By 2020, multinational food packaging and processing company Tetra Pak working in collaboration with printing press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer, will become the first company in the food and beverage carton industry to offer full-colour digital printing on its carton packages.
The digital printing technology will simplify the complexity of design handling, reducing time from design to print and open up new opportunities for flexibility in order placement and product customisation.
Beverage brands can take advantage of added benefits like dynamic on-package printing and the ability to include a variety of designs within the same order.
“We are committed to helping our customers explore new avenues with a truly smart package, supporting their need for product customisation, smaller batch sizes, greater traceability and the ability to interact with the consumer,” says Tetra Pak product management and commercial operations executive VP Charles Brand.
He adds that the investment in this digital printer demonstrates Tetra Pak’s commitment to support customers with future-proof technologies as the digital revolution transforms the way business is done.
Customers increasingly want to offer greater customisation for consumers and have more flexibility to adapt quickly to market needs. For instance, they want to have customised designs in smaller batches that allow them to create special campaigns – around holidays or special events such as World Cup’s or new years – to help launch different combinations of images in different markets and at different times. It can also be used for launching special designs and promotions for particular drinking products, such as on selected airlines.
The digital printing process also allows customers to test a new package design in a small market and with a limited number of products.
Further, with integrated digital codes that facilitate augmented reality, the package can now be fully “connected”, making it not only easy for consumer interaction but also providing traceability in the supply chain and improving efficiency, especially for e-groceries.
Other benefits include the ability to include a variety of designs within the same roll allowing for greater customisation and personalisation of the packaging, new and innovative ways to engage with consumers, with increased flexibility in the design and order process, as well as full traceability.
The full-width digital printer is currently being built by Koenig & Bauer and will be installed at Tetra Pak’s converting plant in Denton, Texas, in the US. Field testing of the new, digitally printed carton packages is expected to begin in early 2020 with North American customers.
“Brands continue to look for opportunities to deliver greater customisation and personalisation of their products. We’re thrilled to offer our customers new and innovative ways to engage with consumers, all while increasing flexibility in the design and order process,” says Tetra Pak US and Canada president and CEO Carmen Becker.
Koenig & Bauer member of the board Christoph Müller concludes by noting that collaboration between the two companies is on a constructive and trusting basis. “Together, we will significantly change the market for the benefit of Tetra Pak customers.”