Packaging
Food Packaging

Customized packages find a niche

January 7, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Trans

What Mars did for M&Ms, digital printing is doing for beer and other products in customizing and personalizing products, though US converters are just beginning to tap those capabilities.
 
Since Hewlett-Packard acquired Israel’s Indigo Digital Press a decade ago, this alternative to offset printing has expanded worldwide to 1,400 presses, according to Christian Menegon, business development manager for labels & packaging in HP’s Maastricht, the Netherlands office. US adoption of the technology has been slow, but package converters that have added digital capabilities are finding a ready-made audience among newer food and beverage firms.
 
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte, NC typifies this group. The four-year-old microbrewery introduces a different beer style every month. Two years ago, it introduced a Christmas variety pack with three different styles, including Yule Bock. Printing a folding carton and special labels for a limited run would have been prohibitively expensive and time consuming with conventional technology, but Copac Global Packaging Inc. in nearby Spartanburg, SC was able to fill the order “within a few days” with its digital press and inline priming unit, according to Vice President Tom McRae.
 
“One-to-one packaging is what brand owners want,” observes HP’s Menegon. Israel’s Bears Brewery lets customers personalize labels with photos and personal messages. In Europe, Heineken picked up on the idea in 2010 with 42 label designs and personalized text and images. Mail order six-packs sell for about $38. Closer to home, Kimberly-Clark offers personalized boxes of Kleenex.
 
Short press runs and just-in-time printing, not novelty offerings, will elevate digital’s place in food packaging, Menegon predicts. Manufacturers are moving away from long press runs that require large inventories that lock them into ingredient declarations and package call-outs. They are shortening their orders to print jobs that are loss leaders for converters.
 
For more information:
Tom McRae, Copac Global Packaging Inc., 864-579-2554
Christian Menegon, Hewlett-Packard Nederland BV, 32 477 592 961, christian.menegon@hp.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Kevin Higgins, Senior Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

TYSON FOODS

Tyson Foods made headlines announcing the company intends to acquire Hillshire Brands in a deal valued at $8.55 billion. Do you think the acquisition for will be beneficial for meat and poultry processors?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

July 2014

2014 July

The July 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the 12th Annual Replacement Parts Survey. Also covered: OEE improvement steps and increased filtration cycle.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +