Luxe Pack Monaco 2022: The evolution of refills

Full article from Cosmetic Business

Premium packaging expo Luxe Pack Monaco took place from 3-5 October with highlights including engineering sustainable solutions to be more user friendly

If there was a standout message from 2022’s Luxe Pack Monaco it was ‘go refillable, or go home’.

The Monte Carlo-based event returned to its traditional Grimaldi Forum venue for its second in-person event post-pandemic this week and Cosmetics Business walked the floor to discover the latest packaging trends teased by the beauty industry’s supply side.

With every packaging manufacturer worth its salt launching refill solutions, below is a run through of how these improve on earlier versions for luxury, ergonomics and materials’ sustainability.


Easy to use

For optimal consumer compliance and an elevated experience, packaging companies offering refill options have been working hard to create gestures that are as intuitive and uncomplicated as possible.

Albéa’s Twirl jar, debuting at the Monaco show, features a guided screw system which is as discreet as possible with no risk of the insert becoming loose.

“This is a new generation of refillable jar,” Aline Roland, Marketing Director of Albéa’s Cosmetic Rigid Product Line, told Cosmetics Business.

“It is responsible, because it is refillable, but it is desirable as well. We’ve worked on two things. Firstly, the design in terms of aesthetics. If you choose the jar and the refill in the same colour, it looks exactly like a classic jar.

“We’ve also worked on a twist gesture for a very intuitive and very easy refill. You have a large area for finger placement and a guided gesture.”

Stoelzle Glass Group offers Le Perpétuel, a new generation of refillable jar, soft launched this summer at Paris Packaging Week but heavily showcased during Luxe Pack Monaco.

Created by the glass specialist in tandem with Technicaps, it boasts a simple and intuitive assembly system. An enhanced standard ring integrates three notches with diameter variations and a groove; these notches ensure easy attachment and removal of the cup’s lid,

Stoelzle also modified the dimensions of its Classic 50ml glass jar, so that the cup seamlessly moulds into the jar.

Dial is HCP’s new refill compact concept for eyeshadow, blusher and pressed powder. The stock pack features a patent-pending ‘dial’ base enabling a new powder pan to be inserted fuss-free.

The monomaterial PET design has snap hinges, which dispenses with the need for glue or pins, making it suitable for single stream recycling.

Dial also has the option of a pocket mirror lid in its pressed powder size, which can be popped out of the cover and given a ‘second life’ when the user finally comes to recycle the refillable pack.

The refill design is simple for the end user, but, importantly, the pack is said to be easy for fillers to assemble too.

Aptar Beauty + Home, meanwhile, amid a roster of new launches, showcased upgrades to its Gaia airless dispensing system, which is now refillable.

The case has a premium design with a metal collar, transparent container and twist-to-lock actuator, and it contains all the technical parts. This means the refill cartridge can be totally monomaterial (PE or PP) for easy recycling.

The cartridge is easily ejected and inserted by pushing on the bottom for a fast, convenient refill process.

Also opting for a push-base gesture for its Malti jar refill is Groupe Pochet with a patented process; Malti’s USP is said to be its highly customisable materials choice, with case variants displayed in both wood and plastic at Luxe Pack Monaco.


Refill on a budget

Starting from the standpoint that all beauty brands should be able to offer refillable options, Silgan Dispensing created Aspire Pirouette.

An extension of Silgan Dispensing’s Pirouette line of removable fragrance screw pumps, already available for its prestige XD 11 and Melodie technologies, Aspire Pirouette is aimed at lifestyle fragrance brands looking to offer more sustainable solutions.

“We’re now seeing there is demand from the mass market and lifestyle fragrance brands [for refillable solutions],” said Sandy Gregory, Director of Fragrance Marketing at Silgan Dispensing.

“I mean, why shouldn’t they be sustainable? They have the same demands. So what we’ve done is we’ve taken the experience, the technology and the expertise that we built [for Melodie Pirouette and XD 11 Pirouette] and we’ve rolled that out.”

Aspire has many of the benefits of a premium pump, including modern aesthetics, a low profile design, a smooth spray and easy actuation. However, in contrast with the company’s prestige pumps, which can be heavily customised, “with Aspire, we keep it very simple; it is done in such a way as to keep prices down and make it affordable”.

“And now we’ve seen there is demand for screw tops in this segment, so we’ve rolled the Pirouette technology into the Aspire, which is being launched here at Luxe Pack.”

Commenting on the uptake of removable screw pumps, Gregory told Cosmetics Business: “Some brands are doing new launches [that are refillable], some are doing switches. But what’s really significant is that, for the first time in fragrance, brands are advertising on a functional aspect of the packaging.”


Refill and the rise of ultra-luxe

On the other side of the equation, the creation of a desirable objet d’art case for refills can be witnessed in offers from Cerve Group.

Best known for its glass decoration capabilities, the Italian company recently took on Technoglas, a company traditionally operating in the automotive sector. Technoglas “only makes pressed glass, not blown”, explains Roberta Ghinelli from Cerve’s Commercial Department.

“A drop of glass falls into a mould and then you press it, so you can produce jars and caps, although unfortunately not bottles, as we can’t achieve the high neck with this technique.”

The result is a very heavy, beautiful cube of glass, akin to a paperweight, which has been used to house skin care refills for the likes of Dior and La Prairie.

Another ultra-premium approach to refills came from Puig’s Dries Van Noten for its Eau de Parfum bottles.

Stoelzle, which scooped a Formes De Luxe Award in the Perfume Bottles and Flaconnage category for the pack, explained that the fragrance line-up comprises ten shells on the bases of the bottles, made from four materials – porcelain, plastic, wood and metal – and two types of lacquering: eight in classic lacquering, and two using Stoelzle’s ecological powder coating Quali Glass Coat 2.0.

Each of the ten bottles requires a varied bonding system, said to be a first for Stoelzle in its scale.

Unsurprisingly, being collectors’ items, the Dries Van Noten bottles are refillable and reusable. They feature a unique screwing system with a thread inside so the closing mechanism is invisible.

A special key is supplied with the refill bottle to unlock the pump while a funnel is also provided for easy filling.

At end-of-life, Stoelzle said, Dries Van Noten is encouraging its customers to keep the bottles as vases or for diffusers.


Rechargable lipsticks

Buoyed by the popularity of brands like La Bouche Rouge, refillable lipstick solutions abounded at this week’s trade show, but with added focus on sustainable materials and problem solving.

The product of a merger between Aptar Beauty + Home’s Iconic mechanism and Quadpack’s refillable outer case, Iconic Woodacity lipstick features a monomaterial 100% ash casing, which opens and closes with a ‘Solo Twist’ gesture, auto-locking the cap on a quarter turn.

To refill the lipstick, consumers can simply pull out the used mechanism and snap in a new one; and they can switch around different coloured inserts to further reduce the pack’s environmental impact.

Another Aptar Beauty + Home invention is Private Refill. This lipstick comes in a round, aluminium casing with a refill security key that can be customised for each brand to guarantee a unique match.

The idea is to prevent consumers filling a brand’s outer case with another brand’s cheaper product, or worse, a counterfeit refill.

“With this product, I cannot use a standard refill,” said Sandrine Bréchon, Product Line Manager for Lipstick EMEA at Aptar Beauty + Home, during a demonstration. “To refill, you need to have a refill with a specific base, and the [key] shape here can be specific to each customer.

“The objective from the beginning of the project was for prestige brands who really don’t want to see another filling in their case.”

HCP meanwhile took the aesthetics and rechargeability of its Super Slim Refill Lipstick and teased an airtight format.

The traditional pack combines aluminium cladding in either a round or square profile, with a 6.3mm cup for accurate application and an ultra-slender design.

The airtight version, meanwhile, “allows you to have really volatile (with lots of isododecane) formulas, if you want the sumptuous texture and colour vibrancy that you do get with these softer formulas”, explained Rebecca Goswell, Global Design Director at HCP.

Further packaging trends from Luxe Pack Monaco 2022, including monomaterial designs, customisation, lightweighting and the use of pulp, will be covered in future articles.