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FLEXO Magazine : December 2010
Forecast • Converters with the best processes, best equipment, best trained employees and best supplier network will win out. In the battle for market share, graphic packaging and innovative structure are primary weapons. Sustainability is driving reductions in package size and volume of materials utilized. Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials handling and safety/security/ health related initiatives are concerning converters, as no one knows the costs or affects on manufacturing operations. FDA regulations have power to dictate printing require- ments. Impact of legislation can lead to increased outsourc- ing, further challenging converters to compete with offshore pricing. Retailers will likely take advantage of their size and buying power to keep costs the lowest possible. Proliferation in SKUs, particularly in private label, is expected. • The packaging industry is generally optimistic about the revenue growth of their companies... 66 percent of pack- aged goods manufacturer companies and 62 percent of converter companies have positive expectations for growth according to ICD Research. cover stories • The stars say: “Packaging will continue to remain essen- tial, and will see slow but steady growth. • Enhancing performance, boosting efficiencies—that’s what flexography is about. FLEXO examined the flexo- graphic photopolymer printing plate, and provided advice for improving longevity, an analysis of durometer trends, and a look at a new anilox technology designed specifi- cally for digital plates on multiple occasions in 2010. • Innovative, Timely, Fair—thinking Lean, staying on the cutting edge, and being family-oriented—these are just some of the keys to the success of FTA member Admiral Packaging, Providence, RI. • Showcase state-of-the-art flexo (Featured Technology= Kodak Flexcel NX Digital Flexographic System—winner of FTA’s 2009 Technical Innovation Award), how far it’s come, what is possible and what is unique. Get people to take notice and start talking. Put flexo to the test. Raise the bar. Utilize FLEXO Magazine’s May 2010 cover as a vehicle to demonstrate the impact of award-winning technology, its combination with readily available materi- als—both equipment and consumables. Profile a printer’s —Cenveo MM&T—and prepress supplier’s —Autumn Graphics—expertise in produc- ing a non-traditional, highly specialized flexo print production job, while guaranteeing quality, consistent, repeatable results. • A&P discusses the redesign of its entire store brand line. • Profiled: Some of the most cutting-edge narrow web flexo print operations in North America. ASL Print FX, a frequent FTA Excellence in Flexogra- phy Award winner and this year’s narrow web Best of Show. The Label Co. , a c oast-to-coast innovator who has dared to mix both solvent and thermal plate process- ing in-house. WS Packaging, whose former CEO and current chair- man is this year ’s R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achieve- ment Award winner. 525,600 Minutes...2010 review Measuring & Monitoring Flexography’s Year Industry Indicators Imagineabrandportfoliothatnumberssome6,000stock keepingunits(SKUs),crosseshundredsofretailcatego- ries andgeneratesapproximately$1.8billionto$2billion inannualsales.Concentrateforamomentonthepackag- ing requirementsgenerated.Thinkintermsofdesignand delivery.Standfora momentintheshoesofDougPalmer. He isfamiliarwiththedynamic.It’sanintegralpartofhisroleas vicepresident,OwnBrandsatTheGreatAtlantic&Pacific TeaCo.Forthepastthreeyears,hehasbeenleadingthe efforttoreinvigorateandrevitalizeprivatelabelofferingsat “America’sOldestSupermarket.”DesignpartnerssayA&P, asthecompanyiscommonlyknown,is establishingabold, newvoiceinpackaging;breakinganddispensingwith the traditional mold and actually revolutionizingthe store brand business. BrandimageisbeingredefinedbylinesthelikesofVia RomaandGreenWay;yettheconceptappliedtosuch signature brands,andtheprocessforbothproductand packagedevelopment,stretchesacrossthe complete A&Pportfolio.Strategiesdeployedrequireanin-house staffof35+,as wellas adedicatedcadreofbusiness partnerstoexecuteandbringtothe shelf.Thisisthe story. Priorities,Priorities “The constantchallengeforstorebrandmanagersisto keepupwithtrendsinhundredsofcategoriesandkeep yourproprietarybrandsrelevant,”Palmerexplains. “Most nationalbrandsonlyexistinone, maybe twocatego- Building Brand equity one supermarket’s story ByrobertMoran ries. A retailer’s core brand crosses dozens of categories and represents several thousands of SKUs. Keepingup with all the activityinthose 100+ categoriescan be a daunting task.” Shedding light onhistory, Palmeradds, “A&Pis 150 years old. As the nation’s firstsupermarketchain, it has always had a l eaders hip role in the dev elopm ent of s tore brand s. The evolutionof store brands the past three decades has really been drivenby theconsumerand the response by retailers to meet thoseneeds. “In the early 1980s it was all about price with black and white labels. Inconsistent qualityruledthe day.As consumers became more educatedabout foodproducts,they demandedbetter quality. Retailers respondedby asking the supplier community to put more safeguards into their productionlines,source better ingredients, andstay current withtheir offerings.” Eventually, he says,“Retailers started toemphasizetheir ownbrands, adding a level of ‘ownership’withintheretail culture. At A&P,ourstore brand shareis approaching20 percent of annual sales and weexpect it togrow for some time.” Palmer maintains that, “Every brand shouldgo through areview process peri- odicallyto make sure itis stillrelevantto consumers.” He remembers taking such marchingorders three years ago and launchinginto consumer research that would identify patterns andpriorities that wouldrebuildthe business.“Findings from the research allphotoscourtesy:a&P . A&P:KeepingProprietaryBrandsRelevant • Elegantphotography...Simplicityofdesign... Consumerfriendlyattheshelf. • Labelarchitecture matchesproductattributes— clean, freeandsimple. • Take labeltowhereitis goingtolive. • Collaborativedevelopment reliesonpartnerswho workwelltogether,challengeeachother, andlook forwaystoimproveonthestatusquo • Asbrandbuildingbecomesprominentwithretailers, itwillforceinterestingpartnershipsbetweendesign- ers,prepresscompaniesandprinters.It’sallabout speedandefficiency. 14 FLEXO august 2010 www.flexography.org A ugus t2010_mec h. i ndd 14 8/13/10 7:45 AM Building Brand Equity One Supermarket’s Story By Robert Moran InduStRy IndicatORS ries.A retailer’s corebrandcrossesdozensofcategoriesand representsseveralthousandsofSKUs.Keepingupwithallthe activityinthose100+categoriescanbeadauntingtask.” Sheddinglightonhistory,Palmeradds,“A&Pis150years old.Asthenation’s firstsupermarketchain, ithasalwayshad aleadershiproleinthedevelopmentofstorebrands.The evolutionofstorebrandsthepastthreedecadeshasreally beendrivenbytheconsumerandtheresponsebyretailersto meetthoseneeds. “Intheearly1980sitwasallaboutpricewithblackand white labels.Inconsistentqualityruledtheday.As consumersbecame moreeducatedabout foodproducts,theydemandedbetter quality. Retailers respondedbyaskingthesupplier communitytoputmoresafeguardsintotheir productionlines,source betteringredients, andstaycurrentwiththeir offerings.” Eventually,hesays,“Retailersstarted toemphasizetheirownbrands,adding alevelof‘ownership’withintheretail culture.AtA&P,ourstorebrandshareis approaching20percentofannualsales andweexpectittogrowforsometime.” Palmer maintainsthat,“Everybrand shouldgothroughareviewprocessperi- odicallytomakesureitisstillrelevantto consumers.”He rememberstakingsuch marchingordersthreeyearsagoand launchingintoconsumer researchthat wouldidentifypatternsandprioritiesthat wouldrebuildthebusiness. “Findings fromtheresearch toldusthatourbrandswere notkeepingupwiththetidein packagingstructureanddesign, andthatweneededtoaddress severalmajortrendslikeorganicand naturalfoods,sustainabil- ityandhealthandwellness.” BrandBuildingPrimEr Designisstepone,accordingtoPalmer.“Thedesignpro- cessstartswithastrategysessionwithourdesignpartners. Wegothroughtheresearch,identifykeyelementsfrom consumerresponsesandstartthedesignexploration. Initial designscomeunderreviewandtheoverallpackageand label strategy evolves. “This is a simplificationofdesigndevelopment,butitcap- turestheessenceoflayinga‘foundation’ forbrandbuilding,” henotes.“Alotofquestionsareaskedandansweredinthe process:‘Whoisthetargetconsumer?’ ‘What’sthesalespo- tential?’‘Whatrolewilltheproductfillinthecategory?’ ‘Does thelabeldesigncommunicatethecorrectmessage?’Dothe labelcommunications matchthequalitypromise?’Etc.Allour brandinitiativeshavefollowedthisprocess.” Ingeneral,Palmersays,“Thebiggestconcernwehave iswhetherornottheuniquearchitecturewecreateisgoing to‘pop’attheshelf.Wehavetomakesurethelabelfinish weplanfor(highgloss, matte,etc)isgoingtobeconsumer fri endl y at the shel f. “A lotofthinkscomeintoplayatstorelevel--lighting,prod- uctbehindglassdoors(frozen),whiteorblackshelving,and more.Labelsalwayslookgreatonyourofficedesktop.You havetotakethelabeltowhereit’sgoingtolive,andseeifthe storeenvironmentforthatcategoryisgoingtopositivelyaffect productandlabelattributes,”heargues.“Whatlooksgoodin adairycasedoesnotnecessarilytranslatethesamewayto groc ery s helv es or other part s of the st ore.“ Viaroma: instant succEss Testifyingtohisgroup’s recentsuccess,Palmershowcas- esspecificproductlines. “ViaRoma,ourItalianbrandfor foodproducts,encompassing morethan120SKUs,started outwiththethoughtthatwecouldcapturethenumerous Italianproductswehadindozensofcategoriesand marketthem underonebrand.Ourmarketshave agoodItalian-Americanpresence,sotheidea seemed logical. “Wewantedtheproducttobe‘different’initsmes- sageandqualitytodistancetheproductsfromyour averageItalianbrand.So,weworkedwithunited* DesignofNewYork,tohelpusbringtheproductto life. united* hired aphotographer and sent him to a smalltowninTuscanytocapturephotosofpeople enjoyinglifeandexperiencingthesocialaspectofthe Italianfoodexperience.Thephotosonthepackages ofViaRomaareallfromthatsmallvillage.Thehigh quality of the product, in additiontothephotography madeViaRomaaninstantsuccess.” PerrySeelert,partner, united*Design, elaborateson Palmer’s comments.“ViaRoma,functionallywasabout creatinganauthentic Italianproductlinefor aretailer thathaskeyhubsinNewYorkandPhiladelphia,where thereistrulyaloveofItalianfood...ViaRomaemotionally createsanimmediatevisceralresponsethatispalpable andunmistakable.Underlyingallofitisastyleofportraitpho- tographythatisn’tafraidtoshowoffpeople’srealpersonality.” allphotoscourtesy:a&P . www.flexography.org auguSt 2010 FLEXO 15 A ugus t2010_mec h. i ndd 15 8/13/10 7:45 A M 12 FLEXO deceMber 2010 www.flexography.org FTA TOdAY FLX_Dec10.indd 12 12/15/10 12:59 PM