Olay skincare brand tests consumer acceptance of refillable packaging


On June 5, Marc Pritchard and Virginie Helias, respectively Chief Brand Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at P&G (Cincinnati), announced that Olay will pilot a new way of shopping for skincare that could dramatically reduce the amount of plastic used in the beauty category. Beginning in October 2019 and running through the end of the year, Olay will offer its best-selling Olay Regenerist Whip moisturizer with a refill pod that fits right in the jar. If adopted—and the brand moved a significant portion of Olay Regenerist moisturizer jars to refillable pods—that would save more than one million pounds of plastic, said the announcement.

Olay will test its refillable Olay Regenerist Whip moisturizer on Olay.com in the United States and United Kingdom and select retailers online for a three-month period. Pricing is still to be determined.

Consumers will be able to purchase the refillable Olay Regenerist Whip packaging that contains one full jar of the product and one refill pod of moisturizer. The package will be sold and shipped in a container made of 100% recycled paper and will not contain an outer carton in order to reduce the use of paperboard. 

Associate Director of Sustainability for P&G Beauty Anitra Marsh told PlasticsToday that the jars are molded from PETG and the pods are made from recyclable polypropylene. “The ultimate goal is to find and adopt many more sustainable packaging solutions, and the refillable Olay Regenerist Whip package is the first step of that journey,” said Marsh. “It’s really important for us to get it right because only then can we bring this concept to market at scale.”

 Olay’s breakthrough refillable product concept is part of P&G’s commitment to making more of its packages recyclable or reusable and is part of the company’s larger sustainability initiatives. P&G was the first CPG company to respond to TerraCycle’s innovative Loop concept, where its leading brands will redesign packaging and supply chain processes. 

Through the three-month test period, Olay hopes to learn more about the way consumers interact with refillable beauty products: For example, do consumers like the idea of refillable skincare products, is Olay’s design intuitive and so forth. Over time, the refills could be sold separately, said the company.

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