Redesign Brings Relief to Laxative Market

Daphne Allen

In May, consumers began seeing redesigned packages of the overnight laxative Dulcolax appear on store shelves. Updated packaging graphics featuring the taglines, "Trusted for Guaranteed Relief" and "#1 Doctor Recommended," are part of Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Healthcare Products' (Ridgefield, CT) relaunch of the overnight laxative.

Discovered by Boehringer Ingelheim in 1948, Dulcolax had been marketed in the United States by Ciba-Geigy, now known as Novartis, under a 10-year licensing agreement. The agreement expired on December 31, 2001, bringing Dulcolax into the Consumer Healthcare Products division of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Dean DiMaria, vice president and general manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Healthcare, explains that the relaunch is intended to do much more than stamp Dulcolax with the Boehringer Ingelheim name. "We wanted to give Dulcolax a more premium appearance so consumers will see its unique features."

To create such an appearance, DiMaria says, his company turned to packaging with sharper colors and gold foil stamping. "Packaging is the silent salesperson. Certain packaging elements can immediately give a product a premium position. Most laxative products are marketed in sterile-looking packaging, but we chose a much bolder design."

Boehringer Ingelheim chose to emphasize Dulcolax's branding by bolding the product name, and it made instructions easier to read by increasing type size. "Consumers are in a hurry, so a company can gain a competitive advantage by making the package easier to read and understand," DiMaria adds.

The cartons employ a fifth-panel header with in-line UV coating, explains Paul Glintenkamp, director of pharmaceutical packaging with Carton Service, which manufactured the carton and provided contract packaging of the product under one roof at its Norris, TN, facility.

With a new, premium look, Dulcolax had to be protected against theft, so Boehringer Ingelheim relied on Carton Service for the solution. "A radio-frequency identification label from CheckPoint Systems (Thorofare, NJ) is applied to the inside of the carton during the finishing process to aid with theft prevention at the retail level," explains Glintenkamp. "Considering the embossed-foil stamping, UV coating, and theft-deterrent CheckPoint labels, the Dulcolax cartons are unique, especially for the market they serve." Carton Service ran the cartons on its Uhlmann blister packaging line and supplied the turnkey contract packaging for the new launch.

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