STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 3

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32 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 3, 2015 (June/July) In 2014 Serac Group acquired its former French partner Agami, inventors of the Roll N Blow vertical thermoforming process. It is now possible to produce PP bottles with EVOH barrier to preserve coffee. Flush one-way valves enhance the appearance and a box bottom design helps close the gap between products on the shelf to better utilize retail space. Photo courtesy PBI Photo courtesy Serac Group Consumer appeal A package needs to do much more than preserve the integrity of the product; it needs to leap off of the shelf into the hands of the consumer. Creating shelf presence means different things for each brand, explains Ken John- son, at Hartsville, South Carolina-based Sonoco Products Co. Sometimes it's about having a unique shape, while in other situations it's about evaluating how a particular product is merchandized, he said. Labels and the newer ink technologies are yet an- other way to create a different effect and make a product stand out on the shelf, said Johnson. The $4.9 billion Sonoco is one of the world's largest packaging suppliers. Introducing new packaging formats is rare in the packaging world since retailers demand uniformity and manufacturers heavily invested in filling and packing equip- ment prefer the tried and true. Vandenberg mentioned the block bottom bag as a fairly recent innovation that has taken center stage largely due to its versatility. "It takes the best of the stand up pouch format and the size gusset bag format and joins them into one," said Vandenberg. "Not only does it have a fairly small footprint on the retail shelf it speeds up production, as it is easier to fill since the bag opens on its own while retaining its shape. The flat bottom performs like a box but it's a flex- ible bag." Using less material, the bag can be designed to include a terminated gusset, handle, zipper, and a pocket zipper. Label magic Inevitably consumers must be enticed into selecting your product from the shelf. Ease of use is an important consideration. They want products that appeal aesthetically. When it comes to labels, the trend is towards personalization, said Joel Schmidt, mar- keting development manager at the Outlook Group. As consumers seek more options, and retailers add more SKUs, manufacturers are looking at advances in print technol- ogy, whether it's to respond to the techno driven consumer with shiny appeal or those with an eye for nature who are seeking escape the glare and noise. Consumers are attracted to clear, crisp images, and the type of graphics that ben- efits from the manufacturer incorporating new high definition plate technology into their labels. "With the use of flat dot ink technology, the consumer will now get a clean, clear image that pops," said Schmidt. "While at the same time, there is also a green story, as this better quality image requires less ink." On the flip side, the resurgence of craft coffee has resulted in a trend towards a minimalist style, with consumers seeking simplified art and package design. "We have over-stimulated our lives so much, that there is some irony that we are seeing this con- tinued trend of simplifying our art and our packaging," said Vandenberg. "Manufactur- ers who are serving these clients are looking for less graphics, three-color jobs instead of eight-color jobs, we are seeing packaging where the message has been quieted down, returning to the simple fact that it's about experiencing a good cup of coffee." This in

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