You should always feel confident about the quality of product you place on the shelves. Your customers rely on your brand for the best of the best, and your packaging needs to match that demand.
If you're looking for more advanced answers to your questions specifically about glass bottles for your essential oil products, you've come to the right place.
To ensure your brand puts its best foot forward in packaging your essential oils, we'll cover some of the most frequently asked questions I encounter with potential customers––and give our best answers to each.
Left: Dropper bottle with 18 DIN neck and tamper-evident transfer ring
Right: Boston round with GCMI neck
Nominal capacity is the commercial designation of the bottle for selling purposes––30ml, 1-ounce, etc. We usually measure this in milliliters (ml), cubic centimeters (cc), or ounces (oz). In other words, nominal capacity is the industry-wide standard for the space inside the container for a given amount of product. When filled, it typically reaches the shoulder area.
On the other hand, overflow/brimful capacity is what you would fill to if you wanted to reach the brim of the bottle to reach the maximum capacity of the bottle. This usually never happens but is used to better understand other factors like determining the fill level, is there enough head space to accommodate dropper inserts, or is there adequate space to accommodate displacement for dropper pipettes.
In short, yes––you could use Boston round bottles instead of dropper bottles. However, you lose the dispensing benefits of the cap and dropper, such as the EuroDrop system. You will probably have leakage issues with Boston round bottles that you could definitely alleviate with the proper dropper bottle and cap/dropper insert combo. I would argue using Boston rounds to dispense something like essential oils is like selling a tricycle in a world of bicycles.
5. Do I need child-resistant caps?
Yes, for certain flavors. There are many different philosophies behind this, and Carow has the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate your choices here. You'll need child-resistant caps on flavors as dictated by the Poison Prevention Act, which is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
An orifice reducer will only restrict the flow with one hole in the plug. The air tube of a dropper insert allows air to enter the container in addition to the orifice that lets the liquid out of the bottle. An orifice reducer does not have the air tube feature. A dropper insert, with a 4-part combination of controlling the liquid entrance/exit, air tube length/orifice, can offer much more control over the dispensing.
Vertical droppers (right image) dispense when you turn the bottle upside down. They can offer a precise drop according to the viscosity of the oil. Horizontal droppers (left image) use the rim for dispensing and can give the end-user a more variable control. This could lead to slightly messier dispensing than with the vertical dropper. Both styles have been used successfully on millions of dropper bottles for decades. Carow Packaging can supply either style.
Left: Horizontal dropper insert
Right: Vertical dropper insert
The type of glass you choose only matters if you're pharmaceutical and need Type I. Dropper bottles typically are Type III glass and are suitable even for the highest grade of essential oils.
In terms of volume, we're most successful right now using Chinese bottles and German caps. The Germans often have extremely high standards and quality of factories. This includes factors like consistent raw materials, more precise manufacturing equipment, centuries of experience, and extensive quality checks. The Chinese bottles offer great value but can present problems if you require high-speed production. At Carow, we pick the best suppliers depending on your needs. We have relationships with Chinese, European, and American suppliers of caps and bottles. Additionally, we produce some of our own caps and dropper inserts in the U.S.
That’s the million-dollar question. You might have the resources to manage the manufacturer relationship yourself, but you might not. What is your time worth? Do you have the expertise to solve the inevitable manufacturing issues that will arise? Sometimes you pay more to work with a supplier, but it costs you less in research time and troubleshooting.
It's the same concept as this theory: You could make ketchup at home for less money––but you choose not to. Why? Your time is better spent focusing on your core competency.
Working with a local distributor, you get many benefits: speaking the same language as your main contact, working in the same time zone, better understanding of the quality factors that are most important to you, and access to in-person meetings. You also get quicker delivery, regional warehouses for closer shipping, and local help for technical or quality issues. This also eliminates the headaches that come with international transport. Ultimately, working with an expert local supplier will allow you to focus on your core business competencies.
Carow is the only manufacturer of EuroDrop in the USA and is in the process of expanding those offerings. We also stock caps from Germany and have options from China.
Hopefully these answers will assist you as you research and choose glass bottles for essential oils. From the glass type to the restrictions around child-resistant caps, the devil is in the details.
If you have questions about any of the answers above, don't hesitate to contact us. Whether you need expert guidance on capping and filling or you just want to explore a more cost-effective option for your current supply, we're happy to help.
Since 1993, Steve has developed a comprehensive knowledge of dispensing, including sales, operations, information technology, and product development, which he applies when identifying customer solutions. He is the President of Carow Packaging and our representative for Midwestern US & Central Canada Sales.
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