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HP: Consumer Habits And Packaging Changes Fuel Digital Printing
Feb 07, 2018

Ultimate Packaging and HP recently hosted a day of talks and demonstrations of packaging projects and new equipment.

They invited brands from across the UK to discuss how packaging can shape and change the future for customer engagement, with a focus on digital campaigns and personalisation.

Nestle recently used digital printing to create personalised Kitkats with HP and Ultimate Packaging.

Nestle shared how digital is allowing it to come up with new creative campaigns to interact with their market.

Demonstrations included innovative ideas such as augmented reality, and the HP Indigo 20000 press was also in action for visitors to see.

Amir Raziel, HP Indigo flexible packaging segment manager, said the number of part numbers on shelf is increasing, the number of product labels and private labels has accelerated, leading to a ‘digital transformation’ – changing the way we consume and do business.

While sizes are decreasing, brands can charge more for the same product – and smaller packages mean shorter runs, shorter runs are better suited for digital printing.

He also said light-weighting and the move from rigid to flexible is a growing trend

“The reality is that consumers are willing more to pay for sustainability. Packaging demands are changing – decrease in life cycle of products/packs, decrease in run sizes, decrease in the turnaround times required,” which he said was fuelling digital printing.

“Additionally, an increase in personalisation, additions, and varieties, print production becomes more complex. As you start having more jobs per day, planning becomes more complex, run sizes go down and turnaround goes down, here is where digital printing can come in – it offers you the ability to print what you need, when you need it, how u need it.”

Ultimate Packaging became a Beta test site for HP in 2012, and that’s where their digital journey began.

Chris Tonge, director at Ultimate packaging said: “We are doing something different with the packaging – its no longer just a piece of packaging. I now approach brands saying I want to be their digital print strategic partner.”

He said the investment in digital printing has opened up a brand new business for Ultimate: “Its giving us a different portfolio, but it does not conflict with our flexo business. For example the Kitkat campaign was a perfect promotion – it was the perfect use for digital print, producing 20 million packs leading to an uplift in sales. The key was it was geared towards social media and engaging with customers in a completely different way to previously.”

Aofie Cameron, senior buyer at frozen food producer Aunt Bessie’s, said: “There is more to digital than meets the eye, there is potential market penetration in more areas of the business with regards to mosaic, personalisation and short runs, endless opportunities”.

Joshua Duggan, digital marketing assistant at Burgess Pet Care said: “It was a really good presentation and talk, but the best part was that it was a very interactive experience”.