Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Redesign delivers vitamin supplement packaging weight elimination

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Redesign delivers vitamin supplement packaging weight elimination
GlaxoSmithKline case study demonstrates how pack redesign can deliver significant packaging material savings
In Use – Os-Cal is a product available across the US.

Packaging Reduction

Product Categories
Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials
Cartonboard, Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars, Cartons, Labels

Supply Chain Phase


GlaxoSmithKline has revamped the primary packaging for its Os-Cal calcium supplement brand in the US and in the process achieved a lighter weight pack preferred by consumers. The existing packaging for the brand consisted of a stock HDPE bottle decorated with a wrap-around pressure-sensitive label and capped with a continuous-threaded screw cap. The secondary carton and an insert provided the requried comprehensive product information. The new design retains the stock bottle, but replaces the continuous thread closure with an easy-open flip-top cap. The carton is eliminated completely. This is achieved by fully utilising the bottles space for data and branding. This is made possible by replacing the pressure sensitive label with a full-body polystyrene label. As well as reducing packaging materials used, pre-production tests showed that consumers preferred the new pack design on a ratio of 15:1. Early launch results also show a preference for the new pack by retailers. Subsequently, the Os-Cal brand manager has indicated that the company has been able to leverage the new pack design project for incremental distribution with several retailers.

Potential Benefits

On an annual basis, the new package design is said to save approximately 208 tons of paper, eliminate nearly 330,000 lb of CO2 emissions (the equivalent of removing 30 cars from the road), and conserve about 2,052 million BTUs, or the energy used by 23 U.S. homes.

Intellectual Property

Os-Cal and this packaging design are the property of GlaxoSmithKline, but the principles of packaging optimisation and improvement applied here can be used in any packaging redesign project.

Consultant View

This package redesign by GlaxoSmithKline is a reminder that there are still packaging optimisation opportunities all around us. It is an example of good practice and should be an inspiration for brand owners in all sectors to take a fresh look at the packaging used for their products. The traditional use of an outer carton can often be re-evaluated to deliver packaging reductions without compromising performance or consumer appeal.

Contacts and Further Information

Company contact details:
GlaxoSmithkline plc
980 Great West Road
United Kingdom
Technology contact:
Jeff Murray (Os-Cal brand manager)

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