Title:
Package having a composite window
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package is provided wherein each package has a composite window. The composite window may be a combination of a window and a graphical representation of a window. The graphical representation can also provide a visual impression of any absorbent articles, which may be viewed through the window. A package may also have more than one composite window, such that the composite windows are positioned on the package in a manner to provide a visual impression to a consumer of a much larger window.



Inventors:
Benson, William Mercer (Harrison, OH, US)
Curlis, Mary Beth (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Hernandez, Rosa Alejandra (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Laviz, Ilonka Bibiana (Mason, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/796384
Publication Date:
10/30/2008
Filing Date:
04/27/2007
Assignee:
The Procter & Gamble Company
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/54; B65D85/07
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHU, KING M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (Global IP Services Central Building, C9 One Procter and Gamble Plaza, CINCINNATI, OH, 45202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A package comprising: a. at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the package; b. at least one absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package; and, c. a composite window positioned on the package, wherein the composite window comprises; i. a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable; and, ii. a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window and at least a portion of an absorbent article.

2. The package of claim 1 wherein the graphic is a print.

3. The package of claim 1 wherein the absorbent article is at least one of a feminine hygiene article, an adult incontinence product, a sanitary tissue product, or a baby care product.

4. The package of claim 1 wherein the graphic comprises a graphical representation of an absorbent article that is the same as the absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package.

5. The package of claim 1 wherein the graphic comprises a graphical representation of an absorbent article that differs from the absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package.

6. The package of claim 1 wherein the window has a window graphic disposed thereon, wherein the window graphic provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of an absorbent article.

7. The package of claim 6 wherein the graphical representation of the absorbent article disposed on the window differs from the graphical representation of the absorbent article disposed on the exterior surface of the package.

8. The package of claim 6 wherein the graphical representation of the absorbent article disposed on the window is the same as the graphical representation of the absorbent article disposed on the exterior surface of the package.

9. The package of claim 1 wherein the graphic is at least partially continuous with the window.

10. A package comprising: a. at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the package; b. at least one absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package; and, c. a collective window positioned on the package, wherein the collective window comprises; i. a composite window, wherein the composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable, and a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window and at least a portion of an absorbent article; and, ii. a second composite window, wherein the second composite window comprises a second window, wherein the second window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable, and a second graphic, wherein the second graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the second window and at least a portion of an absorbent article.

11. The package of claim 10 wherein the graphical representation of the absorbent article of the graphic differs from the graphical representation of the absorbent article of the second graphic.

12. The package of claim 10 wherein at least one of the graphic or the second graphic comprises a graphical representation of an absorbent article that is the same as the absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package.

13. The package of claim 10 wherein at least one of the graphic or the second graphic comprises a graphical representation of an absorbent article that differs from the absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package.

14. The package of claim 10 wherein the graphic and second graphic are disposed on adjacent walls of the package.

15. The package of claim 10 wherein at least the window or the second window has a window graphic disposed thereon, wherein the window graphic provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of an absorbent article.

16. A package arrangement comprising: a. a package having; i. at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the package; ii. at least one absorbent article contained within the interior space of the package; iii. a composite window having a shape, positioned on the package, wherein the composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable, and a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window and at least a portion of an absorbent article; b. a second package having; i. at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the second package; ii. at least one absorbent article contained within the interior space of the second package; iii. a composite window having a shape, positioned on the second package, wherein the composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable, and a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the second package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window and at least a portion of an absorbent article; and, c. a window combination having a shape, wherein the window combination comprises; i. the composite window of the package; and, ii. the composite window of the second package.

17. The package arrangement of claim 16 wherein the shape of the composite window of the package and the shape of the composite window of the second package differ.

18. The package arrangement of claim 16 wherein the shape of the window combination differs from the shape of the composite window of the package and the shape of the composite window of the second package.

19. The package arrangement of claim 16 wherein at least the window of the package or the window of the second package has a window graphic disposed thereon, wherein the window graphic provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of an absorbent article.

20. The package arrangement of claim 16 wherein the package is adjacent to the second package at a point of sale so as comprise the window combination.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a package containing absorbent articles, particularly wherein the package comprises a window.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

At the point of sale, a package is often the primary mechanism of attracting a consumer's attention to the products contained therein. As such, manufacturers use package features to help consumers distinguish their packages from competitors' packages. These features usually include package shape, size, or color.

For certain products however, in addition to being contained in a package, the products may also be individually wrapped, for example in a packet. Manufacturers of absorbent articles often individually wrap the absorbent articles. Frequently, the wrapper containing an absorbent article will have a unique appearance, but the appearance of a wrapper may also be coordinated with the appearance of the package in which the individually wrapped absorbent article is contained. While effort and expense has been expended providing individually wrapped absorbent articles, it has been difficult displaying them to consumers at the point of sale. This is due to the nature of the package itself, which is usually formed from cardboard, colored plastic, and/or a printed film which serve to enclose and isolate the individually wrapped absorbent article from a consumer at the point of sale.

One manner for revealing a wrapper to a consumer is to use windows through which consumers can view the wrapper. However, while windows do allow the consumer to view a wrapper in a package they have some disadvantages. One disadvantage is increased cost. Often the price of the material used to produce a transparent window is greater than the cost of material that it is replacing. Additionally, windows have been constrained to certain locations on the package. These constraints on location are a result of the desire to maintain the structural integrity of the package. For example, windows and openings have generally not extended to the corners or edges of a package, as the corners and edges help maintain the structural integrity of the package. By maintaining the structural integrity of the package, the corners and edges prevent damage to any absorbent articles contained therein and the package itself which may be caused by pressure being exerted on the package.

However, the larger the window the more absorbent articles are viewable by the consumer at the point of sale, which can increase consumer interest in the package. Therefore, it would be desirable to provide a package that combines the benefit of a larger window while maintaining the structural integrity of the package.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A package is provided having at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the package. The package contains within the interior space at least one absorbent article. In addition, positioned on the package is a composite window. The composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable. The composite window also comprises a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window, and at least a portion of an absorbent article.

Also provided is a package, which comprises at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the package. The package contains within the interior space at least one absorbent article. In addition, positioned on the package is a collective window. The collective window comprises a composite window and a second composite window. The composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable. The composite window also comprises a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window, and at least a portion of an absorbent article. The second composite window comprises a second window, wherein the second window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable. The second composite window also comprises a second graphic, wherein the second graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the second window, and at least a portion of an absorbent article.

Further provided is a package arrangement, which comprises a package, a second package, and a window combination. The package has at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the package. The package contains within the interior space at least one absorbent article. In addition, positioned on the package is a composite window having a shape. The composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable. The composite window also comprises a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window, and at least a portion of an absorbent article.

The second package has at least one wall defining an exterior surface and interior space of the second package. The second package contains within the interior space at least one absorbent article. In addition, positioned on the second package is a composite window having a shape. The composite window comprises a window, wherein the window is positioned so that at least a portion of an absorbent article is viewable. The composite window also comprises a graphic, wherein the graphic is disposed on the exterior surface of the second package and provides a graphical representation of at least a portion of the window, and at least a portion of an absorbent article. The package arrangement further comprises a window combination having a shape. The window combination includes the composite window of the package, and the composite window of the second package.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial cut-away perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention showing a cylindrical package.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention having two packages.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention having two packages.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As used herein, the term “absorbent article” refers to articles that absorb and/or contain a substance, such as, body exudates. A typical absorbent article can be placed within, against or in close proximity to the body of a wearer to absorb and/or contain various body exudates. Examples, of absorbent articles include feminine hygiene articles, adult incontinence products, sanitary tissue products (facial tissue, toilet tissue, paper towels, wipes), and baby care products (diapers). The term “absorbent article” as used herein also refers to any associated wrapping or applicator that typically can be associated with an absorbent article. For example, an absorbent article can be a tampon that may or may not include an applicator and/or can be a feminine sanitary napkin that may or may not include a wrapper, such as, a wrapper that individually encloses a feminine sanitary napkin.

As used herein, the term “feminine hygiene article” refers to absorbent articles that can be worn by women for menstrual and/or light incontinence control, such as, feminine sanitary napkins, tampons, interlabial products, pessaries, and pantiliners.

The term, “joined” as used herein, encompasses configurations in which a first element is directly secured to a second element. Joined also includes configurations in which the first element is indirectly secured to the second element by securing the first element to at least one intermediate member, which in turn is secured to the second element. Additionally, the term joined covers configurations in which the first element is integral with the second element, such that the first element is part of the second element. The first element and the second element can be fixedly joined, or releasably joined.

Embodiments of the present invention are illustrated using the following figures. The present invention, however, is not limited to structures having the particular configurations shown in the figures.

FIG. 1 shows a package 20 wherein the package may be a box having one or more walls 22 that define an interior storage space 30 for storing one or more absorbent articles 40. Each wall 22 has an interior surface and an exterior surface, which forms the interior surface and exterior surface 24 of the package 20. A wall 22 may be composed of different materials or may be composed of substantially the same type of material. A wall 22 may be a laminate of materials, such as paper and/or plastic. The package 20 comprises a composite window 90, which includes an actual window (window) 50 and a graphic 60 of a window, referred to herein as a “graphic”. As used herein the term “composite window” refers to a visual impression of a single (composite) window provided by an actual window and a graphic, wherein the graphic is at least partially continuous with or in close proximity to the actual window, to provide a visual impression of a composite window that is larger than the actual window. A composite window 90 can be of any shape or size that provides a visual impression to a consumer of a composite window that is larger than the actual window. A package 20 can be of a size or shape that can contain absorbent articles 40. As shown in FIG. 2 a cylindrical package 20 may have a composite window 90, wherein the composite window 90 comprises a window 50 and a graphic 60.

The term, “graphic” as used herein refers to a graphical representation of a window disposed on the exterior surface of a package, in such a manner as to provide a visual impression to a consumer at the point of sale that the graphic is a continuation of a window positioned on the package. In certain embodiments, in addition to the graphical representation of a window the graphic may include a graphical representation of absorbent articles contained in a package. In other embodiments, the graphic may include a graphical representation of absorbent articles other than those contained in the package. The graphical representation of the absorbent articles may be such that a consumer when viewing the package would have the visual impression that the absorbent articles were contained in the package, and viewable through a window.

In certain embodiments, the materials that comprise a wall 22 of a package 20 can be relatively inflexible materials, such as, cardboard, paperboard, cartonboard, chipboard, plastic, paper, card stock, ceramic, mesh, screen, or combinations thereof. In certain other embodiments, a wall 22 of a package 20 can be made of a relatively flexible material, such as, blown or cast film, fabric, webs, or combinations thereof. The flexible material may comprise polyethylene, metallocenes, ethylene vinyl acetate, surlyn, polyethylene terephthalate, biaxally oriented polypropylene, nylon, natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or combinations thereof. As used herein the term “flexible” refers to materials, which are compliant and deform in the presence of external forces.

A wall 22 can be folded and secured together to form a package 20. A wall 22 can be secured together by any means known in the art, such as through the use of an adhesive. When two walls 22 intersect they form an edge 25 of the package 20, for example each wall 22 of a package 20 that has a box shape (as shown in FIG. 1) will have four edges 25. The package 20 may also include a means for accessing the interior storage space 30 for easy access to the absorbent articles 40. The mechanism or means for accessing the interior storage space 30 may include a line of perforations, tabs, flaps, adhesive openings, combinations thereof, or any means for accessing the interior storage space 30 known to those having ordinary skill in the art.

As shown in FIG. 1 a package 20 includes at least one transparent window 50. As used herein, “transparent” means having the property of transmitting light without substantial scattering so that absorbent articles, which are contained in the package 20 can be visible to a consumer through the window 50. A window 50 can be formed by any means known in the art. The window 50 can comprise a transparent covering, such as, for example, a transparent film. In addition, or alternatively, the window 50 can comprise an opening in the package 20 that does not include a covering. In certain embodiments, the window 50 can comprise a transparent covering that can be clear, translucent, and/or tinted. The transparent covering can be tinted in a color or combination of colors. The transparent covering can also, or alternatively, be printed and/or embossed. In still other embodiments, the window can be formed by differentiating the degree of window transparency from the exterior surface of a package, such that the exterior surface surrounding the window has a higher opacity or no transparency.

The window 50 can take any shape such as a circle, a square, a rectangle, a trapezoid, an ellipse, a triangle or any other shape that can be used to provide a view to a consumer of the absorbent articles 40 contained in a package 20. For example, the window 50 shown in FIG. 1 has a shape that can be described as a swoop, or as shown in FIG. 3 the window 50 and graphic 60 may be circular in shape. Further, as shown in FIG. 4 in certain embodiments a composite window 90 may take the shape of a product identifier such as a brandname, trademark, logo, or indicia, such that some portion of the composite window 90 is a window 50 and another portion a graphic 60. The graphic 60 portion may be disposed at or near the edge 25 of a package 20.

The window 50 and composite window 90 can have any size or dimension that could be positioned on a package 20. In certain embodiments, the window 50 is positioned such that at least some portion of the absorbent articles 40 contained in the package 20 can be viewed through the window 50. This is beneficial at the point of sale, in particular when an absorbent article 40 is in a wrapper, such that consumers can view the wrapper through the window 50.

In certain embodiments, as in FIG. 1 when a package 20 is a box or cubicle in shape, a window 50 may be positioned on at least one wall 22 of the package 20, such as the front wall, back wall, top wall, bottom wall, and/or side walls, as determined by the package's 20 intended positioning on the retail shelf. In addition, there may be more than one window 50 positioned on a wall 22 of a package 20. A window 50 may be at any position on a wall 22 of the package 20. In certain embodiments, as shown in FIG. 5 a composite window 90 having a window 50 and graphic 60 may be positioned on more than one edge 25 of a package 20, such that the graphic 60 is in contact with at least two adjacent edges 25 of a package 20. Having a composite window 90 positioned on two adjacent edges 25 of a package 20 allows a different portion of an absorbent article to be viewable to a consumer, as compared to windows which are more centrally positioned on a package. The exposure of an absorbent article on two adjacent edges of a package is also useful to highlight a feature of the absorbent article contained therein, or some element of the absorbent article's packaging that may not be viewable otherwise.

As shown in FIGS. 6-8 in certain embodiments a composite window 90 comprising a window 50 and at least two graphics 60, 60A may extend from an edge 25 or edges 25 of a package 20 to an opposing edge 25 or edges 25, thereby providing an even greater visual impression to a consumer of the absorbent articles contained in the package 20. For example, in certain embodiments, a composite window 90 may extend from a top edge 25A of a package 20 to the bottom edge 25B of a package 20 as shown in FIG. 6, from one side edge 25C of a package 20 to an opposing side edge 25D of a package 20 as shown in FIG. 7, and/or in a diagonal direction as shown in FIG. 8 wherein the composite window 90 extends from two adjacent edges 25A, 25D of a package 20 to another two adjacent edges 25B, 25C of a package 20 in a diagonal direction.

In certain embodiments, a package may include two or more composite windows such as shown in FIG. 9, wherein a package 20 has two composite windows 90, 90A. The composite windows 90, 90A are comprised of two windows 50, 50A and two graphics 60, 60A, wherein the graphics 60, 60A are disposed on adjacent walls 22 of a package 20, such that a consumer is provided a visual impression of a collective window 54. As used herein the term “collective window” refers to a visual impression of a single (collective) window provided by two or more composite windows 90, 90A, which share at least a portion of one or more edges 25. In certain embodiments, as shown in FIG. 10 there may be a collective window 54 comprising two composite windows 90, 90A, wherein the graphics 60, 60A share at least a portion of an edge 25 but are also in contact with one or more other edges 25′ of a package 20. In certain other embodiments, as shown in FIG. 11 there may be a graphic 60 continuous with a window 50 and a second graphic 60A continuous with a second window 50A which are positioned on adjacent walls 22 of a package 20, but which form two individual composite windows 90, 90A. In still further embodiments, as shown in FIG. 12 when a package 20 has positioned thereon more than one window 50, 50A, not all of the windows 50, 50A need to be continuous with a graphic 60. In certain embodiments, a graphic 60 and a second graphic 60A may have a different visual configuration, for example, the graphic 60 may be a that of a female sanitary napkin and the second graphic 60A that of an individually wrapped wipe.

In certain embodiments, as shown in FIG. 13 a package arrangement 110 is provided which comprises two or more packages, such as a package 20 and a second package 20A. In certain embodiments, positioned on each individual package 20, 20A is a composite window 90, 90A comprising a window 50, 50A and a graphic 60, 60A. The composite windows 90, 90A may be of a manner as shown in FIG. 13, wherein when a package 20 is positioned adjacent to a second package 20A at the point of sale, the composite windows 90, 90A positioned on each package 20, 20A provide a visual impression to a consumer, such that the consumer perceives the two individual composite windows 90, 90A as a window combination 100. As used herein the term “window combination” refers to a visual impression of a window formed when two packages are placed adjacent to each other at the point of sale, such that the composite windows positioned on the packages in combination provide the appearance of a single (combination) window. In certain embodiments, as shown in FIG. 14 the composite windows 90, 90A on the individual packages 20, 20A of a package arrangement 110 can be of such a shape that when the packages 20, 20A are positioned adjacent to each other at the point of sale the individual composite windows 90, 90A form a window combination 100 that has a unique design or shape that differs from each individual composite window 90, 90A. In certain embodiments, the absorbent articles contained in each package 20, 20A of a package arrangement 110 are the same, in other embodiments the absorbent articles contained in a package 20 differ from the absorbent articles contained in a second package 20A.

As shown in FIG. 15, in certain embodiments, a composite window 90 of a package 20 may comprise a window 50, which has disposed thereon a window graphic 70. The term, “window graphic” as used herein refers to a graphical representation of absorbent articles disposed on a window of a package. The graphical representation provides a visual impression to a consumer that the absorbent articles are enclosed in the package and viewable through the window. The window graphic 70 can be disposed on a portion of the window 50, or across the whole area of the window 50. In certain embodiments, the window graphic 70 and graphic 60 can provide a common graphical representation of an absorbent article, for example, both can provide the graphical representation to a consumer of individually wrapped wipes viewable through a window. In other embodiments, the window graphic 70 and graphic 60 can have differing graphical representations of absorbent articles, for example, the window graphic 70 can provide the graphical representation to a consumer of individually wrapped wipes enclosed by a window, and the graphic 60 the graphical representation of feminine sanitary napkins enclosed by a window. Further, the window graphic 70 may have disposed thereon a graphical representation of an absorbent article which differs from the absorbent article contained in the package 20.

In certain embodiments, a window may comprise from about 5% to about 95% of the total surface area of a wall of a package, in other embodiments from about 5% to about 75% of the total surface area of a wall, in further embodiments from about 5% to about 50% of the total surface area of a wall, and in another embodiment from about 5% to about 25% of the total surface area of a wall. In certain embodiments, absorbent articles can be positioned adjacent the window such that at least a portion of an absorbent article, can be visible through the window.

As shown in FIG. 1 the graphic 60 not only continues the boundaries 52 of the window 50 towards the edge 25 of the package 20, but also depicts the same type of absorbent articles 40 that are viewable through the window 50. The use of a graphic disposed on a package provides several advantages. First, is the graphic provides a visual impression to a consumer that a window extends to the edges or corners of a package, without compromising the structural integrity of the package. If a window extended to an edge or corner of a package the structural integrity of the package would be compromised, making the package and the absorbent articles contained therein more susceptible to damage from pressure exerted against the package. The visual impression of an increased number of absorbent articles viewable through a window provides several suggestions to a consumer. For example, the ability to extend the window to the edge or corner of a package provides a consumer with the belief that there are more absorbent articles contained in the package than other packages having smaller windows. Further, the ability to display more absorbent articles and/or the wrappers containing the absorbent articles provides increased consumer attention to the package. In addition, a graphic of an absorbent article other than the absorbent article viewable through the window of a package may be used. This would allow an absorbent article not viewable through a window of a package to be perceived by a consumer through the use of a graphic. It would also allow consumers to view absorbent articles not contained in a package, such as absorbent articles related those in the package, or not yet marketed absorbent articles.

A graphic and/or window graphic may be provided by printing or any other known means for providing a graphic. If printing is used, the printing can be any conventional printing method or technology known in the art, including, but not limited to, gravure printing, flexo printing, offset printing, ink jet printing, and the like.

The absorbent articles contained in a package can include the same or two (or more) different absorbent articles. In certain embodiments, the disposable absorbent articles contained in the package are feminine hygiene articles such as feminine sanitary napkins and pantiliners. In certain other embodiments as shown in FIG. 1, a single type (or one design) of absorbent articles, such as individually wrapped wipes 80 is contained in the package 20. The absorbent articles 40 can be arranged to form a stack within the interior storage space 30 of the package 40. The absorbent articles 40 may be stacked in any orientation. For example, the absorbent articles 40 may be stacked vertically, horizontally, or at any angle inside the interior storage space 30 of the package 20. However, in certain embodiments, the absorbent articles 40 are not stacked but simply placed in the package.

Referring back to FIG. 1, in certain embodiments a wipe 80 may be individually wrapped in a packet 82. Each packet 82 has an exterior surface 84. The packet may be made of paper, metal foil, polymer film, metalized polymer film, and/or other materials known by one of ordinary skill in the art. When the wipe 80 is a wet wipe, any material which can maintain the wetness of the wipe 80 can be used for the packet 82, for example, laminates with a layer of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), propylene vinyl alcohol (PVOH), or aluminum sandwiched between polymeric film layers, such as LDPE (low density polyethylene). In certain embodiments, the packet 82 is flushable and disintegrates. Such flushable packets 82 may include silicone-treated polyvinyl alcohol films, or films coated with a polyvinyl alcohol, tissue coated or impregnated with polyvinyl alcohol, or other water soluble materials.

In any of the embodiments, a packet 82 may be any desired shape. For example, the packet 82 may be a square, rectangle, oval, circle, or any other desired shape in plan view. The packet 82 can include a means for unsealing (or opening) the packet 82 in order to access a wipe 80. For example, the packet 82 can have a scored or die cut line of weakness to allow the packet 82 to be opened easily with a tab, easy peel label, or any other opening mechanism; a “Dry-edge” sticker mechanism, such as, a sticker with a dry edge for grasping; releasable adhesives; releasable heat and/or pressure seals; perforations; rupture seals; tear seals; or the packet 82 can be made of a relatively easy to tear material such as, an easy to tear film. The packet 82 may be resealable for disposal.

In certain embodiments, a packet containing an individually wrapped wipe may be joined to an absorbent article. A packet may be joined an absorbent article using methods known by one of ordinary skill in the art, such as heat and/or pressure seals, ultrasonic seals, glue seals, and zippered track sealing systems, such as Dow Company's “ZIP LOCKS”. In certain embodiments, a product identifier such as a brand name, trademark, logo, color scheme, indicia or combinations thereof may be disposed on the exterior surface 84 of a packet 82. The product identifier disposed on the exterior surface 84 of a packet 82 may be the same as a product identifier disposed on the exterior surface 24 of the package 20 in which the packet 82 is contained.

A wipe may comprise a woven or nonwoven web of natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or mixtures of natural and synthetic fibers, such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,645,604 issued Nov. 11, 2003 to Fereshtehkhou et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 6,561,354 issued May 13, 2003 to Fereshtehkhou et al. Natural fibers may include cellulosic fibers, such as wood pulp fibers, cotton, and rayon. Synthetic fibers may include fibers commonly used in textiles, such as, for example, polyolefins, such as polyester and polypropylene fibers. In certain other embodiments, the wipe can comprise a paper material, for example, paper material that is made of a wet-laid material in a manner used to produce toilet tissue or facial tissue. In certain embodiments, the wipe can comprise silk and/or foam, such as foam disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,260,345 issued Nov. 9, 1993 to DesMarais et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,387,207 issued Feb. 7, 1995 to Dyer et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,817,704 issued Oct. 6, 1998 to Shiveley et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,550,167 issued Aug. 27, 1996 to DesMarais; U.S. Pat. No. 5,827,909 issued Oct. 27, 1998 to DesMarais; U.S. Pat. No. 6,365,642 issued Apr. 2, 2002 to Dyer et al. A wipe may be capable of being flushed in a toilet (i.e., it is “flushable”). For example, the wipe may disintegrate into pieces sufficiently small, such that when being transported in the sewer system the pieces do not plug any element of the sewer system.

A wipe can be any size or shape that may be used for cleansing the skin, or for providing other benefits (as described below) when using or changing an absorbent article. For example, in certain embodiments, the wipe may be rectangular or circular. In certain embodiments, a wipe may be about 4 square inches (about 25 square centimeters) in size to about 9 square inches (about 50 square centimeters) in size. In certain other embodiments, a wipe may be between about 16 square inches (about 100 square centimeters) in size to about 50 square inches (about 320 square centimeters) in size.

A wipe may be apertured, textured, patterned embossed, dyed, printed with ink, coated with clear polymer or colored polymer, or combinations thereof. For example, the wipe may be printed or dyed to give a visual signal of an active ingredient.

A wipe can be a wet wipe that comprises a liquid-based solution. In certain embodiments, the wipe can comprise a nonwoven fabric impregnated with the liquid-based solution. The liquid-based solution can include, for example, surfactants, alcohols, fragrance compositions, antimicrobial agents, pH buffers, anti-itch agents, odor control agents, cooling agents, preservatives, combinations thereof, or any other substances known in the art for inclusion in wet wipes. A wipe can also contain substances such as silicones that can inhibit body exudates from adhering to the user's body. The liquid-based solution can also comprise a lotion, such as, for example, an aqueous or non-aqueous lotion. In certain embodiments, the lotion can increase the cleaning capabilities of the wipe by aiding removal of soiling from the skin. The lotion can also provide skin benefits by reducing friction between the skin and the wipe, and/or between skin and the absorbent article, and/or by containing materials that can soothe the skin, such as, for example, aloe, Vitamin E, or chamomile. Other embodiments can include dry wipes or wipes containing non-aqueous cleaning solutions such as, mineral oils, and the emollient described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,481,243 issued Nov. 6, 1984 to Allen et al.

One or more fragrance compositions can be included in the liquid-based solution in order to produce a scented wipe. Alternatively, the one or more fragrance compositions can be included in the wipe separately from any liquid-based solution such as, for example, by applying the fragrance composition to the wipe prior to addition of a liquid-based solution. The wipe can also include a separate component such as, for example, a carrier material comprising a fragrance composition. Additionally, the one or more fragrance compositions can be disposed of together or separately on at least a portion of the wipe.

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm.”

All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the same term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to that term in this document shall govern.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.