Product Focus NO.6 Toning water
The toning water, which uses natural water from Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, went on sale in 1997.
In the sixth edition of Product Focus, we interviewed a representative from the Household Division to introduce the episodes from the launch of the toning water to the weight reduction of the bottle.
■Thoughts behind the lotion
The starting point for the development of this product was, "I want to create a skincare product that focuses on water, because water is the basic ingredient essential for toning water.” After searching for various natural waters, we arrived at natural water that comes from a cave in a former mine in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture. This water has few impurities and is used as drinking water. This natural water is naturally filtered from the rain and melting snow as it passes through the thick layers of magnetite, limestone, and granite over decades.
In order for more people to be able to use this product, we have stripped away the ingredients that are not necessary for the original function of the toning water, and have focused on the ingredients by adding only what is truly necessary.
At the time of its development, most lotion bottles were decorated, but MUJI's lotion, with its focus on ingredients, has been simple and undecorated since its launch.
Recently, the number of male customers purchasing tonic water has been increasing, and we have received feedback that the simple bottle design is easy to use for first-time users of toning water, regardless of gender.
Since the launch of the product, we have also begun to offer a large-volume size, reflecting customers' requests to use the product in large quantities every day, and it has now become a standard size. The Sensitive Skin Series, which is the best-selling representative series of toning water, was developed with an awareness of "what MUJI lotion should be", and has been a long-selling item with many repeat customers since its launch. For other series, we are reviewing the concept of the series, the feel of the products, and the ingredients to meet the needs of the times.
■Lightweight Lotion Bottles in Consideration of the Environment
In order to maintain the quality of toning water, it is necessary to use synthetic resin bottles. However, as the global movement to reduce the amount of plastic is accelerating with the aim of reducing waste and recycling the earth's resources, we felt that we could not continue to do nothing, so we decided to do what we could to reduce the weight of our tonic water bottles.
In order to convey the lotion's concept of being made of natural water, we wanted to keep the transparent bottle, so we did not consider the option of changing to a different material to make the bottle lighter. For example, glass containers are another material other than plastic that can be used for transparency, but the drawback is that they may break. Also, since glass containers are heavier than plastic containers, there are concerns about environmental impact from other perspectives such as increased CO2 emissions during transportation.
However, it was very difficult to maintain the strength of the bottle and reduce the amount of resin while maintaining the simple appearance of the round bottle that does not make noise in the washstand. However, with the cooperation of our suppliers, we were able to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging containers by about 20%.
When we think about "sustainable use of resources," we would like to create products with less environmental impact not only in packaging but also in all processes involved in product development, including raw materials and manufacturing processes. In addition, I would like to improve existing products so that we can offer products that we use in our daily lives at affordable prices, and I would like to create an environment where it is easy for customers to choose and buy so that they do not have any problems in stores. I would like to continue to refine good products and create products that are friendly to people and the environment and that will be loved by customers for a long time.