Joris Cabri, VP, sales, Europe and Africa, Apex International, said consumer goods and supermarket packaging has seen a surge in demand in 2021. Supermarkets and food retailers have seen sales rise drastically and stabilise at levels previously only achieved on Christmas or Thanksgiving trade weeks. With the increased demand, the result is stress on the packaging supply chain. This, in the short-term, led to packaging designs continuing instead of being re-designed to ensure supply levels were not compromised. In some cases, old packaging stock was being used to fill the demand on goods, such as toilet paper and cleaning fluids.
With the pandemic, there is a thinking that online delivered product/home delivery of shopping will lead to a different view of packaging and how it can engage with its customers. For example, inside printed boxes to maximise promotion, advertisement, and brand awareness when the unboxing experience begins; tactile lacquers to catch the attention of the food retail buyer in that short time from taking the product out of the shopping bag and putting it into the cupboard
“Thus, core branding will need to be of instant recognition and design changes more subtle. Environment and sustainable packaging will increase much more than previously anticipated,” Cabri said. The future is exciting, and opportunities will rise up accordingly in the coming months.”
(l) Joris Cabri of Apex International
He added that the company understands the requirement for increased press efficiency in addition to its customers’ need for solutions and not just a product. “When we consider that a modern wide-web press can set up automatically in less than 15 minutes and yet press up-time (time when the press is producing saleable product) is as low as 40%, there is a clear need to streamline the production process. Apex has taken the bold move to establish the FlexoKite Centre in Nashik. This centre enables customers to learn and understand the entire print process from pre-press design, platemaking, and printing. The education and training opportunities are endless and can be experienced either digitally or physically as required,” he said.
The company has also developed and launched an online customer portal. This gives customers the instant answers to frequently asked questions and the ability to check on their order status and progress along with additional digital data and information to facilitate effective planning.
Cabri said, the slow trend towards recyclable/ sustainable packaging will take a leap forward within the next year in addition to true standardisation. Full solution options from suppliers will take center stage instead of a single product. The use of virtual reality digital technology can bring designs and products to life. This dimension has not fully been explored but can create unlimited promotional/ marketing opportunities from printed products,” he added.