Child’s Play: Packaging for kids’ personal care products.

Ava Caridad,

Beauty Packaging

Baby care has always been a big business, and so has adult care. After all, we adults rule the world. But increasingly, as both of these segments mature, personal care manufacturers have taken another look at marketing to bigger kids, a previously relatively untapped market.


Coinciding with this phenomena is the fact that kids have more buying power than ever before, and the result is a huge increase in products and in segmentation. Products are now available individually for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, teens, tweens, boys, girls and several combinations thereof. Natural products with “green” packaging, children’s skin care and styling and finishing products may very well be the next trend for kids. And there is no end in sight to the many different markets to target.

“There are so many products competing for the adult market that in order for the existing brands to grow they need to expand into other segments, and children’s care has become a viable segment for them to focus on,” says M. Evan Parker, part owner of the company and director of communications Lousey Nitpickers, LLC of Los Angeles, CA.

According to Chicago-based Euromonitor International, adults usage of products specifically designed for children has also helped to further growth for the sector, as the increasing sophistication of products for children, with the use of vitamins, essential oils, hypoallergenic, intensive moisturizing and aromatherapy qualities, appeals to adults who want products for sensitive skin.

Cozy Friedman, founder and CEO of So Cozy Hair Care For Children and Cozy’s Cuts For Kids salon, New York, NY has created packaging that appeals to both children and their parents.

“Traditionally, children’s products have been packaged to appeal to children, often looking very juvenile and unsophisticated,” comments Friedman. “So Cozy understands that children are more sophisticated than they used to be and do not want to be ‘spoken down to.’”

Eleanor Keare, president, Circle of Friends, Santa Monica, CA, adds “Our illustrations with inviting characters draw children to the package and signal to kids that this product was made for them. Products should be easy to handle and use. For safety, there mustn’t be any glass or small pieces that could break off and become choking hazards. Products need to have kid-friendly packaging and labels that are colorful and inviting.”

In fact, all marketers and suppliers Beauty Packaging spoke to agreed that bright, vibrant saturated colors that appeal to both boys and girls, along with soft touch bottles are the latest trend in children’s packaging and help promote impulse buying, which hopefully results in repeat buying.

“A lot of buying for kids is the ‘It’s so cute, I can’t resist’ factor,” says Kari Sinner, packaging consultant, TricorBraun, Union City, CA. “Packing is soft and cuddly and people can’t help but pick it up. Usually when it’s picked up, it goes in the basket.”

Bringing Up Baby…In Luxury
The baby care personal care market grew 45% between 2000 and 2005. This is partly due, says Euromonitor, to the fact that smaller family sizes ensure that parents have higher disposable incomes and are more likely to indulge their children with the purchase of premium goods.
Baby sun care was the fastest growing sector of the baby care market over the review period, with sales up by 59%. This was partly due to the continued buoyancy of the tourism market, combined with growing awareness of the dangers of sun exposure, particularly on delicate and young skin. Manufacturers have launched higher factor sun protection for kids with spray applications that are easier to use, and with fruity scents and different colors to appeal to children.

More children’s boutique stores are opening, all of which want to carry the hot new kids line. According to Sinner, even the big box stores are jumping on the kids’ personal care bandwagon and launching their own store brand lines.

For Fruits & Passion, located just outside of Montreal, a baby boom reported in Quebec and Canada in the last two years due to new, more attractive maternity leave laws is good news.

“We believe the boom will continue, but more importantly the baby personal care market will continue to grow due to parents’ growing concern of giving the best performing, natural products available on the market,” explains Elisabeth Masse, project manager of product development, Fruits & Passion.

The Fruits & Passion Bébé Collection consists of Delicate Baby Bouquet fragrance, ultra gentle cleansing foam, body and hair wash, oatmeal bath milk, moisturizing cream and massage oil. The plastic bottles are provided by Takemoto, the EDT bottle is from Saverglass and sprays and pumps are from Pfeiffer.

“We wanted to create a line for all new mothers that was easy to use,” says Masse. Plastic bottles are sturdy and won’t break easily, and can be held with one hand while holding a baby. Sprays act more like a soft mist to avoid irritation and caps lock safely. Special packaging protects the natural formulas.

TricorBraun provides the packaging for Baby Avalon Organics body wash, wipes, baby lotion, massage oil, protective ointment, diaper balm, baby powder and sunscreen. Sinner, explained the focus was on two things: one handed openings and closures for parents, and the ability for children to hold the products all by themselves.


The Aqua line of packaging from Munich-based DieterBakic Enterprises has a straight and modern look that is versatile and a good starting point for branching into the baby or child-care market, says Claudio Seidel, communications manager for DieterBakic. The new Aqua line has a round, cylindrical and “cute” shape which appeals to babies and their parents, who do the actual buying.

The small capacities are suitable for baby products: 125 and 200 ml bottles, 50ml jar and 30 ml bottle with gel pump. The pink and blue colors can be enhanced with pictograms such as a ship, zeppelin, submarine, airplane or truck.

The Key is Interactivity
Parker emphasizes that kids, having grown up with computers and video games, like interactivity. “They like fun, festive designs and bottle shapes, and different dispensing systems pumps versus flip caps.”

Norbert de Jong, sales director, Rexam Airspray EMEA, concurs. “If you want to get your kids to wash their hands, you have to make the package really attractive to them with the use of color, frog heads and things like that. The ‘fun factor’ is a key issue for the kids.”

And the fun factor starts early with new Dr. Fresh’s FireFly baby wipes, which come in a box equipped
with a colorful light that flashes for 60 seconds to distract and delight babies. The box is also decorated with a parade of friendly FireFly characters. Each single wipe is easily extracted from the box, lending parents a free hand. When the box is empty, it can be refilled, used to store small toys or used as a toy itself. “It struck me that light-up technology could be used to make baby’s earliest experiences of hygiene more pleasant,” says Dr. Fresh.

Foam is Fun
Even the adults think so.

Imagicare from Spanish company Laboratorios Dermofarm is a line of children’s cosmetics based on natural ingredients and designed to help children acquire good habits in personal care and hygiene through play with their parents. The company states: “We believe that learning to take care of oneself can be an exciting adventure.”

Two of the company’s boxed products now include Rexam Airspray foaming dispensers. The Imagicare “Hands Up!” box includes cleaning wipes, a unique Imagicare stand for the soap product, stickers and felt-tip pens to add the fun element, and the hand soap itself. This foaming soap claims to be cotton rich in sugars and essential fatty acids to prevent dehydration, and liquorice to provide antibacterial and disinfectant properties.The second Rexam Airspray dispensed product is a bath mouse within the “Good Night” box.

Both dispensers utilize Rexam Airspray’s WRD4 WaterGuard product line, with the products contained in custom made 250ml bottles.

Convenience is a big issue, believes de Jong. “You need one hand free to wash the baby. The good thing about foam pumps is that they are easier to use you don’t need to dilute the liquid, you can apply the foam right to the child.”

And foamers make products more attractive for kids.

“The big advantage is the fun factor, they really like to play with foam,” says de Jong. “It’s no longer a big argument to get kids to wash their hands.”

And while foamers started with hand washing applications, one now sees foaming body washes, sun care applications and shampoos for kids. The non-aerosol aspect allows for all kinds of bottle and pump designs that kids go for.

A Salon of Their Own
No more tagging along with dad to the barber shop for a haircut, or worse yet, the “at-home” cut at the kitchen table. Kids have progressed even beyond visiting mom’s salon to visiting salons geared just for youngsters.

Cozy’s Cuts for Kids is just one such salon, with three locations in New York City. Designed to make haircuts fun and comfortable, there is also a So Cozy Hair Care range of products to complement the experience.

The newest from So Cozy is the It Takes Two To Detangle Pre-Detangling Kit ($28) including Lucky Lime pre-detangling treatment, Fruity Delight detangler and leave-in conditioner, wide tooth comb with hook handle, miniature rubber ducky and detangling instructions.

“Children’s play habits lead to tangles and knots,” says Cozy Friedman. “Everything from roughhousing to being outside at a windy playground can tangle hair. Parents will appreciate, for the first time, having the opportunity to buy designer hair products for their children. While we use bright colors and fun designs that appeal to kids, our products have adult shelf appeal, as well as what I call ‘bath appeal’ (they look good in the tub). The adults that are buying high-end children’s products want product design that is appealing to themselves, too.”

The newest launch from Circle of Friend’s, whose products expose children to cultures from around the world, is Jenny’s Root Beer shampoo. According to the company, Jenny’s Root Beer shampoo offers the salon-quality performance that parents appreciate in professional products recommended by their hairdressers. Available exclusively at kids salons, the daily tearless shampoo is free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates and other harsh chemicals and contains a combination of vitamin E, vitamin B-5, wheat protein, aloe leaf, chamomile, chickweed, sassafrass, sarsaparilla root and ginseng root . According to Eleanor Keare, the bottles are made in Canada and the labels are made by Chromatic in Santa Ana, CA.


Lousey Nitpickers launched the Botanical Home Care System, available at salons or as part of an at-home service. The products are designed for daily use to soothe irritation and help speed healing of irritated, itchy skin and scalp resulting from head lice infestations. Lousey Nitpickers Botanical Home Care products contain no toxic pesticides or irritating essential oils. Instead, natural botanical extracts soothe irritation while rejuvenating damaged hair.

Aware Products, Chatsworth, CA provides the packaging for Lousey Nitpickers, which include “Nit-Free, Itch-Free, Tear-Free” Botanical Tearless shampoo ($19), Botanical Nourishing conditioner ($19), Botanical detangling spray($16) and the Complete Botanical Home Care System ($45). The kid-friendly design features a nit-picking monkey. The company is now working on after-care products—preventative as well as general family care.

Teens and In-Betweens
Teenagers and kids aged eight to twelve (or “tweens”) these days have a lot more money to spend and are very savvy when it comes to trends. Too old for baby stuff, too young for sophisticated glamour, the market for teen cosmetics and personal care seems ready made.

“The children’s category continues to grow at a rapid pace,” says Shauky Gulamani, president, Farouk Systems, Inc, Houston, TX. “Kid’s today want something that was made for them and not their parents; they want to be individual and show that they are equal to adults.”

According to Euromonitor, body sprays are a popular sector of the cosmetics and toiletries among tween girls, as they serve as a safe entry point for girls whose parents are not quite ready for them to graduate to heavy make-up and perfume.


Kaufman Container packages the Tilt scent for girls.
The new Tilt fragrance for girls, available from Pacific Sunwear, a nationwide retailer geared to the trendy youth and teen markets, embodies the brand image of their retail clothing line and relays that in the surfing-related package design of the scent.

Kaufman Container, Cleveland, OH, provided the glass bottles from SGD and worked with Rexam Dispensing Systems, who supplied low profile pumps as well as a metal cap anodized in a deep bronze shade that exactly matched the color of the pump.

Created by moms and their teenage daughters with input from teen girls across the country, TESS (Teen Everyday Skincare System), Santa Barbara, CA, is a complete skincare line designed to educate, inspire and meet the unique skincare needs of teenage girls everywhere.

TESS products are paraben-free and contain natural fruit and botanical extracts, essential oils and vitamins to cleanse, tone, moisturize and protect teenage skin. With easy to follow instructions, convenient day-to-night kits, light hearted product names and cheerful, modern packaging, TESS products promote a healthy attitude towards beauty and self-esteem. Further underscoring the brand’s messaging, each TESS bottle features inspirational messages such as “dare to dream”, “speak your mind” and “never settle” which reveal themselves further as the product is used.

The TESS packaging incorporates O.BERK’s 2-oz and 4-oz clear and white PET Boston Round bottles with white disc dispensing caps or fine mist spray tops, and 4-oz clear PET wide mouth jars with white smooth-sided caps.

And all of TESS’ packaging is recyclable, which O.BERK stresses is very important for today’s teen’s concerns regarding the future of the environment.

In the US, novelty plays a key role in attracting teens and tweens, especially if linked into other consumer products, according to Euromonitor.

Bonne Bell’s Smackers Gloss & Greeting Card is a 2-in-1 concept of a lip gloss attached to a greeting card, while Bonne Bell’s Lip Smacker soda flavored lip balms and Lotta Luv Hershey’s Kisses chocolate scented lip gloss tap into popular candy flavors in a lip product formulation.