POINT #36 – Innovative ways to improve the safety of the Ariel Pods packaging

IASP is looking for inventors, designers, vendors and technology providers that have ideas and insights on how P&G might continuously improve the packaging. Participants submitting viable ideas & solutions will have an opportunity to present to and perhaps work directly with the P&G expert team.

IASP’s open innovation POINT service is currently working in collaboration with P&G and on this occasion they wish to identify new ways to improve the safety, child-proofing (0-5 years) capabilities of the Ariel Pods packaging (Europe) at affordable costs. 

They are seeking to identify tenant companies, universities/academic programmes, technology centers and/or groups or individuals with ideas and insights on how P&G might continuously improve their packaging with new approaches and technologies aiming to improve safety affordably, and discover new ways to prevent the unintended access to liquid capsules by children (0-5 years).

Please click here for further details and requirements. All potential solutions should be submitted by 30th May 2018.


POINT is scanning the IASP network for P&G to find innovative new ways to improve the safety, child-proofing (0-5 years) capabilities of the Ariel Pods packaging (Europe) at affordable costs, while continuing to delight consumers and improving the sustainable profile of the packaging.

While millions of consumers use liquid tabs safely every day, unintended exposures to children (0-5 years) can occur. In some cases, young children get hold of laundry liquid capsules by accident and try to bite/squeeze them, which can lead to injuries. Despite our industry efforts, part of the population still does not appreciate the need to store and handle laundry liquid capsules properly. P&G has already taken significant steps to prevent safety accidents — including introduction of opaque packaging, addition on-pack mechanical safety features (seals/latches & locks), and implementation of education programs to help parents understand the importance of safe use and storage. This has led to meaningful year on year reduction in accidental exposure rates but we are committed to driving incidents down further through the exploration of discontinuous solutions that we have not previously considered.

The benefit areas they are interested in are:

Safety: Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products. P&G Fabric Care is looking to leverage new approaches and technologies aiming to improve safety, affordably and discover new ways to prevent the unintended access to liquid capsules by children. Focus areas are:

  • Pack Solutions that children (0-5 years) cannot open. For reference, it must also pass the industry standard “Child Resistant Closure (CRC) protocol” which allows children (5 years and under) to try for 10 minutes – 5 mins unaided and 5 mins after having been shown “how (BS EN ISO 8317 EU protocol).
  • Ensure pack consistently closes after use. Aid adults in keeping the packs closed at all times – both during the washing time when the pack may be left out and when it is returned to its normal place of storage. Solution should be CRC compliant, be “easy enough to open and extremely easy to close”, “motivate/ alert user with some sort of cue”, “do the job for user” or “force user to do it” (self-closing pack for instance, or any other solutions).
  • Cost: desired range for packaging material cost: $0.35/ pack — $0.48 / pack (on a count of 28 capsules)

Other desired improvements:

Safety prevent capsules from being left out of packaging. (i.e encourage user to dose the capsule directly into the washing machine).

Consumer experience/delight. We are looking for a leap in consumer preference vs. existing solutions. As an inspiration, we could consider how unitized dose coffee capsules have transformed the way consumers enjoy coffee from the shopping experience, to dosing, preparing and savoring coffee.

Drive trial through superior packaging and consumer proposition:

  • Significant improvement in packaging appeal vs. current unidose/ liquids/ powders packaging.
  • Open to consider modular concepts (main pack to be used with refills, a dispenser with refills…).
  • Pack to enable improved shopping experience by offering more variety for different types of loads.
  • Solutions to be suitable for e-commerce (safe refills solutions, minimizing space, fitting into mailboxes)
  • Solution should cover our existing pack count range (from 10 pods to 90 pods), in a modular way.

Sustainability: significant improvement vs. today, with the following goals:

  • Create 100% recyclable packages, with a recycle stream in the majority of European countries; and
  • Duce our use of virgin petroleum-based plastic ongoing. We are open to consider ‘system’ solutions (permanent + refill pack) to limit extra packaging costs and waste.

Relevant technologies may include:

  • Smart packaging (enabling) technology
  • Smart package design concepts
  • Sensor enabled devices (eye, voice, etc.)
  • IoT sensors
  • Self-closing solutions
  • Baby Safety enabling technologies
  • Medical/ pharma packaging
  • Refillable dispensers
  • Printing / 3D Printing
  • Govt/Military
  • Other


1) Safety and cost objectives – 1st Priority.

2) European country as test market.

3) Proof of concept readily available, under the form of initial prototypes, MVPs.

Please note that only non-confidential information describing the method, current use and IP can be accepted for review.

Please fill in the sections on the website HERE if you believe that you have a technology or solution that meets the above requisites and would like to submit your proposal to P&G.

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