Results from the fourth quarter 2012 Innovation Survey on product packaging, conducted by an international brand and design consultancy, have placed the ECO ULTRA Synthetic Blend Motor Oil FlexPak by Universal Lubricants, in a top three spot for leading innovations in the home and garden product industry. The eco-friendly "breakthrough" flexible pouch ranked neck-and-neck with consumer product titans The Scotts Company (Snap cartridge spreader system) and Procter & Gamble (Tide Pods). Based on a five-point scale, the ECO ULTRA FlexPak also ranked among the Top 10 packages in all product categories for the year.
For the past four years, Shelf Impact! and Dragon Rouge, an international brand and design consultancy, have partnered in inviting participants to comment on current packaging innovation through a quarterly survey that rates value and level of innovation. Participants were asked to evaluate products recently introduced in the home and garden category based on concept, structural interaction, product positioning, innovative materials and effectiveness of packaging production.
"New levels of platform technology and consumer insight can be seen in the recent relaunch of Universal Lubricants’ re-refined flagship product ECO ULTRA Synthetic Blend Motor Oil," wrote Dragon Rouge USA President Eric Zeitoun in the December issue of Packaging World. "The first of its kind, the product is now packaged in a sustainable, flexible stand-up pouch. In comparison with conventional rigid plastic bottles, the new durable FlexPak offers consumers a faster, easier and cleaner way to change their oil."
The FlexPak’s pouch material has a polyethylene barrier to provide the superior burst and seal strengths required for the rigors of oil and other hard-to-hold liquid products, according to Universal Lubricants. Designed for durability, ECO ULTRA FlexPaks have passed drop tests in excess of 20 feet. The FlexPak was noted for its Clean Spout that was engineered to enable an easier, smoother pour without "glugs" or air bubbles that form and cause oil to spill when the product is poured from the bottle.
"All in all, the stand-up pouch not only makes a valuable shelf impression in an otherwise stale packaging environment, but it also gives retailers a distinctive opportunity to bring consumers a high-performance product in an environmentally responsible package," Zeitoun added.
The company partnered with Atlanta-based Star Packaging Corp. to produce the tough, three-layer ECO ULTRA FlexPak, and Innovative Packaging Network to engineer the pour-spout. Compared to conventional hard plastic bottles, the new durable, lightweight FlexPak is made with 25 percent less material, and offers consumers a faster, easier and cleaner way to change their oil.
"The ECO ULTRA FlexPak has set a new standard in U.S. motor oil packaging," said Universal Lubricants CMO Jan Horsfall. "This packaging stands as modern proof that thinking out of the box to do right by the environment while maintaining high performance is good for the customer and good for business."
Universal Lubricants launched the ECO ULTRA FlexPak in October 2012 at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX), where it won a Packaging Innovation Award.