Packaging invention turns heads at HBA

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Product Innovation Marketing

A packaging innovation that helps consumers time how long their
cosmetic treatment should last and even alerts them as to the time
and date of their next treatment has turned heads at this week's
Health & Beauty America show in New York City.

Production Innovations, a California-based packaging technology company, says that P3 - which stands for Precise, Product, Performance - can help consumers using time-sensitive products to use them more precisely and even more regularly.

The innovation incorporates a microprocessor into the packaging cap, complimented by an LED light that blinks, as well as an LCD readout that times the length of the application.

In fact the innovation was much-talked about at this week's HBA event, with a variety of cosmetic manufacturers and packaging experts singling out the product for its innovation, and in particular its ability to enhance a product's functionality and useability.

"This is the first time the product has been showed to the industry,"​ said Steven Weiner, president of Product Innovations. "It has been in development for a couple of years and has recently debuted in the pharmaceuticals field, where it has been marketed mainly to help prompt people to take their medicines."

But studies of the cosmetic field suggested that the product could have several applications for time sensitive products, including items such as facial peels, face masques and hair dyes.

So how does it work? Simple, the timing mechanism is activated when the cap is opened, the consumer then dispenses the amount they want, then the cap is re-closed - a process that activates the pre-programmed application time.

When the time is up and the product should has reached its optimum exposure time, the cap beeps and flashes, indicating that the consumer should wash the product off.

The device is then pre-programmed to activate by flashing and beeping again to indicate when the product should be re-applied, whether that be the next day, a few days, a week or a month.

Weiner says that the product has been designed to have a minimum impact on the appearance of the packaging, blending into the cap in a way that does not detract from branding or the overall design, and that it can also be retrofitted to a wide variety of packaging styles.

Further more Weiner says that the cost of the product is also minimal, estimating that it should add an average of between $0.50 - $0.75 to total cost of the product.

The company has developed a range of prototype products, using a number of Estee Lauder product lines to exhibit the product at the HBA show. But it has also been talking to a wide range of cosmetics players in recent months and claims it had keen interest from a number of other leading cosmetic companies attending the HBA show.

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