Bottles and Tottles: Staying True to Tottles
Tottles have become dominant in many product lines.By Marie Redding, Senior Editor
At one time, tottles might have been considered second choices for packaging. They were thought of as the next best alternative to a tube and used only so that one product would stand out in a line, such as a conditioner in a hair care collection. Now, tottles have become much more prevalent, and some companies even prefer them to bottles. Tottles are being used in all types of product lines, from upscale bath collections to men’s shaving lines.
Rising to Fame
Suppliers name many reasons for the tottle’s increase in popularity. “Tottles have a distinctive look that sets them apart from bottles. They also look great standing up on shelves,” says Steve Nussbaum, director of marketing for O. Berk Co. (Union, NJ). “Tottles are often chosen over tubes because they can be decorated more easily by using a label or silk-screening,” Nussbaum adds.
Karina Weber, marketing and sales coordinator at Weber International (Vaudreuil, QC, Canada), has seen a consistent increase in demand for tottles over the years. She says that requests have especially increased this past year. “Tottles have gained such popularity that it doesn’t even make sense for us to design caps that can’t be used for both bottles and tottles,” says Weber.
Alex Piagnarelli, vice president of sales and marketing at M&H Plastics USA (Winchester, VA), says that tottles provide numerous benefits. “Tottles are a much better alternative to a tube. The biggest advantage is that they don’t require long, unpredictable lead times that a tube might require. This is what’s causing so many manufacturers to choose tottles,” says Piagnarelli. Due to the recent increase in demand, M&H Plastics has expanded its stock tottle line to include a wider range of sizes.
The Main Squeeze
Tottles have been an especially popular packaging choice for men’s product lines. A new company called Billy Jealousy uses tottles as the primary type of packaging for its men’s products. Tractorbeam, a boutique ad agency in Dallas, designed the line’s packaging. Peter Benanti, owner of Tractorbeam, came up with the line’s edgy name.
“Because our name and our dragon symbol on the labels are both very provocative, we wanted to ground the packaging a little bit by using clean, modern shapes,” says Pat Parsi, president and CEO of Billy Jealousy. Parsi created the company with Daniele Rouso, vice president and COO. “We felt that the tottle’s shape followed the same modern, minimalist lines of an iPod,” says Parsi.
The Billy Jealousy collection includes shaving, facial care, hair care, and body care products. Each type of product is differentiated with a different-colored polyolefin label that is supplied by McDowell Label (Dallas). The labels are color-coded according to product family. Silver denotes the shaving products; red, the hair care products; blue, the body care products; and green, the face care products.
The same white polypropylene tottle—in 3.5-, 6-, and 8-oz sizes—are used throughout the line. All of the tottles have flip-top caps. “Men are generally very visual, so our main goal was to create a package that would have a lot of shelf presence. We believe the tottle is eye-catching to the young male consumer. It’s also very easy to squeeze,” says Parsi.
Bottles are also used in the line, but sparingly. Whenever two products in the same category required the same-sized package, a bottle and a tottle were used. For example, the Shaved Ice After-Shave Balm and the Lightning Bolt Electric Pre-Shave products both required small packages. To make it simple for users to tell the products apart quickly, Parsi didn’t want the two products packaged in the same-sized tottle. Thus, the aftershave is in a 3.5-oz tottle, and the preshave product is in a 4-oz high-density polyethylene Boston Round bottle. The bottle’s cap was supplied by Seaquist Closures (Mukwonago, WI). “We purchase all our Boston Rounds from two local distributors here in Texas—Pennco and Fusion Packaging,” says Parsi.
An Ergonomic Shape
Once a tottle is in a customer’s hand, the feel of it is also extremely important. “Ergonomic shapes are very important, especially when a product is meant to be used every day,” comments Severine Mathe, the marketing and product development group manager at Fruits & Passion.
The Fruits & Passion Nourishing collection consists of six different types of body butters, shower creams, and exfoliating creams. The body butters are packaged in round plastic jars. The shower creams and exfoliating creams are both packaged in plastic tottles. The tottles were provided by supplier DieterBakicEnterprises (Munich) and designed by DieterBakicDesign.
“The way these tottles curve inward makes them easy to grasp,” says Mathe. The tottles were made from opaque plastic to protect the high percentage of active ingredients used in the formulas, such as avocado oil, according to Mathe. The resin was colored to match different Pantone shades. Oval-shaped, flip-top caps were custom-colored to coordinate with the color of the tottles.
The pictures on the labels were printed using a four-color process. “It was a challenge to print the labels because I wanted the photos to look realistic. We had to rework the artwork before it turned out right,” says Mathe.
Mathe says that these tottles were chosen because they were so well designed. “They have an upscale, elegant look. They are also very functional because they are easy to squeeze, and they dispense the product very well,” she adds.
More Men’s Tottles
The packages in the MenScience Androceuticals line of shaving, grooming, and skin care products were chosen based on how each product would be used. “We thought about which type of package would best complement the different consistencies of each formulation,” says Federico Sanchez, president of MenScience Androceuticals. Many tottles are used throughout the MenScience collection. A few bottles and tubes were also used. “The tottles work well with so many of our products. They are extremely portable and easy to use, and every last drop of the product can easily be dispensed,” says Sanchez.
The packaging for MenScience was designed in-house in collaboration with Doink Design (Miami). “We didn’t want an elaborate or complicated package design because we wanted our packaging to focus on what the product does,” explains Sanchez.
The Post-Shave Repair is packaged in a bottle with a pump dispenser. It is meant to be applied by misting directly onto the face. “This makes it easier for men to use, and more practical. No rubbing is required after shaving, and this reduces irritation on the skin,” says Sanchez. Anti-Aging Formula was packaged in an airless bottle supplied and decorated by Cospack America Corp. (Edison, NJ).
Silk-screening was used to print information on the packages. “We didn’t want to use labels because we wanted to make sure the product information wouldn’t deteriorate over time, even in the shower,” says Sanchez.
The tottles have a wide, flat front surface. “We utilized the wide space on the front of the tottles to convey product information, but it was also important that we left a large amount of white space. This created a cleaner look and emphasizes our brand’s message of simplicity,” says Sanchez.
Ingredients, directions, and product benefits are clearly listed in an easy-to-read style on the packages, which can be especially important to the male consumer.
Following a Trend
Whether tottles are used for men’s lines, upscale body lines, or hair care lines, Weber says she doesn’t see demand for them slowing down anytime soon. “We’ve even been getting requests from customers who have had the same product in the same bottle for years, and recently, they’ve asked us to take the artwork and print it upside down when decorating the bottle, because they want it to look like a tottle. It is funny, but it seems like anything goes right now,” she says. As more companies begin taking advantage of the numerous benefits that tottles provide, demand for tottles will most likely continue to grow.