Pay attention to packaging trends for essential oils, even if you're already #1.
You've worked hard to build your brand. Becoming a trusted essential oil company for thousands of consumers took research, invested capital, and plenty of sleepless nights. But just because you've taken hold of success doesn't mean you can start to drift. Innovating and keying in on the latest trends will keep you at the tip of the spear.
Essential oils is currently an $18 billion industry and on track to grow to $33 billion by 2027. Oils are making their way into myriad and varied products from ointments to lotions to food to cosmetics. Truthfully, the oils themselves are only one piece of your operation. Your packaging and labels need to speak as loudly as your products.
Essential Oil Packaging Trends
Watch what's happening with packaging trends across multiple industries, not just with essential oils. Here are some of the most important packaging trends in 2020.
- Personalized Packaging: People want to feel that the products they purchase "get them" as a friend would. Products that tie into a certain lifestyle and celebrate important events make consumers far more likely to buy said products, like beer companies that put camo on cans during hunting season or car companies offering paint jobs in customers’ favorite colors. Think about how you can tie this marketing concept into your essential oil packaging.
- Private/Store Brands: Brand loyalty may seem like an antiquated concept, but it’s actually alive and well, and is especially high among millennials. Even though there are more choices for every product than ever before, consumers are looking to simplify the number of choices they make. Having a brand that they already know and like for many different products makes purchasing feel less taxing. How can you make your essential oil brand a household name?
- Honesty and Authenticity: Consumers want to trust the products they purchase. Transparent labeling is not only a best practice, but shoppers have come to expect it. Are your essential oil labels clear and upfront?
- Environmentally Friendly: Having containers and labels that are recyclable and/or made from sustainable materials is a huge selling point among younger consumers. Now more than ever, people want to know their purchases are not negatively impacting the environment. In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, buyers look for trustworthy brands that genuinely care about sustainability. Does your packing communicate this value?
- Vintage Styling: If a product looks "retro" or evokes a specific era, it lends an air of legitimacy and longevity. Plus, tapping into nostalgia helps to personalize the product for people of particular generations. While this is a trend, it’s an interesting point. What are you doing to promote your brand so that it’s set up for long term marketing success? Your packaging plays a significant role in this effort.
- Color: Bold, dramatic color, and design that is well thought out and consistent with your brand can grab customers’ attention. While staying true to your branding, what can you do to ensure your packaging and labels stand out from the competition and grab the attention of shoppers?
Bottling Your Essential Oils
Once you bottle your essential oils, you want them to stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Informing your customers to store their oils in a cool, dark, dry place encourages responsibility, but not all customers will keep their oils properly. Taking the extra step to protect your product with the right packaging will mean more repeat customers.
For pure essential oils, you'll want to use glass or aluminum bottles with airtight lids. Since pure essential oils are strong and potent, remember that rubber and plastic pieces can be destroyed due to prolonged contact. Traditionally, amber or cobalt blue glass have been used to protect the oils from sunlight, but aluminum blocks sunlight altogether. Of course, glass is less expensive, but depending on your clientele, an aluminum bottle might be a selling point and worth the expense.
For diluted essential oils, such as lotions containing oils, plastic will hold up well. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic has extremely low permeability and can easily store products that contain essential oils. But before you make a large order of any container, request a sample to see how it will react to your oils.
If you choose to store your oils or infused products in glass, research the quality of your bottles. American or European made bottles adhere to rigid standards, but Chinese bottles generally do not. You want to avoid having bottles break easily or leech toxic substances into the oil. Better bottles might cost more money, but they'll save you a lot of headaches.
Size matters for bottles, too. ½ ounce, 1-ounce, and 2-ounce purse or pocket-sized bottles meant for travel are common, but since essential oils are becoming more mainstream, people are now looking for larger bottles to store at home. 4-ounce, or 120-milliliter bottles, offer a better value for customers than having to buy multiple small bottles.
Bottle styles vary widely, with drippers and droppers being the most ubiquitous types. Droppers come with glass pipettes that have rubber squeeze bulbs for precise dosing. Keep in mind that pure essential oils will eat away at this rubber over time, however. European dripper style bottles are less susceptible to such damage and allow for single drops to be dispensed at a time. Additionally, different sized inserts can be used depending on a specific oil's viscosity. You can even choose fine mist spray bottles for easy dispersal.
Labeling Your Essential Oil Bottles
While it’s wise to follow the latest label design trends, you must also make sure your labels fit and stay attached to your bottles. Oversize labels that hang off a container are more easily damaged or torn. With small travel-sized bottles, the surface area available for labeling is quite small, so choose labels that are small enough to fit completely on the container but large enough that all essential information is present.
The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) requires that your labels include:
- Name of the Item
- Net Contents (if sold in the US, this must also include metric measurements)
- Name and Address (either for the manufacturer or the distributor)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require:
- Declaration of Ingredients (in descending order of amounts)
Depending on the size of your bottles, you may have to be clever about your use of space or rely on external packaging such as pouches or boxes to properly represent your brand with branded graphics. As for the bottles themselves, wrap around or shrink sleeve labels will offer the most surface area for creating appealing designs and have the added bonus of blocking UV sunlight. If your bottles have caps, such as on a Euro dripper style bottle, you also have the option of end dots for additional branding.
For boxes, top and bottom label machines can make quick work of a production run. Whether you need to label small boxes meant to hold a single dropper bottle or a box meant to hold dozens of bottles, a machine that can handle any sized box and apply multiple labels at once means increased efficiency and more product you can place on store shelves.
Explore Essential Oil Bottle Labelers
Once you've decided on your bottle type, label size, and label design, then it's time to get the right equipment to ensure every bottle gets well-applied and consistently straight labels.
Pack Leader USA's full line of labeling equipment designed to serve the needs of the essential oils industry will ensure your products will wow customers. Schedule a free consultation today and find the labeling equipment that's right for your budget, goals, and growth needs.