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FLEXO Magazine : June 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Matching tissue and napkin materials to other printed products adds value over white goods. All art courtesy Omet SrL. Napkins: Trends & Opportunities By Steve Leibin T raditionally, the napkin market has experienced slow steady growth. Current economic diffi culties have caused a dip in overall consumer consumption which has affected the napkin market as well. In light of this, there is a trend toward offering more value (market differentiation) that offers opportunity for enhanced profi tability to tissue converters. The profi tability of plain white tissue products (paper towel and napkin) is limited due to the fact that there is little ability for converters to squeeze much greater effi ciencies from the production process. With market volumes shrinking, this makes profi tability in the white goods segment even more challenging. An emerging trend in the paper towel and napkin markets is to add value that provides better product segmentation and enhanced profi tability. VALUE 2.0 In a booming economy, companies can risk being less than effi cient or innovative since sales are constantly growing. Success can breed complacency. In a shrinking market, companies’ immediate reaction is often to cut costs and hang on tight. But prior downturns have shown that product innovation 22 FLEXO JUNE 2009 and differentiation can lead to enhanced profi tability even in diffi cult times. The best way to differentiate a product on the retail shelf and enhance profi tability is to add value to the product. As consumer buying habits change, converters need to make changes to get their product noticed both from a price (value) and performance viewpoint. Here are some interesting trends that are appearing in the tissue converting marketplace: More color. Six- to nine-color napkins are creating new opportunities. Consumers are looking to dress up their kitchen or table by using more color for special occasions (holidays, birthdays, theme dinner parties). Enhanced color adds value and quality to an otherwise common product. Hi-def fl exo graphics. In addition to more color, today’s hi-defi nition fl exo printing capabilities on tissue substrates allows converters to produce exceptional process color graphics unheard of previously. Point-to-point embossing. This creates a soft product that greatly enhances the quality and value of the product through a change in texture of a low-grade tissue. www. f le xography. org NAPKINS
Sustainable Spring 2009