Our series of interviews with Quadpack's specialists continues with Marta Albanell, Product Specialist – Glass. Marta shares her expertise and explains the ins and outs of this material for cosmetics and perfumery products.
Quadpack: What is your role as Product Specialist – Glass at Quadpack?
Marta Albanell: We Product Specialists at Quadpack are responsible for our respective product areas. We focus on the technology and liaise with our manufacturing partners. As the glass expert, I work with the Design & Engineering department to ensure that the bespoke glass packs we develop for our clients are technically viable and up to production standard. With regard to standard products, I update and enrich our catalogue. I source, select and audit new products, always trying to anticipate and fulfil the needs of our clients.
Q: How does glass compare with other packaging materials?
MA: Let me put it this way: glass is a packaging material because of its characteristics. The most important of these is compatibility: glass is 100% compatible with any cosmetic formula. There are no issues, no transfer to the product as with other, synthetic materials. What's more, glass adds a prestigious look and feel. It adds weight and therefore substance, and it is pleasantly cool to the touch. Last but not least in today's climate, glass is completely eco-friendly. It is natural, reusable and recyclable.
Q: Is glass only good for perfumery?
MA: No! Not by any means. Glass is also suitable for make-up, offering jars for eye shadow and lip gloss, while glass bottles and droppers are ideal for blushers, highlighters and foundations, for example. In skin care, too, glass offers a variety of options for serums, tonics and creams, such as droppers, jars, bottles and vials, to name just a few.
Q: What technical aspects do you need to consider when developing packaging in glass?
MA: There is not much that cannot be achieved in glass. However, the two main aspects to consider are shape and weight. While irregular shapes and sharp angles are possible, these are not easy to manufacture to consistent quality standards; at least, not without a level of investment that, in the majority of cases, may prove prohibitive. Weight also has an impact on manufacture and should be kept within certain limits.
Q: How do you choose the glass packaging solution that's right for your brand?
MA: It all depends on your brand and your target audience. Glass can take many shapes to appeal to different demographics. Glass certainly underpins any ecological claims a brand has. If you need something truly unique, bespoke packs are a good option for high-end brands that produce, say, 50-100,000 units.
Most cosmetics companies we work with have a good idea of what they're looking for, but we are always on hand to help ensure we develop something that's just right.
Q: Please tell us about Quadpack's glass offering.
MA: Our glass portfolio includes many different types – automatic, semi-automatic and tubular glass – we are not limited like a manufacturer! Our Design & Engineering team is on hand to create bespoke concepts and we have own decoration facility in Europe.
We also offer a host of accessories to embellish our glass containers, from spray pumps and charms to caps in surlyn, wood and aluminium.
Q: You have just introduced two new standard ranges: the floral range and the Ice range. Can you explain the thinking behind these ranges?
MA: The floral range – Iris, Lily, Orchid and Bouquet – offer the most sought-after shapes and sizes for perfumery, helping us to push further into the fragrance market. The new Ice range is squarely aimed at skin care, demonstrating that glass is a desirable option in this market segment, too.
Both ranges are standard, meaning a reduced development cycle and faster time to market, but with decoration options to personalise them into something unique to your brand. Frosting, spray-coating, silk-screening, hot-stamping, water-transfer – these and more can be applied to transform the pack into something new and different. Adornments like wooden caps, charms or anodised collars can add that extra, special touch.
Q: What are the current trends in glass packaging?
MA: What I'm seeing are clean shapes and transparent finishes. Packs that look elegant and pure, particularly at the higher masstige end of the market. Mass market brands are also becoming more demanding in terms of quality. They want a high-end look at lower prices and this we achieve through innovative use of decoration techniques on standard packs.
Q: What's next in glass?
MA: At Quadpack, we're always working on the next big thing. We have been researching and developing a true glass airless pack in conjunction with Yonwoo Korea. I've had my eye on roll-on packs with precious stone roller balls in jade and amethyst, which are just beautiful. There are a couple of R&D projects in the works which are very exciting but I can't say anything yet. So watch this space!