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Chocolate-scented packaging concept hits the market

By Simon Pitman , 03-Nov-2005

A new concept in scented packaging has been jointly developed by European, American and Asian companies to give cosmetic and personal care a new kind of sensory packaging and another tool to promote their products.

Developed by global player Eastman Chemical Company , Eurofragrance from Spain, Rotuba from the US and EJ Pack of South Korea, the concept known as 'Chocolatine' is designed to give brand owners the opportunity to appeal to the sense of smell of the consumer, generating what is described as an impulse reaction to make a purchase, without having to tamper with the product.

According to the companies, Chocolatine consists of a clear injection blow-moulded jar containing a scented cream with a chocolate, vanilla and orange fragrance and with a jar lid that actually encapsulates and disperses a scent identical to that of the cream.

The companies say there are no plans to market the concept, but it demonstrates how combining their resources how they have been able to develop a packaging solution that could provide additional appeal for a variety of high end cosmetic and personal care products.

"Chocolatine proves that it is possible to render a complex fragrance and trap it durably into a plastic part produced from natural feedstock using encapsulation technology," a company statement said.

Creator and overall coordinator of the project, Valérie Bouvignies, CPC European Marketing Manager, Eastman Chemical said: "By locating and bringing together the right partners, Eastman was able to demonstrate how we can develop ideas and overcome problems.

"We now have a winning combination of products and the technical ability to add an extra functionality to packaging that has not yet been exploited by the industry. Chocolatine offers brand owners exciting new opportunities for differentiation by means of innovative packaging."

The concept jar is produced in Glass Polymer by EJ Pack. It uses an injection-blow moulding process, which allows for complex shapes that would not be feasible through injection moulding alone. In this case the jar is a thick-walled square moulding, a shape that has been difficult to achieve in plastics until recently.

The Glass Polymer is Eastman technology. The company says that is suited for the injection blow moulding process as it combines clarity at high wall thicknesses and chemical resistance.

The scent for the packaging was developed by Eurofragance, which specialising in the design and manufacture of fragrances and flavours for a number of applications. For the concept, Delphine Hitier, export manager, suggested a fragrance of dark chocolate, with a mild note of vanilla and cacao and the addition of a note of orange touch.

Eurofragance was responsible for the creation of the fragrance formulations for both the cream product and the jar lid, demonstrating technical abilities in 'capturing sensations' for a host of applications.

The jar lid is claimed to be a technology first. It consists of two parts: one inner part made from The Glass Polymer and an outer part that is scented and made in Auracell, a specialty material created to encapsulate and durably render complex fragrances.

Auracell was developed by Rotuba, a compounder specialising in encapsulation, using cellulosics from Eastman, a polymer that is produced from woodpulp - a renewable natural resource - that is said to combine a high level of aesthetic attributes, chemical resistance and good processability.

According to Hugh O'Neill, director Cellulosics sales for Rotuba: "We are seeing major interest in this high end fragrance delivery system which is suitable for premium applications in a wide range of industries. Although fragrances have been used in packaging and other applications in the past, they were not in vogue then. Today's marketplace does understand the importance of scent and fragrances - as demonstrated by the increased sales of scented candles and oils."

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