Multi-sensory packaging wins consumers' attention

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Perfume Aroma compound

Going beyond the visual is the latest way to make a product stand out on the store shelf, according to packaging professionals at this year’s PCD Congress.

A number of products were showcased at the perfume and cosmetics packaging show that appealed to multiple senses of the consumer, not just sight.

Fragrance emitting logos on tubes, inks that change colour with a rise in temperature and a soft touch plastic combined with peach fragrance, were all presented as the latest technique to make products stand out.

US-headquartered polymer company PolyOne, showcased its additives and resins that can be used to add fragrance and alter the feel of the plastic in its ‘peach’ project.

The bottle was designed with a peach shampoo in mind and combines an additive that gives a peach fragrance to the container, a soft touch plastic, a peach colour and a round shape.

Peach is not the only fragrance that the company offers and additives for mint, chocolate, vanilla, leather and others can be found within PolyOne’s portfolio. Fragrances and aromas can also be designed to suit a customer’s needs, the company explained.

Fragrant logos and colour changing ink

Tubes can also be treated with the multisensory brush and Switzerland-based Neopac presented a few of its innovations in the area including scratch and sniff logos.

The fragrant ink is microencapsulated so when the surface is rubbed the capsules open and fragrance is released, before closing up again afterwards, explained marketing and communications manager for Neopac, Cornelia Schmid.

“This means the ink remains fragrant for a number of uses, and on the shelf for approximately one year,”​ she told

Neopac also presented an ink that changes colour when the temperature rises. This can be used to hide logos or patterns that will only become visible when the consumer holds the tube, for example.

Three temperatures (20, 31 and 43 degrees centigrade) can be used as the benchmark to activate the colour change and Schmid also explained that the ink can be used as a marker for products that need to be protected from heat exposure.

Visual leads to touch

New visual effects that can make the consumer reach out and touch the product were also presented at the show, with API Laminates introducing its new ‘lens’ effect.

A holographic finishing in circle shapes placed in various locations on the image gives the impression of three dimensional domes that can be looked through to see the image below.

The idea behind the technique was to make the consumer reach out and touch the package on the shelf, thereby moving one step closer to the eventual sale, explained managing director of API Laminates Andrew Stevenson.

Holding the consumer’s eye for a few seconds more is not insignificant, Stevenson said.

Customers that focus on a product for more than 3 seconds are 63 per cent more likely to buy, he added, quoting Instore Research performed in 2006. In addition, a customer that picks up a product in a store is 96 per cent more likely to purchase.

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