etma Tube of the Year 2011: innovation on a broad front
The members of etma, the European tube manufacturers association, were in a confident mood at their annual congress in Scotland. This was due not only to positive production figures for the European tube market but also to the quality of the entries in this year’s Tube of the Year competition with its wealth of technical developments and interesting new applications. A highly respected jury from the association’s member companies once again chose the best tubes in the categories aluminium, plastic, laminate and prototype tube.
The winner in the aluminium tube category was ALLTUB. The French company produced its winning ‘Revolution color’ tube for its client Italian Technologich. The tube offers a truly dazzling colour experience with changing colours and innumerable shades. The effect is produced by using a special lacquer that is sprayed on the tube and cap in equal measure. This results in a perfect and harmonious coordination of the optical effects. The ‘Revolution color’ tube represents a complete range of eye-catchers that boost the visual impact of aluminium tubes and provide clients with innovative opportunities to strengthen their brand presence. They were designed in particular for premium cosmetic products and include features like multicolour glitter, soft touch and water-droplet and mother-of-pearl effects.
The winner among the laminate tubes was ‘Aquafresh Ultimate’, an innovation for the oral care sector from Albéa that was developed together with GSK Packaging Development. The tube was developed so that it could be presented in a suitable display without a carton at the point of sale. Thanks to its strong design, it creates an immediate presence there for consumers: The tube has a novel shoulder shape and a cap that is oriented to the printed image and which has an indent in the opening that always points to the front. Flexo-printing is used. Together with silver hot foil stamping, this creates a metallic appearance that emphasises the high-grade look and premium quality of the product.
A tube from Albéa also took first place in the plastic tube category. The ‘Cellu-Sculpt 3X tri- roller’ was developed for an anti-cellulite product from Avon. The revolutionary applicator with three stainless steel rollerballs that rotate through 360 degrees gently massages the skin until the product, which is released via an aperture in the centre of the applicator, is absorbed. A special rotation system within the applicator ensures precise dosing during the massage treatment for optimal results in the different problem areas. At the same, it avoids unnecessary waste of the valuable contents. Clinical tests have verified that massaging with the three rotating rollerballs of the applicator improves microcirculation and boosts efficiency when used.
Albéa has shown with this innovation that creative tube solutions can offer consumers real added value and a novel product experience over and above their actual packaging function. They also fulfil their promise optically: the unusual design and the visual effect resulting from the use of special pixel printing technology create a real eye-catcher.
There were two winners in the prototype tube category. ESSEL impressed the jury with a plastic tube that attracts the customer’s attention at the point of sale with a special effect. By using a special ink when printing the tube, aromas associated with the smell of the contents are released. The aroma experience intensifies the optical and haptic impact of the tube, subjects customers to a surprising multi-sensoric experience and activates their spontaneous impulse to buy. With this product, ESSEL offers its clients an interesting opportunity to intensify their brand presence at the POS. Several hundred standard aromas are available, and ESSEL can also create special aromas composed to match the contents of the tube precisely. Offset printing was used for this LDPE tube.
TUBEX presented its prototype of a ‘recycling tube’. The Rangendingen-based company has produced a plastic tube that deals with the subject of sustainability in an exemplary manner. Uncompromising use is made of secondary material wherever there is no direct contact with the contents. The plastic tube body itself contains 20 % recycled material introduced during the co-extrusion process. The shoulder of the tube is made of original material, the opening is sealed. The closure is 100 % secondary material that is approved for direct contact with foodstuffs. Otherwise the ‘recycling tube’ exhibits all the properties of a plastic tube made solely from primary material.
Gregor Spengler, secretary general of etma, was highly satisfied with the quality of the Tube of the Year competition and the award-winning tubes: “Above all, the broad spectrum of ideas speaks for the innovation and the creativity of our members. Thus, innovative opportunities have been created for the tube in addition to existing solutions. The result is completely new applications. Besides pure functionality, features have been developed that appeal to nearly all of the customer’s senses and strengthen branding and the presentation of brands at the point of sale. On top of that environmental and sustainability aspects have been rigorously implemented in the interests of clients and consumers.”