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Dual-Dispensing Packaging Technology

Dual packages can deliver low-cost products while preserving the activity and effectiveness of the individual components. For these products, the incompatibility of the component ingredients dictates that the components remain separate until the moment of use.

There are several categories of dual-chambered packaging technology:

1) Dual compartments

2) Dual tubes

3) Dual chambers with unique discharge orifices

The technologies associated with these types of dual containers can be adapted or customized for dispensing products of different viscosities, from thick pastes to aqueous solutions.

The principle difference between these various types of dual dispensers is the manner in which the twin components are mixed. Generally, the components are transported and then mixed as used on a brush, in a cup, in the hand, etc. Sometimes the mixing can be in a third chamber which is part of the transporting package.

Dual containers can be fabricated from plastic, glass, or metal. Dual-dispensing technologies also offer varying degrees of precision in dose-to-dose delivery and mix ratio of the components. For some products, the need for clean dispensing cut-off must be considered. A clean cut-off will prevent cross contamination of the two components at the exit orifice.

Two critical factors control the advance of dual-packaged products in the marketplace. The first is packaging costs. In general, dual products cannot compete on shelf price. Shelf price is a function of manufacturing, material, and other costs. The cost of the dual compartmented package is increased due to the complexity of the package as compared to two separate containers of the incompatible components or a single container with an admixture of the two components.

Manufacturing costs are also greater for dual packaged products since dual containers are essentially packaged twice. Two completed packages must be provided, filled, closed, and sealed, for each shelf unit produced. Manufacturing costs of dual packaging are also increased by the complexity of the production operation.

The second factor that can drive dual packages from the market is reformulation. A manufacturer can devise a formulation or process that “compatibilizes” the incompatible components, obviating the need for the two compartmented package.

Guideline anticipates that new products with roots in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and personal care areas will adapt dual packaging to products with a specific and unique requirement for dual-chambered technology. These market introductions will provide the user with a superior product and the manufacturer with a new means of supplying this product. The next several years should see movement in the usage of this technology.

The dual-compartmented package is just starting a cycle that will take some time to bring to fruition – time for consumers to perceive benefits afforded by the duality of the packaging unit, time to test the products, and time to review results. If a result can be obtained by a less expensive or higher performance alternative, then the dual-packaged product will fail in the marketplace.

This is the executive summary of an annual strategic report on dual-dispensing packaging technology written by Guideline staff and experts. For more information please visit us at