Your Main Squeeze: The Changing Shape of Toothpaste Packaging

Along with the milk jug and the egg carton, the toothpaste tube is one of those few ubiquitous packaging silhouettes that anyone can easily recognize.

But the norm for toothpaste packaging is slowly changing. While you can still find the classic toothpaste tube packaging on-shelf, many new packaging solutions are joining it.

Below are four ways we’ve seen toothpaste packaging evolve:

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1. It’s getting easier to store

Oral care brands are finally realizing that toothpaste is a difficult product to store. With the classic shape of toothpaste packaging giving consumers no choice but to lay the tube flat (taking up more than it’s fair share of medicine cabinet real estate) or keep it in a secondary organizer, like a cup, newer packaging for toothpaste lets consumers store it vertically.

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Some brands store the standing tube with the dispenser facing down, other brands have chosen to keep the cap on top and flatten out the bottom.

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2. Keep the Cap

Perhaps one of the biggest problems with toothpaste packaging is the tiny cap that often gets lost, dropped on the floor, or altogether left behind. To help maintain product freshness and prevent that dreaded crusty toothpaste, many new packaging solutions provide a hinge to keep the cap attached the the tube at all times.

Caps have also gotten larger and grown flip-top edges for easy handling and gripping. Many caps now also provide consumers with an audible click so the consumer knows when the cap is closed.

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3. Pump it Up

Not only are stand-up tubes available for easy storage, but some packaging has abandoned the tube completely. There is an assortment of packaging for toothpaste that makes a play for less mess and easy dispensing that requires no squeezing at all. Pumps and shaving-cream-style dispensers are available in a variety of styles – with nozzles, removable caps or push-buttons.

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4. Easy Squeezy

In the past, family members could debate over squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom, middle or top. That’s not always the case anymore. While the tube certainly remains a mainstay in the oral hygiene aisle, many leading brands are now offering toothpaste in bottles with flip-top lids.

Including one newcomer to the world of toothpaste – earlier this spring Hello Products launched their natural and “100% nice” oral care line, which boasts new toothpaste packaging innovation designed in conjunction with BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

All packaging on the mouthwashes, sprays and toothpastes are 100% custom, proprietary designs,” according to the company’s press release on the launch. “From the pour-and-swig rings on the mouthwashes, to the sleek click-and-go sprays, to the ‘pastry bag tip’ on the toothpaste.

The company’s goal is to provide “toothpaste that would look the same the day you recycle it as the very day you bought it – with a unique, medicine cabinet-friendly, soft-touch tottle that politely stands up, with no wasteful secondary packaging.”

Oftentimes updates to toothpaste packaging aren’t apparent until the consumer has using the product at home, because when you’re at the store and looking at it on-shelf the product is hidden in it’s box,

It’s clear that the classic elongated tube and tiny screw-on cap, while a familiar sight to most consumers, has come a long way. With so many many packaging changes occurs over the last several years, we look forward to seeing what is in-store for toothpaste packaging in the future.