BYOB – Beverage packaging becomes personal


The global digital packaging printing market is estimated to reach $ 28 billion by 2024. This segment has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Packaged beverages are the main driver of growth. Beverage manufacturers have made digital printing one of the standard printing processes in the packaging sector.

With changing demographics, they have pushed through a millennial change in packaging. The influential generation of consumers makes purchasing decisions based on features such as personalization or custom packaging. The beverage industry uses digital printing technology to provide packaging and a point of sale.

Digital printing embraces the desire for personalized packaging and is used for targeted innovative promotion. The package can integrate features such as augmented reality (AR) and QR code. Another attractive feature of digital printing for consumers is that continuous graphics can be printed directly on packaging using inks that facilitate the recycling of glass bottles and aluminum cans. . In production, digital printing is used for promotion because it allows an unlimited number of unique prints in one run without editing. Minimum order quantities are basically eliminated, production flows can be shortened to one batch.

Here are some interesting examples of beverage packaging with digital printing:

The beer sector has expanded with local beers and craft recipes. In the past, small batches required generic packaging, hand labels or non-recyclable packaging. This is a great choice for craft breweries that specialize in small batches and specialty breweries. The Italian beer producer used digital printing technology from Crown and Velox Ltd to highlight its offering, which allowed them to produce products in recyclable aluminum cans and print 500 cans each. The Australian company Labeltopia is involved in a marketing campaign for the production of unique beer bottles, which are characterized by the ability to order personalized beer bottles for storage.

Coca-Cola Canada, with a reputation for innovation, hosted a promotional event in the fall of 2016. Diet coke made on HP digital printers has been introduced to millions of living unique bottles. Colored bottles are distributed throughout Canada. Most people know the popular Share the Coke campaign. Digital printing experience has allowed Coca-Cola to print bottles with names, which promotes sales when people are looking for a bottle they “own”.

Beverage companies have previously used labels or short sleeves and have decided to increase recycling in the last three years. The innovation of digital printing on aluminum cans, glass bottles and PET bottles solves many problems, such as the disposal of excess packaging materials for larger batches, which has led to container warehouses collecting impurities during exposure. In addition, the package can run at a line speed of almost 60 per minute. The wine and spirits industry is known for recognizing brands with new and interesting flavors and also constantly offering special events. Bacardi has a reputation for interesting advertising bottles that glow in the dark or are filled with sequins. Bacardi uses digital printing in conjunction with O-I: EXPRESSIONS (Dekron) to engage AR and social media on bottles to improve the experience and customize bottles for the holiday season. Bacardi also asked customers to continue using organic ink instead of printing packaging.

Last but not least, there are some players in this creative space.

HP Indigo is able to digital print on glass and aluminum and uses HP Mosaic software to layout the graphics and manage the printing.

Tonejet prints on aluminum cans are able to run a batch of one, and production rates range from 10-120 cans/minute, eliminating labels or shrink wrappers

O-I, now part of Krones produces digital print on wine bottles, and Dekron, also owned by Krones features DecoType for glass & PET bottles, running a range of 75 to 600 bottles per minute.

Solucan produces cans with high-quality print, and lower minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements. Sustainability is important, the inks are safe for food packaging, and custom colors, printed directly on the packaging, are possible.

Crown and Velox Ltd have partnered up and can run 500 cans per minute on their equipment, markedly increasing the line speed for canning operations using digital print. Ardagh in Luxembourg focuses on treating beverage cans with a product called ‘H! Ghend ‘.

An incredible number of options allows consumers to have personalized drinks, use technology for better experiences such as AR, be more sustainable and be attracted to beautiful packaging.

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