DuPont announces North American production of Cyrel round

DuPont Packaging Graphics announced the start-up of the first dedicated DuPont Cyrel round manufacturing facility at Towanda in the US. Cyrel round sleeve production will be fully commercial early in the year 2011.

“This represents a major investment in the future of flexographic print sleeves in North America, and demonstrates our commitment to the continued advancement of flexography globally,” said Matthias Heinzel, global business director – DuPont Packaging Graphics, mentioning, “Continuous flexo sleeves are lightweight, easy-to-handle print forms that enable quick change-over on press; and their seamless design enables high press speeds and the capability to print difficult-to-register, high-quality designs.”

Multi-Color to be operational in China

One of the world’s largest label printers, Multi-Color Corporation (MCC) plans to invest in establishing label operations in China. Having received Chinese Government approvals, MCC will be located in the major southern city of Guangzhou, near many national and international consumer products brand owners. MCC is bringing modern label technology and know-how to support the rapidly growing consumer demand for high quality packaged products in China. The new business will be run by MCC’s Asia Pacific president of consumer products, Brenton Barrett. MCC is said to be the only global US publicly listed label company and specialises in the highly fragmented multi-billion dollar label industry.

Ensuring better packaging proofing

GMG and Mimaki announced that the GMG ColorProof proofing solution will be available shortly for the Mimaki UJF-706 inkjet printer. The strategic partnership of both companies provides highly innovative solutions for high value packaging applications. The latest combination of the Mimaki UV UJF-706 inkjet printers allow for best quality packaging proofing on original substrates, creation of color accurate mockups and label prototypes as well as personalised short run production.

The rising influence of the ‘silent salesman’ worldwide

Global trends in labels and packaging for the ‘home and personal care’ market

Looking at global trends for home and personal care (HPC) products including detergents and other, household cleaning products, and personal care products such as body soap, moisturising cream, shaving foam, shampoo, toothpaste, and the like, brings out a new wave altogether. An insight of Avery Dennison’s senior marketing managers team. Pressure-sensitive labels are effective on home care products. Given the way in which consumers make purchase decisions at the store, without any pre-plan to buy a particular brand, every HPC product has the potential to be chosen from the shelf. In order to win the consumers, the product must convey the message that it is different from its neighbours’. How can this be done? Increasingly, the answer lies in the application of pressure-sensitive packaging.

Pressure-sensitive labels allow marketers to promote the unique features of a product. They also reduce costs, allowing products to be processed in smaller lots with more varied designs. This keeps inventory to minimum and ensures greater design freedom than direct printing. Moreover, pressure-sensitive labels are universally recognized as being of high quality and are thus associated with higher-value products.

It is difficult for an HPC brand to outperform its competitor’s products if it simply looks the same way they do. Fortunately, labels and packaging are effective ‘silent salesmen’, working tirelessly to make product stand out and to influence the purchase decisions of consumers of every segment in every country.

Europe and the US: looking for appealing packaging and eco-friendliness

According to a survey conducted in the year 2009 by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 80% of shoppers make their purchase decisions in-store, rather than before shopping, while spending a mere 2.6 seconds doing so.

These results not only call into question the clout of mass media advertising and marketing campaigns, but also suggest that packaging’s capabilities to directly appeal to consumers at the counter having a great impact on purchase decisions. This reinforces the power of labels and packaging as a sales promotion tool for HPC manufacturers. Rightly, the brands today compete largely on shelf-appeal.

With a drop in consumer spending as a result of global economic contraction, and subsequently greater emphasis on lower prices and economising, there has been a conspicuous increase in private brand products developed by major retailers. These private labels, or store brands, already account for about 20% of the total turnover of the retail sector in the US, and for 30% to 40% thereof in Germany, Great Britain, and other European markets.

A major characteristic of private brand products is that these retail for less than the national brands manufactured and sold by HPC manufacturers. This lower price is primarily because retailers can keep advertising and sales promotion costs to a minimum. As a result, both sides are moving in parallel towards emphasising the packaging and external appearance of their products, with private brands stressing economy and utility while national brands offering a sense of security and luxury.

Along with high-impact packaging designs, eco-friendliness has become a much valued brand characteristic. Greater convenience and improved product functionality are no longer enough for today’s consumers; with rising environmental consciousness, they are increasingly choosing simple packaging and natural products, and considering recyclability when they make purchases.

Europe and the US: pressure-sensitives dominate HPC labels

In Europe, the label market for personal care products is forecasted to be around 470 million m2 in 2012, with an average annual growth rate of 0.5% for the three years from 2010. Pressure-sensitives will account for 85% of this market, with direct printing at 7%, shrink-wrap at 3%, and others at 5%. In the home care products sector, the market is expected to remain steady at around 350 million sq m of labels in 2012. Pressure-sensitives will claim 75% of this total, in-mould 15%, shrink-wrap 5%, glue 2%, and others 3%.

For the US, market for personal care product labels is forecast to be around 295 million sq m in 2012, with an average annual growth rate of 1% for the three years beginning 2010. Around 69% of these labels will be pressure-sensitives, with direct printing accounting for 17%, glue for 8%, shrink-wrap for 3%, and others for 3%. In the home care sector, the market for labels is expected to achieve an average annual growth rate of 0.7% for the three years from 2010, resulting in a total market of around 235 million sq m in 2012. Breaking this down by type, in-mould will be 38%, glue 24%, self-adhesive 20%, shrink-wrap 7%, thermal wax transfer, 6%, and direct printing 5%.

Leaving aside the US home care segment, pressure-sensitive labels are thus expected to account for the lion’s share of the market for labels for HPC products in the US and Europe, being used on 70% to 80% of all products.

The shift to pressure-sensitive labels has occurred over time, with the US home care market still in the early stages of pressure-sensitive adoption. However, it is clear that HPC brand owners seeking differentiation are now firmly in favour of pressure-sensitive labels.

Brazil: brand strategies target the young

In the label market for HPC products in Brazil, pressure-sensitive labels and shrink-wrapping are being widely adopted. Marketers say that these packaging solutions ‘easily catch the eye on product shelves,’ and ‘give a sense of class.’ Manufacturers appreciate the fact that they ‘make it easy to deal with a large number of product types in smaller lots.’

HPC manufacturers headquartered in the US are making trends from their home market and from Europe to Brazil, compelling domestic manufacturers to anticipate these trends. In fact, there have been cases in which products developed in Brazil have reached to Europe and the US, and hence worldwide. However, even though manufacturers are competing with each other ruthlessly, the brand loyalty of consumers in Brazil is not significantly high. Local consumers have a tendency to decide on purchases based on price and quality.

In Brazil, as elsewhere, HPC markets are affected in no small measure by factors such as fluctuations in population, age structure, and changes in lifestyle. Brazil’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is 1.9, according to a data announced by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics for 2007. This is a considerable decline from 5.3 in 1970 and 2.8 in 1990. In response to this, manufacturers seem to be working to raise brand awareness among the younger generation, rather than targeting older consumers. For example, seeing brand development through new product naming in the form ‘Product Name + Teen’ and ‘Product Name + Kid’.

China: towards a HPC label market of 226 million sq m in 2012

In an uncertain world economy, China stands as a rare growth market. In 2009, China became the world’s leading exporter for the first time, after coming in second behind Germany for export value each year from 2003 to 2008. In terms of gross domestic product, preliminary calculations suggest that Japan, which is number two in the world, will cede its ranking to China this year. As 2010 progresses, China’s retail sector is showing signs of brisk activity. Business Monitor International, which carries out country risk evaluations and market research, has forecasted a more than two-fold expansion in turnover for the retail sector in China, expecting it to grow from US$1.22 trillion in 2007 to US$3.2 trillion in 2013. Given rising earning levels and the government’s support of measures to stimulate internal demand, it is anticipated that there will be an expansion of individual expenditure in the future as well.

HPC market trends in China are similar to those affecting Europe and the US. More stress is now being placed on the development of effective labels and packaging, as manufacturers recognize the power of these sales promotion tools to boost the consumer’s desire to purchase. With the large number of product lines competing for attention in supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores, pressure-sensitive labels incorporating eye-catching design and high functionality are becoming mainstream.

According to surveys by Euro Monitor China and AC Nielsen China, the market for personal care product labels in China in 2008 was approximately 140 million sq m. Breaking this down by sector, it consisted of pressure-sensitives (61%), direct printing (31%), shrink-wrap (7%) and others (1%). The home care label market for the same year was around 86 million sq m: 50% pressure-sensitive, 15% direct printing, 15% wrap-around, 12% shrink-wrap, 6% glue, and 2% others.

Looking ahead, the scale of the market for HPC product labels in China in 2012 is forecast to be 226 million sq m, with an average annual growth rate of 7.8% for the five years from 2007. In this context, we must not forget that China has been putting a lot of effort into making not only low-cost goods but also high-value products with multiple uses. China’s commitment to growth and current economic strength raise all sorts of possibilities that are reminiscent of Japan’s period of rapid economic growth.

Technological advancement brings paradigm shifts in wine labels

Undoubtedly, label industry is one among the most diversified and advanced industrial segments, serving differently. And among it, the fastest change can also be observed in wine labels, matching the pace of modernisation. With features such as using specialty papers and going beyond standard four colours, extensive use of metallic foils and embossing, incorporating die cutting to provide innovative shapes, creating sophisticated look, and occasionally making these personalised, wine labels are effectively mirroring the strength of today’s printing technology. Aftermath globalisation, the socio-economic development in India has brought big changes in lifestyle of people with the merging of cultural values. This change explicitly reflects in packaging industry, especially in label segment, which simultaneously grows with human population.

Among the highly diversified and advanced label industry, the fastest transition can be seen in wine label segment which smartly matches the pace of modernization while depicting the strength of contemporary technology. Perhaps, more than 2000 commercial wine brands are available globally. In India, Vintage Wines, ND Wines, Sula Vineyards, Grover Vineyards, Indage Wines (Chateau Indage), etc are major wine producers. Such a large number of wine brands, with increasing demand owing to improving purchasing power of people, has generated immense market possibilities for the label industry.

To cater the fast emerging wine label market, industry players are coming with various innovations for making the luxurious wine labels rather sophisticated. On top of these innovations is digital technology which has enabled printers to easily produce labels with unlimited design specifications drawn by customers. As the purchasing power of targeted customers for wine is quite high, cost of the label doesn’t matter much. But wine producers prefer something different within the label so as to add value to the wine packaged in a bottle.

Today, wine bottles also serve as a ‘gift’ on specific occasions apart from Christmas and New Year. For this purpose, the modishly designed wine labels featuring ‘occasionally personalised attributes’ are being well accepted in the market. As these sorts of labels require on-demand high quality printing, the digital technology becomes obvious option.

Apart from print technology, the change is also being witnessed regarding substrates used in wine labels. Now, these labels are printed on specialty papers and beyond standard four colours. Use of metallic foils in cold or hot versions and embossing add another value to these wine labels.

Comprising raised or sunken lettering, numbers, and graphics on wine labels is a cost-effective decorating alternative to create a quality brand image. The feel of an embossment help generate consumer interaction with the label to some extent.

Wine, better known as ladies drink, generally conveys sophistication in nature so its look is as important to be equally sophisticated. To provide labels such innovative shape and attractive look, designers incorporate die cutting process as well.

Besides, to make the wine label printing rather smooth, several companies today are offering smart software solutions providing easy-to-select options. Also, for overcoming the fake branding problems, software solutions are being added with digital printing machines such as, Xerox has developed an innovative technology suite - including Gloss, Microtext, Fluorescence, InfraRed software solutions to offers with their digital presses.

Succinctly, the technological advancement has brought wine label printing to the next level, and digital technology continues to revamp it altogether. Now, it is possible that wine bottle lying in front of one is adequate to express one’s identity depicting through personalised label.

To witness the long journey of wine labels, visit to Wine Museum of Macau is undoubtedly a right choice. Opened on Dec 15, 1995, this museum is the world of the wine, which not only allows visitors viewing exhibition, reading and tasting wine but also provide opportunities to easily observe the changes occurred in wine labels over the years.

Observed features of wine labels at Wine Museum of Macau:

  • Simple 2-colour labels printed by letterpress initially.
  • Labels with wine-yard pix in the background.
  • Golden colour effect widely seen.
  • Black & red – a preferred colour combination.
  • Trends towards using metallic foils as a substrate.
  • Cream colour background – another popular choice continuing even today.
  • Die-cut shapes.

Throughout the space divided in three big areas – Historical Information, Cellar- Museum, Wines Exhibition – the visitor may obtain diversified information, provided through texts, maps and photos, presented in an appealing way which allows the imagination to go through atmospheres related with wine. In an exhibition space of 1,400 square meters, the museum presents an allotment of more than 1,115 wine brands, with more than 756 commercial wines and 359 collection wines, the oldest being a 1,815 Madeira Wine, possible to find, among others, in the Cellar- Museum area. The exhibition also showcases a miscellany of about one hundred utensils connected with the viniculture and the wine production, as well as a set of Portuguese tiles, allusive to wine and vineyard which are either exact reproductions of the XVIII century tiles or combinations of themes, made from original models from the most important wine making regions.

Looking at these labels closely, the variety and the production techniques adopted in producing the wine labels include: use of metallic foils, and multi label concept on a single wine bottle. The involvement of creative designers to come out with a specific design for brand matching with the shape of bottle has been equally treated well.


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