PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, Fall 2016

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Making a 'direct' impact in package decorating Labels aren't dead by any means as consumer trends, new technologies and market advantages have DESIGNERS AND BRAND OWNERS REVISITING DIRECT-PACKAGE PRINTING. Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor 22 TRENDS // FALL 2016 www.PackagingDigest.com Because of today's consumer trends of personalization and customization, as well as product proliferation and short production runs, we're seeing a shift in packaging decoration technologies to more direct- package printing. Sustainability also plays a supporting role, as direct print often replaces the use of labels for material savings. T e availability of several new direct-print technologies present brand owners package decorating options they didn't have before to help them dif erentiate in the ever-more- crowded marketplace. Reed Vineyards, for example, is using a new bottle coating technique to capture the shoppers' attention when they face the imposing "wall of wine" in stores (see "Top- to-bottom decorating distinguishes wine bottles" on the opposite page). And Martens Brewery has stepped up with a new direct digital printing process for its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beer bottle (see "Martens Brewery f rst to decorate beer bottles with direct digital printing" on p.24). For food and beverage companies specif cally, direct-package printing is fast becoming a coveted decorating technique. Respondents to Packaging Digest's exclusive Food & Beverage Packaging: 2016 Community Report, conducted this spring, answered a number of questions dealing with packaging issues, challenges and opportunities. One question centered on packaging graphics and decorating technologies. Specif cally, we asked "When it comes to packaging graphics, which decorating technologies are food and beverage brand owners using and/or planning to use in the next two years?" T e dif erent answers for each case— current use versus future use—show interesting shifts in package decorating trends. In both cases—current use and future use—"Direct-package printing" obtained the highest scores (62% and 32%, respectively), showing a clear preference by food and beverage companies for this decorating method (see charts on p.24). Further analysis of the poll results also shows a possible advantage in the future for online/on-demand direct-package printing compared to preprinted direct-package printing. T e wider use of online/on-demand direct-package printing is something I predicted as far back as 1999 (http://pdlinks. com/Direct-PrintPredictions) because of the added f exibility this gives packaging operations for easier changeovers and the capability for personalized or custom graphics, a consumer trend we've seen already for several years that is continuing. T e percentage of respondents currently using "Direct-package printing: preprinted" is 57%, while 33% say they are currently using Continued on page 24 From new coating methods to direct digital printing, today's package decorating technologies give brand owners more options to differentiate and elevate the consumer's experience.

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