Today, we want to review Cleancult, a brand of cleaning products that we noticed while walking through the aisles of CVS. The TetraPack with its two-toned violet design caught our attention in the household cleaner section. The brand’s shift to the uncommon TetraPack for cleaning products aims to reduce plastic waste compared to category-established packaging formats. But, does it only have benefits? What are the challenges and watch-outs when doing cross-category packaging? Different levels of packaging cross-overs Cross-over within a product group: Wine brands in Germany such as Abgefuellt Wein and Weingut Galler use a beer bottle for their products, hence replacing established wine bottle shapes. The use of the beer bottle also makes it possible to participate in the German return system, which reduces the environmental impact significantly. Cross-over across product groups: Cofi Loco's coffee made a cross-over using the glass bottles which are established for dairy products instead of the category standard of a vacuum-sealed bag. They use returnable glass bottles with the intention to make coffee consumption more sustainable and invented a sealing cap to preserve the quality of the coffee. Company crackers gained shelf presence and brand awareness by being packed in TetraPack, an uncommon packaging shape for crackers. Cross-over across categories: Cleancult approach uses packaging that is well-established for food and beverages for their cleaning product range. This is a disruption for their category, as they introduce a completely new packaging format. All examples show how packaging can disrupt a category by using existing shapes and cues from other categories to drive attention and sustainability. With cross-overs, it is always important to understand how consumers are reacting to the change, but regarding sustainability, this is great news! Safety considerations with beverage-to-soap cross-overs
While we appreciate the inventiveness behind Cleancult's carton packaging, we also recognize the potential risks it may pose. The resemblance of the packaging shape and design to beverages raises concerns, particularly for the safety of young children. This needs to be managed through packaging design and on-pack information. How do we at PSL design packaging?
As we explore new avenues in sustainable packaging, it is crucial to be innovative and disruptive to your product category. During the design phase, we ask, “How might we disrupt the product category with novel packaging?” and “How might we leverage existing packaging to disrupt the category?”. P.S. The packaging graphics from Cleancult have changed since we first encountered their product and are referring to the packaging in the image.