president of global sales and marketing, said that caps, jars and more can be decorated and delivered in six to eight weeks.

With talk of potential tariffs on goods from China, Egan said they had seen increased interest from brands looking for US-based manufacturers. Located in Dayville, Connecticut, the supplier offers elegant deco finishing with no tooling investment. Low MOQs stand at 1,000 pieces and turnaround is six to eight weeks. Egan says specialties include 3ml-16oz heavy-wall PETG recyclable jars and urea-based biodegradable caps.

Bridging a variety of materials from glass to plastics, RS Group, represented by Benevolent Beauty’s Maggie Wedemeyer – a seasoned beauty professional who does private label packaging projects for brands including Anthropologie – said, “Trump’s new tariffs – adding a nickel to a dime per piece for export tax – is not going to affect purchases.” She added, “You can economically source glass, caps, tubes, pumps – all with low MOQs.”

The ten-year-old company offered stock packaging “in different shapes than we’ve seen before”, said Wedemeyer. They also have the ability to do custom in 3–14 months. A pretty stock cream jar was available in 15, 30, 50 and 100g sizes, and a serum and oil-dropper bottle in glass is a new design, available in 10, 15, 30 and 60ml.

APR Packaging highlighted a patented concealed nozzle for airless bottles. The locking feature makes it especially convenient for on-the-go use. Available for bottles in 15, 30 and 50ml, it includes a locking feature: just turn and click, and the actuator pops out to prevent leakage and spillage. Multiple colours and decorative options are available.

Launched in 1991, Taiwan’s Ever Rich Fountain featured plastic-injection airless bottles in PP, PET and double-wall, as well as cream jars. A new offering was a two-component bi-injection cream jar; droppers and pumps are also available. Decorative options include ink printing, hot stamping, spray coating, water transfer and digital printing. Double Wall Airless bottles are available in 15, 30 and 50ml; the outer bottle is SAN, the inner is PP. Large and mini sizes are also available.

Stražaplastika DD is a plastic tube manufacturer from Croatia. The 60-year old company offers two complete lines and produces more than 25 million tubes a year. It offers tubes, caps and deco, including silkscreen and hot stamp.

Printing and decorating

Sun Chemical highlighted its expertise in metal decorating, which can be done on any material. The company showed screen inks that can be used on metal, glass and plastic. The supplier also offers brand protection features integrated into the inks. Textured and screen effects are also available.

Val Laquage is a French company specialising in decorating on glass bottles, with techniques including screen printing, hot stamping and automatic coating. The group, comprised of three companies, provides a full range of decoration – coating, silk-screening, hot stamping and pad printing – on glass products for markets including cosmetics, perfumery, pharmacy and spirits. All companies take an eco-responsible approach, and 100% of their products are made in France. The supplier exhibited bottles for luxury brands including Creed and Miu Miu.

Iggesund was offering a new metal substrate for use on digital press printing, which laminates metal film to Invercote, calling it MetalPrint. Metalprint Digital was developed in close cooperation with HP Indigo. Invercote Metalprint Digital is adopted to be run without a priming step in the HP Indigo one shot mode on 10,000 and 12,000 machines. The first grade to be produced is 300gsm (13.6pt) Invercote G + METPET, which is the standard product; it will be available from May 2019.

Digital direct-to-shape decoration for mass production was a highlight at Velox, which offers end-to-end, high-quality printing for long and short runs of cylindrical containers such as plastic and aluminium tubes, aerosol cans, laminated tubes and more.

According to Velox, this solution is the first “to expand digital processes beyond short runs to offer a compelling replacement for mass-production analogue decoration”. By enabling decoration at full production speed, along with “a dramatic value leap in the form of unique printing features, highly flexible decoration capabilities, and mass production economics”, Velox says it “opens a new world of operational and marketing opportunities for converters and brand-owners”. The supplier’s proprietary DTS inkjet technology is based on uniquely formulated inks and dedicated deposition architecture, and “introduces an entirely new approach to digital printing that is poised to disrupt the packaging decoration market”.

Turnkey development

Full-service packaging options were a popular topic at ADF & PCD, as elsewhere. At Essentia Beauty, Cinzia Bessi, sales and marketing director, displayed some of the projects they had recently completed. The turnkey services company works for private label brands in categories including make-up, fragrance and accessories. The Italian supplier just opened an office in Shanghai. Offers include digitally connected packaging, eco-friendly packaging, packaging concepts and ready-to-go formulas. One cute product is a magnetic lipstick package with a removable mirror that clips on.

A New Heat & Dose System was available at Klocke, a contract packager specialising in unit dose packages. The system, powered by Exothermix, is available in sachet and blister formats, and can also be sold at retail. The consumer can safely heat products prior to application, so it is ideal for products ranging from skincare and haircare to face masks.

At Quadpack Group, wood made a strong statement as a sustainable material option for cosmetics, skincare and fragrance packaging.

Christin Cupo, client account manager at Quadpack, said, “Wood is a trendy material that is on an upswing, especially for indies looking for sustainability and an immediate ‘green’ message.” Quadpack Group’s Technotraf Wood Packaging factory near Barcelona in Spain specialises in the renewable resource, and plants six trees for every one taken down. Quadpack is now partnering with East Hill Industries as a distributor. In the first part of 2019, East Hill is due inventory for a variety of full packs from Quadpack.

One beautiful wood product at Quadpack combined sophistication and environmentally friendly material in a compact crafted from wood sourced from sustainable forests certified by the PEFC. The wooden compact is hewn from maple wood for an exceptionally smooth finish.

At ADF & PCD, Corpack highlighted its sustainable rubber and cork blend called Sughera, which, according to managing director Jean Paul Corbeil, can be substituted for plastic components.

With a natural look and feel, Sughera is described as “a revolutionary material consisting of a synthetic rubber-blend mixed with ground pieces of natural cork. For the first time, a micro-agglomerated natural cork is injection-moulded and formed without using glue”.

Aside from its special composition, connecting nature with technology, the distinctive features of Sughera are good resistance to various elements and versatility in application. This new material (70% cork, 30% rubber blend) uses less petroleum-based materials while giving the component a natural look and feel. Components can be made in a variety of colours. The material has now been introduced in a wide range of cosmetic packaging.

The winners of the 2018 ADF & PCD New York Innovation Awards, voted for by an independent jury.
An aerosol promoting Pixar Animation Studios, one of the innovations on show at this year’s ADF event.

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