In 2024, the worldwide market for swimming pool chemicals is expected to reach $1.16 billion—up from $1.06 billion in 2019.
In this fast-growing market, how can you make sure to stand out from the sea of other brands in the pool chemical industry?
Beyond the product itself, one of the answers is packaging. New innovations to packaging technologies present a key opportunity to enhance the consumer experience of your product (while saving money).
1. The Consumer Experience with Pool Cleaning
Because of the corrosive nature of pool chemicals, rigid pails have been the go-to packaging format for products like chlorinating tablets and water balancers. Pails can withstand corrosion while providing product protection and child resistance.
But, while rigid containers offer relatively safe storage of pool chemicals, they’re not as ideal as other packaging formats when it comes to the consumer experience. Pails take up more space than other packages, are heavy, and can be difficult to open. They’re not always air-tight, and the product-to-package ratio can mean more shifting of the product, so tablets may crumble or break apart because of repeated contact with the rigid structure.
Fortunately, developments in flexible packaging films and closures have brought a new packaging format to the pool chemical industry. Flexible packaging formats that feature high-performance films and features not only withstand the product but protect it. The product-to-package ratio is smaller, meaning less shifting of the product. It is also more ideal for e-commerce than rigid pails and can be more cost-effective. In fact, in a study by the FPA, 57% of brand owners lowered production costs after transitioning to use of flexible packaging.
CPGs and industries like agri-chemical and lawn and garden are quickly noticing the benefits of flexible packaging, so much so that the flexible packaging industry saw $31.8 billion in sales in 2018. Some pool chemical producers are already utilizing flexible packaging for products like shock treatments to optimize the consumer experience. These products are largely found in single-use pouches that are opened, emptied, and discarded.
With most of the pool chemical industry still opting for rigid containers or using single-use flexible pouches, you can show consumers that you’re prioritizing their experience of the product by moving to a new and improved packaging format that includes reclosability.
2. Child Resistant Packaging
According to the CDC, pool chemical injuries led to an estimated 13,508 emergency department visits in the U.S. from 2015-2017. Out of those, a third involved children under the age of 18. With child safety a primary concern for consumers and pool chemicals regulated under the EPA, brands face the challenge of finding child-resistant packaging that’s also user-friendly.
Child-Guard®, a revolutionary closure that meets the legal requirements for child-resistant packaging as stated in the Poison Prevention Packaging Act, is changing the game for brands regulated by the EPA. Now, those brands have more packaging options than ever before. With a closure that passes child safety tests, pool chemical packagers are no longer limited to rigid pails. Instead, brands can opt for flexible pouches with a Child-Guard® closure—and be confident their products will stay out of the hands of children.
3. The Retail Experience
With retail aisles and e-commerce sites lined with pool chemicals in rigid containers and tubs, adopting an eye-catching package in a unique format is an easy way to get consumers’ attention and gain a competitive advantage—while also offering retailers several benefits.
Flexible packages accomplish both a unique, consumer-friendly format and a way to stand out, and with emerging technologies like flexographic printing and digital packaging, there are more ways than ever to differentiate your packaging in retail aisles.
However, it’s also important to consider the retailer experience of your product. Flexible pouches can alleviate some of retailers’ frustrations with traditional pool chemical packaging like pails, which are heavy and take up a lot of space, both on the shelf and in storage. Utilizing a flexible packaging format will make it easier for retailers to stock and carry your product, which gives retailers additional incentive to carry your product.
Not only will moving to flexible pouches help you develop and retain retailer customers, it also creates cost efficiencies. Since flexible packaging is much lighter than its pail counterparts, you save on transportation costs, and because it’s smaller, more of your product can fit on store shelves.
In other words, moving to a flexible format is a win-win for both your brand and the retailer.
4. Sustainability in Packaging
Sustainability is increasingly top-of-mind for consumers across industries. Although millennials and Gen Zers are leading the sustainability conversation, it’s also becoming more important to key consumers in the pool market: Gen X and Baby Boomers. Business Wire shares that 55% of Gen Xers and 42% of Baby Boomers will pay more for sustainable products.
One way you can reach eco-minded consumers of any generation is to start with packaging. Source reduction is the current focus when it comes to sustainability in the pool chemical market.
With many consumers focused on the use of plastics, reducing the amount used in your packaging shows consumers you’re prioritizing sustainability (and their needs). Flexible packaging offers a format that requires fewer resources and provides additional sustainability benefits.
Compared to rigid containers, flexible packaging requires less plastic, water, and fossil fuels. The FPA shares that a rigid pail for cat litter packaging—comparable in size and thickness to pool chemical packaging—consumes +1,429% more fossil fuel than the equivalent flexible package. The lightweight nature of flexible packaging also means fewer carbon emissions, increasing its overall sustainability.
That means you can show consumers you’re not only reducing plastic, but also working to reduce energy consumption and your carbon footprint.
Reach More Customers with Resealable Flexible Packaging
With new packaging technologies at our fingertips, it’s time to evaluate how we can innovate packaging design to provide added value to customers, whether manufacturers, retailers, or the end consumer. Get in touch with the Fresh-Lock® team to learn more about options available based on your products and needs or get more insights on packaging for the pool market here.