Manufacturer: Paper Tube Co.
Brand design and art direction: Graphical House
Photography: Gordon Burniston
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Saalt
Location: Chicago, USA
Packaging Contents: Period Care Product
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper tubes with clear PVC window, corrugated paper inserts
Printing Process: Offset

Challenge: Saalt empowers women via a period care product that can change lives. It estimates it has one-tenth of a second to make the right impression, then the education can begin.

Solution: Package the product in a way that immediately expresses a sense of quality and care for what lies within, then use the act of un-packaging as a tactile, instructional aid to convey how the product works.

The Saalt Cup
Saalt sells a high performance, healthy alternative feminine hygiene product known as a menstrual cup. They did not invent the concept, though they have taken it to the next level.

With a company mission of empowering women to care for themselves in a healthy and sustainable way, it was clear from the start that the product would have to be of the highest grade materials, meet or exceed FDA standards and be packaged in such a way that not only would it survive shipping — a potential challenge for a medical grade silicon cup that is extremely light weight and flexible — but would also have to present itself on the shelf that it is different, that it is of the highest quality and that the manufacturer values its customer.

“We understand there are feminine hygiene products available across stores and online throughout the U.S. The boxes are traditional, no-thought-offerings that are opened, used and thrown away as bits of trash by the hundreds of thousands of pieces every year,” said Jon Hoeger, co-founder at Saalt. “Our customers are deliberate thinking, healthy and environmentally conscious women who understand the Saalt Cup is a better, safer solution for period care. They are our biggest advocates and when they recommend our product to a friend, we want their first experience — which is seeing the product on the shelf — to be a positive and educational one. That’s why our packaging is such a critical part of our business. We have about one tenth of a second to make the right impression.”

The Saalt Brand
Inspired by nature, US-based Saalt meticulously design menstrual care products that support healthy and sustainable living. The Saalt brand connects these elemental values and supports the launch of their opening menstrual cup, anticipating a bright future of innovation.

Influenced by tidal rhythms the visual identity recalls the ever-changing space between land and sea, drawing on natural tones and empowering imagery. Distinctive suminagashi patterns build recognition, supporting stand-out packaging that combines elegant and practical presentation with a rewarding out-of-box experience.

With an open and outward-looking vision, we announced the arrival of a brand that embodies a global awakening for period care.

A Crowded Market
By the very nature of its business, Saalt competes with traditional disposable period care products such as tampons and sanitary napkins as well as other menstrual cup manufacturers. However, although its focus is to deliver the best, longest lasting, reusable product, it quickly realized that the packaging itself, as well as how it looks on the shelf, would have to stand out and differentiate the Saalt Cup before the customer even opens the box.

“We looked at the market and we saw boxes, boxes with flowers, boxes with patronizing images, everything seemed to be packaged the same,”
said Hoeger. “We saw an ad the Paper Tube Co. was running online that said, ‘For When Packaging Matters’ and that turned out to be a home run statement. We checked out their website and it was clear these guys get it. And what’s more, not only did they help us with the packaging design, they engineered a unique insert that displays the product almost like jewelry and actually demonstrates how to use the product, just by un-packaging it!”

Educational Packaging
Saalt packages the Saalt Cup in high quality three-piece custom paper tubes that include a clear top integrated under a rolled top edge. This allows customers to see the actual product while still in the package. The base includes a custom insert that holds the menstrual cup on display, upside down, in such a way that it physically demonstrates how the cup seals when in use. In addition, the packaging is educational in that one must “fold and remove” (actually printed on the custom insert) the cup in order to release it from the packaging, the same method for the cup’s actual use.

“We believe every woman should have quality and sustainable period care and helping women understand the product is only part of our marketing challenge. Educating them on how to use the product is a huge step forward. The Paper Tube Co.’s design and engineering help with our packaging tubes was an amazing and unexpected bonus,” Hoeger concluded.