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Global Packaging Factors

The cosmetics, fragrance, toiletries, health and beauty aids industry is in the business of making people look, smell and feel beautiful. However, with the advent of many new regulations across the globe, the packaging for these products begins to look less and less attractive. The challenge for packaging designers and graphic artists is how to fit all of these new regulations on the package and still create innovative and appealing packaging.

The growing trend in the cosmetics industry is to have one package that fits all countries - a truly global product package. This task is complicated because even companies marketing similar products have different interpretations of what 'global' means. A cosmetics manufacturer can come close to achieving the objective of creating one package equally effective for their brand in every country if they understand global regulatory requirements and what aesthetic sacrifices might be required.

There are many factors that go into creating a global package, some of which are internal or brandspecific, for example whether a manufacturer really wants to market in a specific country or whether there is a demand for the product outside of the domestic market. It should also be determined whether there is advertising support, counter support and numerous other marketing questions and issues that have nothing to do with the packaging itself.

Apart from these marketing questions and general corporate structure or logistics issues, the packaging of cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries is regulated in one way or another by most countries. The similarities of the regulations are a start to help group countries together with a one-package-fits-all idea. What happens more often than not is that one country's regulations conflict with the global packaging concept.

Ingredients Packaging
The ingredients of a product can work against a global package and the following are regulatory factors that control this issue: Cosmetics: A drug?
Global Packaging Many of the cosmetic products on the market today are actually considered an over-the-counter (OTC) drug in some countries. Not only are they considered a drug, but the actual labelling regulations are different and all countries do not necessarily accept the labelling format of others in place of their own. In other words, one label definitely does not fit all in the OTC drug arena. To further complicate this issue, many of these cosmetic-drug products are not considered drugs at all in Europe, but are considered drugs in the US, Canada and Australia, for example.

With regard to the labelling of a global product, cosmetic-drugs - anti-acne, anti-dandruff, antiperspirants, skin protectants and even sunscreen products, to name a few - cannot have a global package.

Some examples of the major country differences include the following:
Guidelines_Stability Testing of Cosmetics - Colipa-CTFA_2004 Guidelines_Stability Testing of Cosmetics - Colipa-CTFA_2004

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