By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
I don’t very often go to the supermarket with my wife – she claims that we spend more when I am with her. I am sure that’s not true as I will always try to switch to the own brand products when she is not looking. But one of the things I have noticed on my rare outings, is that there seem to be lots more products available than I remember there were a few years ago.
Now a new white paper, published by whattheythink.com and sponsored by Esko Graphics, has confirmed my suspicions. In describing the changing face of packaging, the authors pick out the fact that there are now toothpastes on sale for every occasion – teeth whitening, sensitive teeth, tartar control, and sensitive teeth with extra whitening and so on. This proliferation of stock keeping units (SKUs) is one of the drivers of change in the average run length of packaging materials and forms one part of the changing face they describe.
The report makes interesting reading. The authors argue that of all the different types of printing that consumers come into contact with, packaging is the one most intimately connected with their behaviour, and as the consumer’s behaviour is changing, so must the packaging.
A couple of the key behavioural changes that the report picks up are the way we are packing more and more into our busy schedules, and the other is the rise of single person households. Instant communications lead to a desire for immediate gratification, and with around 30% of adults living alone – both young people and the baby boomer generation – these two factors are impacting packaging suppliers as the brands seek to find ways to fulfil consumers’ growing demands.
Apparently Procter & Gamble identify two key moments in the buying cycle as “First Moment of Truth” (FMOT) and “Second Moment of Truth” (SMOT). The FMOT is our reaction to the packaging on the shelf and the SMOT is our reaction when we get it home.
Key moments in the buying cycle
For the FMOT it has to appeal to our needs, whether we are shopping for a family of five or just a singleton. Then the SMOT can be positive – think unwrapping an iPhone, or negative – think prising a toothbrush from a blister pack.
So both the pack size and the tactile nature of the product are becoming hugely important to the brands. More versions of the same product are needed and more thought has to go into making the SMOT a pleasurable and hopefully repeatable experience.
Versioning and Substrate Support – Key Digital Printing Capabilities
Digital printing is playing a part in this changing packaging landscape and will continue to do so with presses like the B1 (41 in.) Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press. The press offers the ability to print short runs and create different product versions, and it also supports a greater range of substrates. These two capabilities make it ideal to enhance both consumers’ FMOT and SMOT.
Despite my wife’s attempts to limit my research, I’m sure I will see digitally printed packaging appearing more regularly in her shopping trolley, hindering my attempts to reduce her final checkout bill.
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