While some segments of the print market have been declining, eroded by alternative means of communication, other segments are seeing growth. With recipients’ email inboxes overloaded, marketers will increase spending on printed direct mail—by up to 6% this year, according to marketing consultants Winterberry Group. Packaging is another growing market, presenting growth opportunities for printers of all sizes.
And it is not just large volume national brands driving the growth. Think about the explosion in micro-breweries and local wineries. These are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of “Buy Local” initiatives, private labeling, and products from smaller companies that are driving lot sizes down and causing disruption in the packaging supply chain, which, in many cases, is not designed to cost-effectively handle these smaller lot sizes at the price level and quality manufacturers demand.
Also keep in mind that where there is a package, there is a promotion. Point-of-purchase advertising, package inserts, peel-off coupons, and hang tags are just some of the collateral items associated with packaging that present opportunities for commercial printers, packaging converters, and brand owners alike. And many of these items can benefit from geographic, demographic, seasonal, or other types of customization; further driving down lot sizes.
At the same time, brand owners want and need packaging that will literally jump from the shelves into the shopping card. This includes the use of specialty stocks, fluorescent ink, metallic ink, varnishes, and aqueous coating to achieve distinction and shelf appeal. Multi-part packaging is also popular to increase both brand awareness and perceived product value. A personal care product packed in a labeled jar, wrapped in branded tissue paper, and placed in a folded carton, is a common example.
In addition, the popularity of natural foods and personal care products has increased the demand for environmentally-friendly printing methods, stock, inks, and coatings. There is also a growing trend toward more biodegradable packaging, such as replacing plastic surrounds with paper wraps or cardboard sleeves on durable goods.
Presstek (Booth 3417) DI presses offer an ideal solution for cost-effectively producing small lot size packaging and accompanying point-of-purchase materials. Their ability to use a wide range of inks, including vegetable-based varieties, UV inks, and protective varnishes, on stock up to 31 pt. thick, make DI presses well suited for production in this dynamic environment.
For high volume printers and packaging converters, DI presses are a cost-effective solution for profitably meeting customers’ short-run and fast turnaround needs, and for printing small package components without burdening large presses and imposing on production schedules, or for producing test market materials or packaging mock-ups in short runs.
DI press sizes accommodate the majority of the printed components commonly used in packaging, such as skin cards for blister packs, inserts for plastic clamshells, and the small folding cartons used in many industries. The 29" format Presstek 75DI handles larger folding cartons and facilitates multiple-up sheets and gang runs. Presstek 52DI and 75DI presses are available with inline aqueous coating. UV models are available in all format sizes.
Digital production methods are rapidly making their way into the packaging supply chain visit Presstek in Booth 3417 to learn more about how high quality DI presses can augment operations for packaging converters or ease the entry into packaging for commercial printers.