Title:
Retail product packages with enclosed samples and method for making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Product packages with enclosed product samples and techniques for making same are described. In one described technique, a carton material is cut and scored to form a carton blank that includes a plurality of panels separated by score lines, each of the panels including an interior surface and an exterior surface. A cosmetic slurry is applied to a region of an interior surface of one of the panels, and an adhesive around the slurry region. A covering material is then affixed to the adhesive, the material covering the slurry. A carton is then fabricated from the carton blank, the cosmetic slurry being located inside the fabricated carton.



Inventors:
Parrotta, Michael A. (Churchville, PA, US)
Flowers, Robert L. (Coatesville, PA, US)
Whitely, John Allan (Hatfield, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/251226
Publication Date:
03/25/2004
Filing Date:
09/20/2002
Assignee:
Westvaco Packaging Group, Inc. (New York, NY)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B31B1/90; B31B3/00; B65B61/20; B65B61/22; B65D5/42; B65D5/66; (IPC1-7): B65B43/10
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ, MICHELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hultquist IP (Research Triangle Park, NC, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A method for fabricating a package, comprising: (a) cutting and scoring carton material to form a carton blank that includes plurality of panels separated by score lines, each of the panels including an interior surface and an exterior surface; (b) applying a slurry to a region of an interior surface of one of the panels, the slurry including a cosmetic for which a sample is to be provided; (c) applying adhesive around the slurry region; (d) affixing a covering material to the adhesive, the material covering the slurry; and (e) fabricating a carton from the carton blank, the cosmetic slurry being located inside the fabricated carton.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein in step (b), a bulk film technique is used to apply the cosmetic slurry to the carton panel.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein step (c) includes applying a permanent and a non-permanent adhesive around the slurry region.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the carton blank includes a glue flap extending from one of the panels, and wherein step (e) includes affixing the glue flap to another panel to form a tube.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein in step (d) a printed covering material is affixed to the adhesive.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein in step (d) the printed covering material includes a coupon for purchasing the cosmetic for which a sample is being provided.

7. The method of claim 3, wherein step (e) further includes: closing one end of the tube; loading a retail product into the tube; and closing the other end of the tube.

8. A carton, comprising: a plurality of panels having interior and exterior surfaces; a slurry applied to an interior surface of one of the panels, the slurry including a cosmetic for which a sample is to be provided; an adhesive region surrounding the cosmetic slurry; and a covering material affixed to the adhesive, the material covering the cosmetic slurry.

9. The carton of claim 8, wherein the adhesive region includes a permanent adhesive region and a non-permanent adhesive region, such that the covering material may be peeled away at the non-permanent adhesive region to provide access to the cosmetic slurry, while being anchored at the permanent adhesive region.

10. The carton of claim 8, wherein the covering material has printing thereon.

11. The carton of claim 10, wherein the printing includes a coupon for purchasing the cosmetic for which a sample is to be provided.

12. A carton blank, comprising: a plurality of panels separated by score lines, each of the panels including an interior surface and an exterior surface; a cosmetic slurry applied to a region of an interior surface of one of the panels; an adhesive region surrounding the slurry region; and a covering material covering the slurry.

13. The carton blank of claim 12, wherein the adhesive region includes a permanent adhesive region and a non-permanent region.

14. The carton blank of claim 12, wherein the covering material has printing thereon.

15. The carton of claim 14, wherein the printing includes a coupon for purchasing the cosmetic for which a sample is to be provided.

16. A system for manufacturing a carton blank, comprising: an intake for receiving a carton blank; a cosmetic application station for applying a slurry to an interior panel of the carton blank, the slurry including a cosmetic for which a sample is to be provided; a drying station for drying the cosmetic slurry; an adhesive station for applying adhesive around the dried slurry; a covering station for affixing a covering material to the adhesive, such that the covering material covers the dried slurry.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the covering material is supplied as a continuous length from a roll, and wherein the system further includes a cutting device for cutting away excess material after the covering material has been affixed to the adhesive.

18. The system of claim 17, further including a printing station for applying printing onto the covering material.

19. The system of claim 18, wherein the printing applied onto the covering material includes as coupon for purchasing a cosmetic for which a sample is being provided.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to improved product packages, and more particularly to advantageous aspects of retail product packages with enclosed samples, such as cosmetic samples, fragrance samples, or the like, and methods for making same.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art In packaging a product for retail sale, a manufacturer may wish to include a sample of another product in the package. For example, in packaging a bottle of perfume, a perfume manufacturer may wish to include a sample of another fragrance. The sample and the packaged product may be of different types. For example, a manufacturer may wish to include a sample of eye shadow in a product package containing blush or some other cosmetic item.

[0004] In providing the sample, a number of issues must be addressed. First, it is desirable for the sample to be secure from accidental damage or from customer tampering. Further, it is desirable for the sample to be included in such a way that it does not detract from the overall esthetic appearance of the package. In addition, it is desirable for the technique used to include the sample to be as economical and efficient as possible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] These and other issues are addressed by the present invention, presently preferred aspects of which provide product packages with enclosed product samples and methods for making same. In a method according to an aspect of the invention, a carton material is cut and scored to form a carton blank that includes a plurality of panels separated by score lines, each of the panels including an interior surface and an exterior surface. A cosmetic slurry is applied to a region of an interior surface of one of the panels, and adhesive is applied around the slurry region. A sheet of covering material is then affixed to the adhesive, this sheet of material serving to cover the slurry. A carton is then fabricated from the carton blank, the cosmetic sample being located inside the fabricated carton, but safely covered so that the cosmetic sample won't leak into the rest of the carton, and will not rub off until a customer accesses the sample by peeling away the covering material.

[0006] Additional features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent by reference to the following detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a carton according to an aspect of the invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 shows a plan view of a carton blank from which the carton shown in FIG. 1 is fabricated.

[0009] FIGS. 3 through 6 are a series of drawings illustrating manufacturing steps in fabricating the carton shown in FIG. 1 from the carton blank shown in FIG. 2.

[0010] FIG. 7 shows a diagram of a system for manufacturing a carton blank from a sheet of plastic or other suitable material.

[0011] FIGS. 8 through 10 are a series of drawings illustrating manufacturing steps in fabricating a carton blank from a sheet of plastic or other suitable material.

[0012] FIG. 11 shows a diagram of a system for applying a cosmetic sample onto an interior surface of a carton blank.

[0013] FIGS. 12 through 17 are a series of plan views illustrating manufacturing steps in applying a cosmetic sample onto an interior surface of a carton blank.

[0014] FIGS. 18 through 23 are a series of side views illustrating manufacturing steps in applying a cosmetic sample onto an interior surface of a carton blank.

[0015] FIG. 24 is a side view illustrating the peeling back of a covering patch to provide access to a cosmetic sample.

[0016] FIG. 25 is a flowchart illustrating a method according to an aspect of the invention for applying a cosmetic sample onto an interior surface of a carton blank.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] An aspect of the invention provides a product package that includes, fabricated onto an interior wall of the package, a sample of a cosmetic. As used herein, the term “cosmetic” refers generally to both appearance-enhancing products, such as makeup, blush, eye shadow, and the like, as well as to fragrances, including perfume, cologne, eau de toilette, and the like. The sample is covered by a patch that is peeled away to provide access to the sample. Fabricating the sample onto an interior wall of the package has a number of advantages. First, this location for the sample serves a security function. Because the sample is located on the inside of the package, it cannot be accessed from the outside of the package. Therefore, a store customer, or other person, cannot remove the panel without tearing open the package. Second, this location of the sample also protects the sample from accidental release, or damage, during fabrication and shipping of the package. In addition, the interior location of the sample insures that the sample does not interfere with the overall esthetic appearance of the package. Further, if desired, text or graphics may be printed onto the patch covering the sample. This printed matter may include, for example, a coupon to purchase the product for which a sample is being provided. Again, this internal location of the product sample protects such a coupon from being removed by someone other than the purchase of the product to which the sample is attached.

[0018] A bulk film technique may suitably be used to apply the cosmetic sample to the interior surface of the carton. The bulk film technique may include, for example, the spraying or extruding of a slurry containing the cosmetic to be sampled. Such a technique is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,953,885, the disclosure and drawings of which are incorporated herein by reference. Alternatively, it would also be possible to provide a fragrance sample by using a slurry containing microcapsules containing tiny fragrance droplets. The microcapsules are designed to rupture when the covering material is peeling away, causing the fragrance to be released.

[0019] FIG. 1 shows a rear perspective view of a carton 10 according to a first aspect of the invention. The package 10 may be fabricated from a sheet of cardboard, paperboard, plastic, or other suitable material. As shown in FIG. 1, the package includes a rear panel 12, a side panel 14, and a top panel 16. There is cut into the top of the rear panel 12 a semicircular notch 18, which is provided to facilitate the opening of the carton 10. Visible through the notch 18 is a tuck flap 20, which, as described below, is tucked behind the rear panel 12 to close the carton 10.

[0020] As further shown in FIG. 1, a rectangular cosmetic sample 22, shown in broken lines, is fabricated onto the interior surface of the rear panel 12. As will be apparent from the following discussion, the sample 22 may have a different shape, size, or location, without departing from the spirit of the invention. Further, if desired, more than one sample may be fabricated onto an interior surface of the carton 10. If more than one sample is to be included, a deckle technique may suitably be used to keep neighboring samples separated during the process of applying the samples to the interior surface of the carton 10. Also, multiple samples may be provided on multiple surfaces.

[0021] FIG. 2 shows a plan view of a carton blank 30 suitable for fabricating a carton, such as the carton 10 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 2 shows the “interior” side of the carton blank 30, that is, the side of the blank 30 that will form the interior of the finished carton. The blank 30 may be suitably fabricated from a single sheet of plastic, cardboard, paperboard, or other suitable material that has been cut and scored as described below. The blank 30 includes a front panel 32, rear panel 34, side panels 36 and 38, top panel 40 and bottom panel 42. The blank 30 further includes a glue flap 44 extending from side panel 36. Extending from the upper edges of the side panels 36 and 38 are upper dust flaps 46 and 48, and extending from the lower edges of the side panels 36 and 38 are lower dust flaps 50 and 52. A top tuck flap 54 extends from the upper edge of the top panel 40, and a bottom tuck flap 56 extends from the lower edge of the bottom panel 42. Upper locking slits 58 and 60 are provided between the top panel 40 and the top tuck flap 54, and lower locking slits 62 and 64 are provided between the bottom panel 42 and the bottom tuck flap 56. As shown in FIG. 2, the various panels and flaps are separated from each other by score lines 68 through 90.

[0022] There is fabricated onto the interior surface of the rear panel 34 a cosmetic sample 92. As described below, a slurry containing a cosmetic is applied to the rear panel 34 and a patch is adhered to the panel 34 over the slurry. Thus, when a customer wishes to try the sample, the customer tears open the carton and peels away the covering patch. If desired, score lines 76 and 82 may be perforated to allow the rear panel 34 to be cleanly torn away from the rest of the finished carton to make it easier for the customer to gain access to the sample. Additional perforations, not shown, may be cut into the carton blank 30 to allow the cosmetic sample 92 to be cleanly torn away from the rear panel 34 without removing the entire panel 34.

[0023] FIGS. 3 through 6 are a series of views illustrating manufacturing steps in fabricating a carton from the blank 30 shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 3, rear panel 34, side flap 38, and dust flaps 48 and 52 have been folded as a single unit along score line 80 over side panel 36 and front panel 32. The cosmetic sample 92 is now sandwiched between front panel 32 and rear panel 34. In FIG. 4, glue flap 44 has been folded along score line 76 over rear panel 34 and glued into place. FIG. 5 shows a side view, not drawn to scale, of the blank 30 after the glue flap 44 has been attached to the rear panel 34. As shown in FIG. 5, the carton blank 30 is now a flattened tube, partially opened for purposes of illustration. The blank 30 may be shipped and stored in this form for later loading.

[0024] When the blank 30 is ready for use, it is prepared for loading by opening up the tube and closing one end. In FIG. 6, the bottom end of the tube has been closed by folding in bottom dust flaps 50 and 52, and then folding bottom panel 42 into position and tucking bottom tuck flap 42 behind rear panel 34. The product to be packaged is then loaded into the carton 30 through the upper opening. The package is then finished by folding dust flaps 46 and 48 and top panel 40 into position, and tucking top tuck flap 54 behind rear panel 34. Of course, it would also be possible to start by closing the top of the tube and loading the package from below, or to load the tube first before closing the top and bottom ends.

[0025] FIG. 7 shows a diagram of a system 100 for manufacturing a carton blank 102, such as the carton blank 30 shown in FIG. 2, prior to the fabrication of the cosmetic sample onto the blank 30. In the system 100 shown in FIG. 7, each blank 102 is cut from a sheet of material. However, it would also be possible for the starting material to be in the form of a continuous roll of material.

[0026] In the FIG. 7, the starting sheets 104 of material are loaded into a hopper 106. If desired, text or graphics may be printed onto the starting sheets before they are loaded into the hopper 106. The sheets 104 are then fed, one by one, through a die cutting mechanism 108. The excess material 110 is discarded into a waste container 112. Each die-cut blank 102a is then scored at a scoring station 1114. Where a plastic material is used, the scoring may be accomplished, for example, using an electron beam device. Other scoring mechanisms may be used without departing from the spirit of the invention. The cut, scored blanks are now ready to receive a cosmetic sample.

[0027] FIGS. 8 through 10 are a series of drawings illustrating the fabrication of a blank using the system 100 shown in FIG. 7. FIG. 8 shows a plan view of a sheet of plastic or other suitable material. Again, as discussed above, the starting material may be in the form of a continuous roll, rather than single sheets. FIG. 9 shows a blank that has been cut from the sheet, prior to scoring. FIG. 10 shows a plan view of the cut, scored, blank. It should be noted that if text or graphics is to be applied to the blank, they can be applied to the blanks prior to die cutting.

[0028] FIG. 11 shows a diagram of a system 120 for applying a cosmetic sample to a surface of a blank 122, such as the blank shown in FIG. 10. The unprocessed blanks 122 are loaded into a hopper 124 and fed one at a time onto a conveyor belt 126 or other suitable mechanism for advancing the blank 122. At a first station 128, a slurry containing a cosmetic is applied to a selected region of the blank 122. The slurry is then dried in an oven 130 or other suitable drying device. The blank is then advanced to a station 132 where an adhesive is applied around the dried slurry.

[0029] The system 120 further includes a roll 134 that dispenses a continuous length of covering material 136. The material 136 is preferably advanced into a series of printing stations 138 for receiving any desired text or graphics. As mentioned above, this printing may include a coupon for purchasing the cosmetic for which a sample is being provided. The printing is then cured at a curing station 140 and advanced towards the carton blanks to cover the dried slurry. The covered blanks 142 are then advanced to a die cutter 144 which trims off excess covering material, which is taken up by a waste rewind 146. The finished blanks 148 are then fed into a receiving container 150.

[0030] FIGS. 12 through 17 are a series of drawings illustrating manufacturing steps performed by the system 120 shown in FIG. 11. FIG. 12 shows a blank 120. In FIG. 13, a slurry 122 has been applied to the interior surface of a blank panel 124 and then dried. In FIG. 14, adhesive has been applied around the dried slurry 122. According to one aspect of the present invention, two different adhesives are used, a permanent adhesive 126 and a releasable adhesive 128. In FIG. 15, a covering material 130 has been applied over the dried slurry 122 and adhesives 126 and 128. In FIG. 16, a cut 132 has been made into the sheet of covering material 130. In FIG. 17, the excess covering material has been removed to leave a trimmed patch 134 that can be peeled away by a customer to gain ready access to the cosmetic sample.

[0031] FIGS. 18 through 23 show a series of side views illustrating the manufacturing steps shown in FIGS. 12 through 17. FIG. 18 shows a side view of the rear blank panel 124. In FIG. 19, the cosmetic slurry 122 has been applied to the panel 124 and dried. In FIG. 20, the permanent adhesive 126 and releasable adhesive 128 have been applied around the cosmetic slurry. In FIG. 21, the covering material 130 has been applied on top of the adhesives 126 and 128 and dried slurry 122. In FIG. 22, the covering material 132 has been cut. In FIG. 23, the excess covering material has been removed to leave a rectangular patch 134. As shown in FIG. 23, one end 136 of the patch 134 may extend beyond the non-permanent adhesive region 128 to facilitate the peeling away of the panel 134.

[0032] FIG. 24 is a side view illustrating the peeling back of covering patch 134 to allow a customer to gain access to the cosmetic slurry 122. As illustrated in FIG. 24, the releasable adhesive 128 has become disengaged from the covering patch 134, while the permanent adhesive 126 acts as an anchor. If desired, only a releasable adhesive may be used, allowing the entire covering patch 134 to be removed by a customer.

[0033] FIG. 25 is a flowchart illustrating a method 200 according to an aspect of the invention. In step 202, a carton blank is prepared. As described above, this step may include cutting a blank from a sheet or roll of material. In step 204, a cosmetic slurry is applied to an interior surface of the blank. As described above, the slurry may be applied using, for example, a bulk film technique. The slurry is allowed to dry. In step 206, an adhesive is applied around the dried slurry. As described above, both permanent and non-permanent adhesives may be used to create a peel-away cover that is anchored at one or more edges. In step 208, a covering material is applied over the slurry and adhesive. The covering material may be cut from a larger sheet or continuous roll of material. As described above, excess covering material may be cut away after the covering material has been applied over the slurry and adhesive. In step 210, the carton is finished. As described above, the carton may be partially finished for shipping and storage purposes. After the carton is loaded and sealed, the carton may be further finished by wrapping it in cellophane or shrink-wrapping it.

[0034] While the foregoing description includes details which will enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, it should be recognized that the description is illustrative in nature and that many modifications and variations thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of these teachings. It is accordingly intended that the invention herein be defined solely by the claims appended hereto and that the claims be interpreted as broadly as permitted by the prior art.