Key industry speakers from Sunshinegun, Kemtek and Midcomp introduced attendees of the Institute Of Packaging South Africa (IPSA) breakfast to the future of digital printing and design, as well as the latest global trends. The event was also a showcase of new printers and equipment that illustrate the latest packaging and digital print innovations. It was hosted at Midcomp’s premises in Randburg on 25 July.
Katinka Pretorius, Managing Director of design agency Sunshinegun, shared insight into some of the company’s campaigns that used effective and unique packaging. One example was Nando’s. After visiting a peri-peri farm in Mozambique and putting chillis in a bucket to ferment, the Sunshinegun team used the colour as inspiration for the packaging design of the Nando’s bottled sauce, which was trademarked. When pitching the brand and its products internationally, an opportunity was presented to tell an African story. A limited supply of ‘Peri Moonshine’ was also developed through the chillis. The soil from the farms was used to make a paint, with which the bottles were painted. The aim was to create packaging concepts that were as different from competitors as possible.
In another campaign, a special South African sports theme design was created for beer cans for a Castle Lager campaign, with each tin branded with a special sporting event – such as a year when a cricket or rugby world cup was hosted in South Africa. A complete collection or case of the cans could get the consumer a free and unique sports jersey, incorporated with all the patterns from the campaign. Additionally, Sunshinegun have worked on incorporating the shape of ice shards into Castle Lite cans, which will hit shelves soon.
Pretorius’ last example was packaging for cake ingredients, that was recently developed for a catering company, where the packaging itself could be used as an ingredient for the cake.
Kemtek’s digital business development manager Wendy McLoughlin discussed a number of key market trends such as globalisation, the rise of customisation/personalisation, consumer engagement and brand protection.
McLoughlin pointed out that a number of brands love to use HP Indigo technology for their packaging, and outlined how creative, strategic thinking can boost sales figures, such as printing many different versions of packaging for a brand, namely something eye-catching with images from movies and TV series, or of pop stars. This is as an example of engaging with customers and their other interests. Additionally, the ability to print one’s name on a package is a good example of personalisation.
In terms of globalisation, the concept of short-run labelling, boxing and packaging, as well as digitalisation, is becoming more and more the norm throughout the world. With brand protection, billions of dollars are being spent to combat instances of counterfeit. Information regulation, QR coding and microtexting are currently being used to ensure that not only is the brand protected, but also the consumer, with the assurance that an authentic product is being sold.
Reducing time to market was another key trend emphasised by McLoughlin, who also discussed the importance of foiling and embellishments in packaging, which can be achieved through Scodix technology.
Midcomp group CEO Rob Makinson illustrated the numerous HP technologies available to the market and highlighted their label printing and flexible or corrugated packaging capabilities.The HP Mosaic has received particular praise due to its ability to print a myriad of up to five different patterns, while the R2000 has been recognised for its water-based inks, which are ideal for food compliance. Other innovations highlighted include the Scitex, renowned for printing with different dot sizes, as well as the C500 direct-to-printing corrugated press.
Makinson concluded that when it comes to the installation of a packaging innovation, machines require numerous trial runs as well as customer partnerships and backup service, which Midcomp provides.
The breakfast proved to be an ideal means of demonstrating different means of packaging, which included bottled fruit juice, cartons used for breakfast burgers, small jars of puddings and boxes of chocolates.