Tag Archives: supply chain

WTT: Brand Building – A Marketing View

The days of one-way messaging through TV or print ads to appeal to consumers’ purchasing decisions have given way to “engagement marketing”. Two-dimensional (two-way) communication where consumers participate, share, and interact with a brand creates crucial interaction resulting in business and personal success. The bi-directional nature of social media enables a two-way marketing channel.

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WTT: Mega Trends in Packaging – The Digital Age

The digital age is changing our world. Forces driving the change are: people, information and technology.

In our report; Is Digital Printing Part of Your Brand or Operational Strategy? We describe how technological advances with the Web, computers, mobile phones and tablets enable billions of people to connect all over the world, including a burgeoning number of consumers in emerging markets. And this worldwide connectivity has led to continued growth in methods of electronic information exchange. We now live in the social media world of Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, tweets, Skype and streaming video, all feeding into daily tidal waves of information. We receive news and information right in the palm of our hands in near real time.

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KPTV Packaging Spotlight: Update from Benny Landa on the Digital Packaging Press

At a breakfast with the Packaging Press at Print 13, Benny Landa gave a status update on their Digital Packaging Press. I asked some tough questions and got some straight answers. This video focuses on the issues important to those in the Packaging Supply chain want to know about the Nanographic Printing presses… Enjoy

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WTT: The Label Sector; excerpts from 2012 PRIMIR Research

In past articles we have brought forward excerpts from a 2012 PRIMIR study that Karstedt Partnerswas commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications.This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders. Taking this focus a step further the study looked in-depth at the major vertical markets of food, beverage, household, personal care and healthcare to see what will be driving packaging demand in these verticals and thus driving the supply chain. Following are some of what we brought to PRIMIR members surrounding the label sector. The full table of contents for the report can be downloaded here.

Excerpts Begin:

Label growth will continue, driven by several factors. One major factor is the continued stream of regulatory requirements mandating label changes on a wide variety of consumer products. This factor does not show signs of diminishing and will help drive label production to move forward. Another growth-enabling factor is the trend to connect packaging to social media and on-line brand campaigns. This is especially strong in the label application due to the relative ease in producing labels versus other forms of packaging and to the prevalence of digital printing in the labels application.

North American Label Usage by Key Verticals:  2005 – 2015 ($ millions)Shipments in Thousands of Square Inches (MSI)
2005 2007 2010 2015f CAGR%
MajorVerticals MSI $ MSI $ MSI $ MSI $ MSI $
Food 2,157 1,499 2,337 1,624 2,143 1,489 2,514 1,747 3.24 3.28
Personal Care 0.978 666 1,060 722 972 662 1,140 777 3.33 3.22
Household 1,123 749 1,216 812 1,115 745 1,309 874 2.98 3.09
Healthcare 1,247 833 1,351 902 1,239 827 1,454 971 3.03 2.99

f= forecast

Source: PRIMIR – Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications – 2012

The Freedonia Group forecasts U.S. label shipments to grow 4.8% annually to $20 billion in 2015. Pressure-sensitive labels will account for 70% of that total. They also see growth in other label technologies such as stretch sleeves, heat-shrink and in-mold labels. These efforts correspond with desires by brand owners for 360 degree product information and no-look labels.

There is a great deal of research and development happening in the label segment to reduce material and production costs. Converters drive these shifts to clear, no-look labels, shrink sleeves and new substrates, striving to build tighter bonds with brand owners who want innovation. Label versatility provides innovative possibilities in graphic design and structure allowing changes in the label application to happen more easily than in other applications.

Paper-based labels are expected to remain dominant in the market, according to Freedonia, but there is a broad shift in favor of plastic packaging, which is better suited to plastic-/polymer-based, pressure-sensitive, heat-shrink, stretch sleeve and in-mold labels. There is also growing interest in bio-polymer polylactic acid but it is not significant.

Another market trend is to use product labels on primary packaging where secondary or outside packaging is eliminated. Examples of this include toothpaste that is increasingly not in folding cartons but in stand up tubes and dry goods that are in bags with attached labels. The industrial market increased its use of labels on more products from water heaters to lighting fixtures that is increasing the development of all-weather industrial labels that can be printed with high quality graphics that will withstand harsh environmental conditions.

Label converters strive to reduce production operation costs while continuing to bring innovation and value to their customers. Discussions with label converters show a common need for production flexibility. Our interviews with label converters showed the same desire for production flexibility, giving it the highest ranking. Flexibility is required so they better address their customer needs.

High definition flexography has been embraced by the label application, accounting for half of the label segment revenues. Flexo-printed, self-adhesive labels dominate growth in this segment because of its versatility. High definition flexography has strong working relationships between press manufacturers and suppliers of anilox rolls, inks and printing plates. These kinds of alliances are crucial for the label application’s technological growth.

Flexo presses are also known for their versatility and the integration of other processes within a press configuration. Many now include hot foil, gravure, screen, embossing, die cutting and slitting inline with as many as 10 flexo stations making very complicated labels possible in a single pass press run. This versatility is highly sought by label converters but the added complexity of setups, combined with the decrease in run lengths are two factors that pull against the added versatility.

In the label application, offset presses dominate high quality and efficient production of glue-applied labels. Offset represents about 17% of the application’s revenue and is tied to the market decline in glue-applied labels. Outside of the beverage market, pressure-sensitive or self-adhesive labels take a dominant share of the market.

The erosion of gravure in the label application has slowed down significantly from five years ago. Most feel the exodus of converters from gravure has essentially stopped. Innovations in the efficiency of gravure presses and in cylinder manufacturing have helped gravure. Gravure is strong in the high quality, moderately long to long run orders that are still required, and will continue to be as that line of work levels out.

The most significant trend affecting label converters is the familiar mantra of more SKUs that drive the need for more flexible manufacturing capabilities and the ability to react quickly to demand shifts in production. In the 2010 PRIMIR study, “Benchmarking and World Market Trends for Flexographic Printing”, 73% of label run lengths were less than 10,000 meters with 25% of the total under 3,000 meters. Additional information on run length trends can be found in a 2011 study published by Karstedt Partners addressing digital printing’s viability in the labels segment. The Karstedt study shows that in North American label production, 57% of label jobs are for orders of less than 50,000 labels. Looking further, all orders of less than 50,000 labels accounted for 623,932,154 MSI (Thousand Square Inches) of the total 13,583,867,623 MSI of finished printed labels or only 4.5% of the label volume. Put simply, 57% of orders represent only 4.5% of volume. This speaks volumes to the application’s need for operational flexibility and illustrates why digital printing systems are successful in penetrating this market and why eight out of ten of our label converters interviewees say they will get into or expand their capabilities in digital printing over the next five years.

Fueled by digital capabilities, label converters expand their product offerings into shrink sleeves and even folding cartons, providing new revenue streams. Innovative converters looking to sure up their relationships with customers and leveraging the capabilities of their production equipment champion these efforts.

Label converter interviewees identify food and pharmaceutical verticals with the greatest volume focus. They see medical, health and beauty and nutraceuticals with the greatest value focus, while beverages, industrial and household products are mixed. This is interesting in light of the brand owners interviewed where the beverage and pharmaceutical interviewees both ranked labels with the highest value of all the packaging applications.

With label converters providing a high level of innovation directed at their customers, only half felt their customers would be willing to pay a premium for these solutions. As stated earlier, 72% of the brand owner interviewees said they would be willing to pay more for those solutions.

The label converters also said they feel provoked by commercial printers. This is a real challenge to many label converters as commercial printers can efficiently print wet-glue labels on offset sheet fed and some digital presses. Commercial printers most likely supply these services to small local product producers that have a connection with the company producing brochures and business cards.

As part of the study Karstedt Partners interviewed 122 Brand Owners in multiple vertical sectors as well as 60 converters and industry leaders to compile comprehensive trending information that will be affecting buying decisions for the next few years. For more on the study and to become a member of PRIMIR visit them at http://www.primir.org.

About PRIMIR:

The Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization (PRIMIR) is the premier market research association of the graphic communications industry. It was formed in 2005 when GAMIS and the NPES Market Research Committee merged. Both had a long history of producing quality market research about the industry.

 

Members are from diverse segments of the industry (manufacturers and distributors of equipment and supplies, printers, trade shops, publishers, and paper companies), and are foremost in their area of specialty.

 

This article was originally published on WhatTheyThink.com:

http://whattheythink.com/articles/64753-label-sector-excerpts-2012-primir-research/

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WTT: The Flexible Packaging Sector, excerpts from 2012 PRIMIR Research

For the first few weeks of we featured articles focused on the corrugated packaging and folding carton sectors. For the next few weeks we will be focusing on the flexible packaging sector.

To help us introduce the various packaging sectors to the growing WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging readership we asked PRIMIR if we could pull excerpts from their 2012 study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders. Taking this focus a step further the study looked in-depth at the major vertical markets of food, beverage, household, personal care and healthcare to see what will be driving packaging demand in these verticals and thus driving the supply chain. Following are some of what we brought to PRIMIR members surrounding the folding carton sector. The full table of contents for the report can be downloaded here.

Flexible packaging converters have been leaders in active and intelligent packaging for the past decade. The Freedonia Group projects growth in active packaging to be 6.5% per year to $1.9 billion in 2015. Advances in gas scavenger technology in food and pharmaceutical packaging are the drivers. There are also continued opportunities in self-venting substrate usage of the type used in microwave popcorn. An example of how pervasive these capabilities are, can be seen with the adoption of microwavable, steamed vegetable packaging. Originally developed for premium brands just a few years ago, it is now used for a very high percentage of products in the frozen vegetable and entrée section of grocery stores for national and private brands. Consumer preferences for more natural products with no or less preservatives are creating opportunities for packages that offer longer shelf lives for both fresh and processed foods.

 

Intelligent packaging, that is more a marketing and sales enhancing tool, currently comes in the form of QR codes and 2D barcodes that aid the brand in communicating with the customer. Freedonia projects expansion of this group now at 20% annually to $370 million in 2015. It is hard to quantify how much activities in this group will affect packaging converters, as much of the implementation is done through communications infrastructure, web sites and databases. Converters add the printed QR codes, barcodes and other graphic components. Intelligent packaging require frequent package design changes to keep their promotions ‘fresh and engaging’ for the consumer. Heavy users of flexible packaging will us these active measures for better tracking and trace capabilities for food and other perishable products. This is significant in light of the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/fsma/default.htm) introduced in January 2011. FSMA is contamination prevention legislation that will have a large impact on food processing and packaging over the next few years.

 

Brands and retailers are pushing for packaging and materials that help food products stay fresher longer. Source reduction initiatives are becoming increasingly valuable with initiatives taken by major retailers and brand owners to evaluate supplier packages for eco-friendliness and cost reduction.

 

Increases in the application are also driven by continued conversions to standup pouches and flat pouches in a number of markets including sauces, dried foods and spices. Flexible packaging converters also benefits from the increased use of convenience features such as zippers and spouts integrated into pouches and the emergence of new applications and products such as flat-bottomed, side-gusseted pouches and hybrid pouch/folding carton products.

 

Growing efforts by retailers and brands to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability may lead to a renewed interest in paper, for its perceived benefits:  renewable, recyclable and compostable.

 

Growth in food applications targets eat-on-the-run consumers that will drive more costly film and barrier coatings to extend shelf life. These trends boost the demand for food in smaller package sizes and more convenient foods designed to reduce food preparation time. Trends toward healthier eating will encourage food manufacturers to expand their offerings of products, especially snacks, baked goods and beverages, in single serving packages. Such products require more packaging than standard packages of similar items.

 

The fastest growing food packaging markets for flexible packaging are: beverage, meat and related products and snack foods. In non-food applications, advances will be led by pharmaceutical and medical product markets based on heightened barrier requirements, cost and convenience advantages.

 

New developments in barrier resins, bio-plastics, recyclability, biodegradable films and compostable films will also drive market expansion.

 

Other factors influencing the flexible packaging application include considerable cost and material reduction programs by major food manufacturers, brand owners and retailers. Packaging waste reduction initiatives at the local and government levels also impact flexible packaging producers.

 

Lean manufacturing programs are present at all levels of the flexible packaging segment. The goal of most converters is produce less waste, reduce setup times, maintain consistency within and between jobs, and gaining overall efficiency.

 

There are industry efforts to expand the acceptance and use of digitally imaged flexo plates. In-the-round imaging has limited implementation to-date. Other industry technologies that are in the ‘ramp up’ mode are extended color gamut printing, G7 near neutral calibrations and in-line full web defect detection systems. One of the great successes of recent years in flexographic printing is the relative acceptance of High Definition Flexography (HD Flexo).

 

While pre-recession growth rates of 4.5% per year are unlikely to be repeated for some time, industry associations and experts expect growth of around 1.8% per year for the next five years.

 

As part of the study Karstedt Partners interviewed 122 Brand Owners in multiple vertical sectors as well as 60 converters and industry leaders to compile comprehensive trending information that will be affecting buying decisions for the next few years. For more on the study and to become a member of PRIMIR visit them at http://www.primir.org.

This article was originally published on WhatTheyThink.com;

http://whattheythink.com/articles/63336-flexible-packaging-sector-excerpts-2012-primir-research/

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WTT: The Folding Carton Sector, excerpts from 2012 PRIMIR Research

For the first few weeks of we featured articles focused on the corrugated packaging sector. For the next few weeks we will be focusing on the folding carton sector and will post interviews with Ben Markens of the Paperboard Packaging Council and Jay Willie of the Independent Carton Group.

To help us introduce the various packaging sectors to the growing WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging readership we asked PRIMIR if we could pull excerpts from their 2012 study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications. This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders. Taking this focus a step further the study looked in-depth at the major vertical markets of food, beverage, household, personal care and healthcare to see what will be driving packaging demand in these verticals and thus driving the supply chain. Following are some of what we brought to PRIMIR members surrounding the folding carton sector. The full table of contents for the report can be downloaded here.

The growth in the folding carton sector is projected to mirror that of consumer products growing at a rate that matches GDP.

Insights From Converter Interviews

The research team conducted over 180 interviews with constituents all through the packaging supply chain. Following are some excerpts from those interviews with folding carton converters.

The folding carton converters indicated that they are considering moving between flexo and offset printing processes over the next five years. Discussions indicated even movement in-and-out of each process. Both sides of these movements claim high investments and prepress costs are detrimental for flexo adoption and the lower overall operating and finishing costs of flexo over offset on the opposite side.

Carton manufacturers say they need to more effectively manage production orders that are shrinking in size and increasing in frequency. They are actively seeking solutions that allow them to produce more orders while maintaining overall production volumes. This is not simply obtained by purchasing presses that have quick changeovers. This plan moves a bottleneck from one process step to another. Carton converters are searching for solutions that truly transform their operations for the better.

In discussions with a carton manufacturer who recently installed a highly automated large format sheet fed press, he states that one of the major challenges he faces is feeding the press jobs and clearing the table after it. By this he means that prepress has to have fresh printing plates ready throughout the production day, and pallets of board have to be continually loaded into the feeder to assure the press does not have to wait for raw materials. As soon as the press needs to wait for input materials, efficiency and profitability are erased. On the output end, he notes, the bottleneck soon shifts to the die cutting process, which is tuned for fewer changeovers and more volume.

Another area of wasted time and resources is the practice of maintaining inventories of finished goods for customers. In speaking with converters of all types over the years, this practice is seen as a ‘necessary evil’ that customers need and converters provide. Most say it has gotten a lot better, but it still is a major drain on profits for both the converter and ultimately the customer as well. JIT was offering relief to this practice but in reality it has marginal success. Converters still manage inventories for customers opting for ‘just-in time’ deliveries rather than ‘just-in time’ manufacturing.

For most carton manufacturers, quality is a given, there is no discussion about cutting quality to gain productivity or flexibility. The quality standpoint is one of the reasons they tend to stick with technologies they know as reliable. As mentioned earlier, there are mixed messages regarding carton press preferences shifting from offset-to-flexo to take advantage of inline processing available in narrow and mid-web flexo presses for cartons. Converters familiar with flexo printing have a first-hand understanding of the quality of high definition flexo and what is required to produce flexo quality printing. Converters that have little or no first-hand experience with flexo, believe that the cost and learning curves are too steep to make a viable transition. Suppliers interested in bringing flexo presses to the carton segment have to overcome significant inertia, which includes solid ROI data to substantiate the advantages of such systems.

Interest in digital printing is high, but participation is limited… This is not to say that carton manufacturers are not interested in digital printing, on the contrary, interest in new press offerings at drupa 2012 was high among carton converters. This segment eagerly awaits a solution that offers an alternative to running orders on equipment that is not equipped to manage them consistently and effectively.

However, digital solutions bring on a similar series of process issues, most notably what happens after printing, when coating, die cutting and folding and gluing is needed. The issue of die cutting is addressed by digital die cutting that uses lasers and special creasing methodologies. This was shown at drupa 2012 as well as other new technologies that show promise in helping to alleviate these production bottlenecks.

The interviewed carton converters believe that their customers are more ‘value-oriented’ than ‘volume-oriented,’ by a 2 to 1 margin. Sixty percent say their customers would pay a premium for products or services that address unmet needs. This corresponds to the brand owners’ response. Specifically, folding carton packaging provides the most value to their brands. Overall, 72% of brand owners say they will pay more for products or services that satisfy their unmet needs.

As part of the study Karstedt Partners interviewed 122 Brand Owners in multiple vertical sectors as well as 60 converters and industry leaders to compile comprehensive trending information that will be affecting buying decisions for the next few years. For more on the study and to become a member of PRIMIR visit them at http://www.primir.org.

 This article was originally published on WhatTheyThink.com
http://whattheythink.com/articles/62829-folding-carton-sector-excerpts-2012-primir-research/
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WTT: The Corrugated Packaging Sector, excerpts from PRIMIR Research

For the next few weeks we will be looking at the corrugated sector of packaging, which accounts for approximately $85 Billion in shipments globally and $24 Billion in North America. To help us introduce the various packaging sectors to the growing WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging readership we asked PRIMIR if we could pull excerpts from their 2012 study that Karstedt Partners was commissioned to write titled Packaging: Evaluation of Vertical Markets & Key Applications.This study was unique to many industry studies in that it looked at the force being placed on Brand Owners, the originator of packaging orders. Taking this focus a step further the study looked in-depth at the major vertical markets of food, beverage, household, personal care and healthcare to see what will be driving packaging demand in these verticals and thus driving the supply chain. Following are some of what we brought to the readers surrounding the corrugated packaging sector. The full table of contents for the report can be downloaded here.

In that study the food and beverage vertical was identified as the largest end-user of corrugated boxes of all segments in North America, accounting for 51% of shipments in 2010. Corrugated for the food vertical are forecast to continue increasing at an average annual rate of 2.4 % through 2015.

Demand for corrugated boxes traditionally fluctuates with the growth of a wide range of consumer products including both durable and non-durable manufactured goods. General macroeconomic conditions such as changes in real GDP, consumer spending, international trade, industrial production and factors that affect manufactured goods markets are the drivers behind volume shifts in corrugated shipments.

The report notes the high percentage and volume of corrugated cartons used for shipping containers has historically insulated the corrugated industry from volume fluctuations caused by material substitutions. Corrugated cartons are valued for their low cost, durability and strength. By industry estimates shipping containers account for 75-80% of corrugated volume.

The corrugated industry is a net exporter of product, for converted cartons as well as Kraftliner. Exports, combined with the emergence of club store volume have helped the corrugated industry to overcome volume losses created by the movement of North American manufacturing offshore. Some analysts project that the U.S. may become a low cost producer again within the next five years due to wage inflation in China and the risk of doing business in Mexico. Manufacturing is beginning to move back to the U.S., and this bodes well for the corrugated industry. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce the corrugated industry export significantly more in 2010 than it imported.

U.S. Exports:

  • Paperboard Mill Products (Kraftliner) $0.133 Billion
    • 3.4 million tons exported
    • 53% to Canada and South America
    • 18% to Asia and Europe
    • 29% to Africa and Middle East

U.S. Imports:

  • Paperboard Mill Products (Kraftliner) $0.039 billion
  • Corrugated and Solid Fiber Boxes $0.314 billion

With the focus of the PRIMIR study on how vertical markets affect the demand for packaging there is a heavy focus on how lifestyle changes are affecting packaging demand and corrugated board. Following are some of the lifestyle changes that are projected to affect packaging demand moving forward.

Demand for convenience foods continues to increase, at both the retailer as well as convenience restaurants. This trend continues to stimulate the demand for corrugated board, particularly in microflute applications such as take-home pizza boxes and other fast food containers. Fast food establishments are also interested in digital printing for promotional campaigns, cross-selling coupons, and targeted marketing initiatives at the local level. Personal grooming products are expanding product categories to reach specific demographic audiences.

The growth of multimedia products drives increased demand for folding carton, corrugated and microflute. Mobile phones, digital cameras, satellite navigation systems, tablets and other technologies are driving demand for microflute with high quality print.

Microflute packaging also penetrates markets such as confectionary, powdered drinks, personal care, alcoholic beverages and other markets. This creates growing demands on the printing industry for improved graphics and finishes, utilizing analog as well as digital printing.

Aging populations exhibit different spending patterns. Health foods, healthcare products, nutraceuticals and anti-aging remedies are growth segments. These products will generate incremental growth in corrugated material used for merchandisers and displays.

Online shopping is the fastest growing retail segment. Packaging is a big issue for online merchants, as consumers frequently object to receiving their product simply placed in a plain shipping container. The objection is based on the consumer perception of the retailer lacking permanence or staying power, and potentially disappearing immediately after the sale. Online retailers are attempting to promote brand identity, and a stronger connection between the online web site and packaging. The need for brand identity must be tempered with the reality of the shipping world, and the need to ‘safeguard’ the identity of the contents being delivered. This creates multiple opportunities for corrugated packaging, from smart packaging for tracking and tracing of shipments, to shipping containers, to high impact primary packaging.

Technological developments in papermaking and corrugating have allowed the same functions to be performed by lighter boards. From 1990 to 2010, the average weight of corrugated board decreased approximately 12%. In recent years, new capacity and equipment upgrades have created lightweight board.

As part of the study Karstedt Partners interviewed 122 Brand Owners in multiple vertical sectors as well as 60 converters and industry leaders to compile comprehensive trending information that will be affecting buying decisions for the next few years. For more on the study and to become a member of PRIMIR visit them at http://www.primir.org.

This article was originally published on WhatTheyThink.com:

http://whattheythink.com/articles/62544-corrugated-packaging-sector-excerpts-primir-research/

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WTT: What is coming in WhatTheyThink Labels & Packaging

With the launch of the Labels & Packaging section of WhatTheyThink now behind us, we wanted to give you a preview of upcoming topics and what to expect.

First, because our audience includes Brand Owners, Converters/Packaging Printers, Suppliers, and many other readers, the familiarity with Packaging is going to vary. A significant part of our vision is to educate and keep audience members informed regarding the state of the industry, significant events occurring in the industry, and trends or issues that may affect the industry. Our desire is to provide a communication link bridging the packaging supply chain, from the suppliers of equipment and raw materials, all the way to the retailers.

Our focus for the next 9-10 weeks will be discussing specific application segments within the packaging industry. These application segments will include corrugated packaging, folding carton, flexible packaging, labels, rigid containers, and glass packaging. Industry executives will provide inputs on the current state of their segment, opportunities and challenges affecting their segment, and their view on the future outlook. We are inviting suppliers and brand owners to provide feature articles discussing issues or opportunities they see specific to that application area, and how their industry is responding to the issues or needs.

Following the series for packaging applications, we will turn to the retailers and brand owners to gain their input on future trends in retailing, consumer behavior, or packaging requirements that will affect the packaging industry. Topics we will explore will include sustainability, private labeling, the impact of social media on packaging, demand patterns, contract manufacturing and contract packaging, and sources of supply. We are inviting converters/package printers, contract packagers and contract manufacturers, and suppliers to provide feature articles on how the upstream changes at retailers and brand owners is impacting their business, and what their industry is doing to respond.

Next, we will turn to the suppliers of the packaging industry. What is happening with print and converting technology, what is happening with basic raw materials, pre-press supplies and equipment, software, and inks and coatings?

If you have additional thoughts or would like to add areas for exploration, or if you would like to be a author/contributor please feel free to contact me at Kevin@Karstedt.com. We also invite press releases and industry news article to be sent to news@whattheythink.com to make sure they get placed in the news feed section of the site.

This article was originally published on WhatTheyThink.com:

http://whattheythink.com/articles/62407-what-coming-whattheythink-labels-packaging/

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WTT: WhatTheyThink Kicks Off Special Labels & Packaging Section

Welcome to the inaugural post for WhatTheyThink’s Labels & Packaging website. The folks at WTT and I have been speaking for quite some time on the need a version of WTT that focused on the needs of those in the packaging supply chain. I am honored to be the Managing Editor of this new endeavor and will strive to bring meaningful and timely content to those in the packaging supply chain who are looking for information and intelligence in order to do their jobs better.

As the supply chain for packaging is extremely divers, we will try to address the needs of multiple disciplines from graphic design, structural design, prepress, workflow, product and project management and printing and finishing of all flavors. This is a good time to begin this effort, coming out of a drupa year there are many new products and services that are targeting the package printing marketplace, products and services that are in need of exploring and understanding. Through out this inaugural year of WTTL&P (how is that for a twitter hashtag #WTTL&P?) we will grow the content areas of the site as the needs of the readership direct. Starting with areas around design, prepress and workflow we will expand out to areas asked for by you the readers. These areas could include flexo, gravure, offset, digital and screen printing; finishing in cartons and flexible packaging; color management, in the pressroom and back to design; substrate manufacture and usage to name just a few.

In addition to the mechanical part of the packaging supply chain, WTT has done a good job in addressing business issues facing printers and suppliers and that will continue on the Packaging side of the site. Mergers and acquisitions in packaging have been increasing for the past few years and with all likelihood will continue in 2013 and beyond.

Readership will likely be a combination of users and suppliers with each group having different agendas and needs. This medium is unique and is well suited to the goals of both groups as each is hungry to reach and learn from the other. WTTL&P will be a conduit for that linkage and will strive to bring meaningful content to the readership.

A mainstay of the WTT model is a comprehensive news feed section on relevant topics to their readership. This will continue on the Packaging side bringing readers news that is compiled daily to bring the latest news and information in one place. To all the vendors and businesses in the audience, be sure to send your press releases to news@whattheythink.com in text or word format to be sure it is included on the daily news feed. I will be funneling worthy information to the site as well. Users and business owners, be sure to check the site regularly to be close to the news that affects you and your business.

This article was originally published on WhatTheyThink.com:

http://whattheythink.com/articles/62291-whattheythink-kicks-special-labels-packaging-section/

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