The global transformation among populations, cultures, and demographics has been well chronicled. The same applies to changes in buyer habits, health awareness, and environmental concerns; sociologists and business people are paying rapt attention.
In many respects, the impact of societal shifts is reflected most clearly in the food and beverage industry. Aging populations demand more convenience and flexibility in food selections. Meanwhile, newer generations of busy urbanites seek more single-serve, ready-to-eat, portable foods.
The 21st Century consumer is also a “green shopper,” often choosing food and beverage products based on their carbon footprint. As a health-conscious society, we also assume that the packaging preserves food freshness, but without chemical additives. We play close attention to those nutrition labels!
Brand-Building at Retail
In the hyper-competitive contest for attention and market share at retail, product packaging often makes the difference between sale and no-sale. In the food and beverage industry, the “Battle of the Brands” is a no-holds-barred slugfest. The victory invariably goes to the strongest brand – as it appears in advertising, through promotions, and on retail shelves, i.e., the all-important point of contact with the customer.
Pressure has fallen squarely on food processors – forcing them to replace hard, heavy, rigid packaging, like cans, boxes, and bottles, with lighter materials. And as always, the market’s desire to pay less for virtually everything, including food and beverages, is a relentless stress point.
Food and Beverage: The Lion's Share of Packaging Printing Solutions
Food and beverage buying habits are helping to fuel the steady growth of folding cartons and flexible packaging. Short run orders have gone mainstream, as brand managers and retailers display more niche food products, private label and retail-branded goods, seasonal packaging, and frequent product line extensions.
Within the combined global US$901 billion print industry, folding carton production represents US$147 billion in end user value. Valued at US$81.5 billion, the food and beverage industry accounts for the lion’s share of the folding carton business.
Flexible packaging print production for food and beverages accounts for a healthy US$65 billion in revenue.
Traditional converting and package print technological solutions such as lithography, flexography, and gravure, have firmly established the quality benchmarks for packaging. They fall short, however, in meeting the quick-turn, short-run, and custom-production needs of the food and beverage brand manager and retailer.
The Digital Print Menu
Certainly, digital print technologies have stepped up to the plate. Their application, however, has been mainly relegated to niche packaging solutions. To date, digital printing or converting solutions have been largely constrained by fewer substrate choices, media formats, and colors. They also carry substantial total cost of ownership (TCO) investments.
While digital printing answers the industry’s call for short-run, quick turn package production, until now it has yet to rise to a print quality equal to flexo or gravure. The digital option has also struggled to reach a profitable breakeven point for short-run printing, e.g., less than 5,000 meters.
Landa NanographyTM Takes a Seat at the Table
Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses are the only digital solution supporting all off-the-shelf food packaging substrates – without priming or pretreatment. Alone among digital devices, they also operate side-by-side with flexo and gravure converting equipment – no special environments needed.
Yielding the lowest cost-per-sheet of any current digital print technology, Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses ease the critical TCO pressures facing printers and converters. It matches the features of analog and/or flexo production with high quality and speed, and, as a digital solution, it delivers short-run, variable print output.
Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses produce throughput up to 100 m/min. Using water-based Landa NanoInk® Colorants with efficient, light-absorbing nanopigments, the presses deliver a wide color gamut using CMYK. They also match more than 75% of the Pantone color chart enabling accurate brand and logo colors.
Tastes are changing. Demands are shifting. It’s a lot for printers and converters to chew on, and any will be looking at what’s in store from Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses.
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