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FLEXO Magazine : January 2010
www.flexography.org JANUARY 2010 FLEXO 17 The report, Global Trends in Packaging Affecting North Ameri- can Converter & Supplier Mar- kets, was distributed exclusively to PRIMIR and NPES members. Contact Jackie Bland, Managing Director of PRIMIR at 703-264-7200 for membership details. ENERGY & INNOVATION A third major trend identified by the PRIMIR study is high energy costs. Working in conjunction with sustain- ability efforts, there is a drive to produce packaging with a smaller footprint and lighter-weight packaging in general. Be- cause of the high energy costs involved, it is entirely possible that there will be a shift in substrates, with paper replacing plastics in some arenas, for example. The PRIMIR packaging study also evaluated various scenarios that could play into the future of packaging. The most likely of those is the "extreme retailer influence," which assumes that retailers take full advantage of their size and buying power to keep costs at the lowest possible level. "The best for the least" philosophy pits Wal-Mart, Target, major grocery chains and national re- tailers such as Big Lots and Dollar Gen- eral against one another. In the battle for market share, graphic packaging and innovative structures will be the primary weapons. This could result in: • Frequent graphic changes • A proliferation of SKUs • Greatly expanded private labels • Best practices in printing required across the board • Better graphics and print quality in all sectors The increased use of private labels could lead to a promotional push for those labels to be perceived as "better than national brands." In order to sup- port this drive, packaging will have to be innovative (to match innovative national brand products being introduced). This drive for private label branding and the increase in SKUs will mean more test marketing---giving those who specialize in short-run, sample packag- ing a step up in the market. Retailers will support these efforts with heavy market- ing, coupled with direct sales programs in catalogs and on the Internet. Extreme retailers will look to convert- ers to supply innovation, demanding R&D in the areas of substrates (don't for- get sustainability), various unique types of closures, eye-catching graphics, and cost-effective inks and coatings with strong shelf impact. In this scenario, noted Kevin Karstedt, who worked with State Street consultants on the study, converters will need to "use the best to the best it can be used." Efficiency will play a huge role in future successes. Converters with the best processes, best equipment, best- trained employees and best supplier network will win out. Automated and efficient processes will be required to be competitive in order to provide fast turnaround, short-runs, innovations and quality packaging at low costs. Akin to "tough love," concludes the study, the extreme retailer influence would require all participants in the packaging supply chain to become more agile, more efficient, more innova- tive, more cost conscious---and better corporate citizens. To learn more, call 704.588.3371 or Toll Free 800.438.3111 At Harper Corporation we do more than sell anilox rolls. We deliver confidence that comes with a 100% performance guarantee, backed by a team of graphic experts, and supported by a full compliment of products and accessories. With anilox roll manufacturing and restoration facilities in Charlotte, NC, Green Bay, WI, Herford Germany and Bangkok, Thailand, Harper Corporation delivers dependable consistency no matter where you print. ANILOX ROLL DIVISION HARPERIMAGE.COM Americas • Europe • Asia ©2010 Harper Anilox Roll with built-in support. Performance guaranteed. From four locations across the globe.
Sustainable EOY 2009