Column: 100% Packaging
The winners of the 13th annual Czech national competition „Packaging of the Year“ have been announced. This year, a record number of 89 packaging designs were competing, 49 of which won awards. Almost half of these came under the heading of consumer packaging. Transportation containers for heavy machinery products, specifically for the delivery of nuclear power station equipment, were a new development.
Column: Trade Fairs
As we briefly informed you in the last issue of “ Svět Balení“, producers of packaging materials and packaging as well as producers of machinery and equipment for different types of production, logistics, printing and finishing operations presented their products in eight different sections of this year’s best-known British fair, „Total Processing & Packaging“,which took place in Birmingham. Packaging design and marketing and consulting support were also included in the trade fair. The section focusing on store chains was a major innovation.On the following pages, you can read about new developments our reporter found interesting.
The conference „Packaging Summit Europe 2007″, with 300 delegates from all over Europe, took place in Amsterdam on 26th and 27th June. The main theme of this year’s summit was “ A New Vision for Packaging: Commercial, Sustainable and Creative.“ During the two days, European experts exchanged their opinions, experiences and ideas regarding new packaging strategies for brand name producers and their packaging suppliers. The summit was supported by many packaging-related organizations such as EPIC, EUROPEN, IAPRI, the Institute of Packaging, Nederlands Verpackkinngcentrum, SYBA and WPO. As usual, „Svět Balení“ was one of its media partners.
Column: Market Analysis
The French packaging industry, with its annual sales of 20 billion EUR and 112 thousand employees, is an important sector of the French economy. On the occasion of last autumn’s international trade fair on packaging and packaging technology, „Emballage 2006“, an analysis of the main trends in the French packaging market up to the year 2008 was published. The analysis deals with the opinions and expectations of key players in the packaging industry i.e. packaging producers, machinery and equipment suppliers and packaging customers. A sample of representatives of 150 relevant companies answered questions regarding business opportunities, the risks arising from offshoring and current changes in customer-supplier relations.
Column: Main Topic – Packaging of Beverages and Liquids New Trends
The stand-up, or W-bottom, pouch, is the usual name for a flexible type of pouch with a plough-shaped base. This type of packaging, for liquid products in particular, is becoming increasingly popular. Although the first pouches were already being developed in the 1960s, they did not become widespread on the US market until the 1990s. Their use is growing rapidly, and the pouches are popular not only in the USA but also on Asian markets, in particular in Japan. During the past few years, they have constituted quite a significant percentage of packaging production in Europe. Forecasts indicate that stand-up pouches will become more and more popular in the future.
Current consumers spend more and more money on healthy food and expect to find a wide selection of healthy food in food stores. Fresh juices, water-based drinks, dairy products and energy drinks represent the so-called healthy beverage alternative. Today’s customers want to drink them while on the move, as part of their fast-lane lifestyle. Cans are perfect for this. They contain one serving and are light, firm and resistant.All that is needed is an eye-catching design and contents that satisfy customer demand.
Champagne in a can has been extremely successful. Its success originated in an ingenious and strategically well-targeted marketing idea conceived by an Austrian hotelier working for the Paris Hilton hotel chain. His idea filled a gap on the market with a product for young, wealthy consumers who want something unusual, something that distinguishes them from their parents. A slender, 200 ml can with an unusual gold design (containing champagne Rich®Prosecco – Vino Frizzante) was a hit. Over six million cans were sold in just a few months.
A test carried out by the G.R.P. (Institute of Rational Psychology) in Stuttgart in 2006 confirmed that beverages in eye-catching packaging taste better. Packaging ( i.e. material, shape, design and colour) plays a crucial role in creating a positive perception of beverages
, as well as a feeling of pleasure.
The sales figures of well-known companies (Canadean, Income Research) indicate that producers of non-alcoholic beverages are enjoying steadily increasing demand, in particular in Eastern Europe.Non-carbonated or still water, fruit juice beverages and nectars, ice tea and energy drinks show the highest coefficient of growth. Of course, this boom also benefits packaging producers. We discussed the growth of, and innovation in, beverage packaging with Dana Švejcarová, the sales and marketing director of Vetropack Moravia Glass.
Professionals have been discussing the use of biodegradable plastics for beverage and liquid packaging for several years now, in the light of concerns about environmental protection.So far these discussions have not produced results, with the result that this relatively new approach, particularly its technical aspects, seemed unlikely to be put into practice. Currently, the most common PLA beverage bottles are so stable that they could be successfully used in beverage production plants on a large scale. These bottles, with the label “compostable,” are being already used in Germany and Great Britain.
“Good packaging has nothing to do with the size of a company, but with the quality of a brand name,” says Sven Erler from the German branch of the Coca-Cola Company in Berlin. Birgit(?) Bauer, a design expert and the author of the professional monthly „PackReport“, issued by our parent publishing house Deutscher Fachverlag, asked him several questions on the occasion of the launch of worldwide sales of the new Splash bottle Fanta.
Bottle-to-bottle is a new technology for recycling empty PET beverage bottles. This is how the company Plastic & Technologies Products s. r. o. manufactures PET-M granulation products and preforms for PET bottle production in its plant in Jílové u Prahy. PET beverage bottles retrieved from a recycled communal refuse collection subsidized by AOS EKO-KOM a.s. are the most suitable raw material in this process. Packaging produced in PTP can be also used for food.
Czech recognition of the potential of shrink-wrap for beverage packs still falls short of its popularity for such packs in foreign countries. This is why the Czech market often neglects, and fails to take advantage of, this potential. Granitol a.s., the sole producer of the new generation of multi-layer shrink-wrap for beverage packs in Central and Eastern Europe, tries to respond to the changing demand.
Some time ago, the company PackTech introduced the first alternative to shrink-wrap for beverage packs: a handle that will hold beverages in place and allow them to be carried. This was the famous handle for milk packs called TwinPak®, created by Jim Borg in 1992. This handle was originally designed just for two-gallon packs of milk. However, since then the demands of the market and consumers have been increasing. Today, the company has introduced different kinds of fixed handles, for 2-12 bottles and for beverage cans. Of course, there is also the popular UniPak handle for a single large-volume or large-size container. The company can also provide the know-how for fitting the handles.The construction and technology for their production is patented and registered as the brand name PakTech.
In 2006, the large Croatian dairy company Lura started using the Predis system in its production chain. It is an innovative method of decontaminating packaging that is economical and environment-friendly. The quality of production is the lifeblood of the health food sector. After its experience with different systems of production of milk and flavoured milk in PET bottles, the dairy company chose the COMBI system with PREDIS equipment from the company SIDEL. COMBI is a system of integrated production equipment in which bottles are blown, filled and closed. PREDIS™ was developed as an additional decontamination device for this equipment. It is a new system of dry decontamination of preforms using hydrogen peroxide vapor.
If a prepaid system for single-use plastic bottles were implemented, stores would become large waste containers (or dumps). Each food plant (including retail stores) now has to observe hygienic regulations, the so-called „hygienic package“. Implementation of a new area for “waste” in a store would impact on the HACCP system, i.e. there would be another critical area of potential contamination of food and the internal
mechanisms of stores would have to be adjusted. Small stores would struggle; they would have to dedicate a part of their sales or storage area to a special scanning and press machine, or to bags with empty PET bottles. Of course, this would mean additional costs: not only the cost of creating a new area, but also of the relevant technical equipment.
Currently, most milk and fruit juices are contained in unit carton boxes. Carton boxes are also used for table wine, soups, sauces, oil or dressings.Compared to other packaging materials, beverage carton boxes are no wallflowers. And carton boxes are also being used for other food products, such as müsli.
The basic idea behind the recycling of unit carton boxes was to check whether they could be defibred and reused in order to produce good quality folding carton boxes. Since it was necessary to provide appropriate information about the project, to recycle waste and to get cities interested in the project, production did not start until the spring of 2003. We talked with Miroslav Hašl, the quality manager, about how this system works in the paper mill in Bělá pod Bezdězem and what kind of problems there are. Retail Packaging Packaging with new information Page 46 The Confederation of Food and Drink Industries of the EU (CIAA) has launched a new voluntary nutrition labelling scheme as another contribution to the work of the European platform for nutrition, physical activity and health. Such labelled products were introduced on the Czech market this spring.
Column: Food Packaging Technology
In order to fulfil an order placed by a large German meat producer, Scheyer ( a producer of barrier foils for automatic packaging) had to change the anti-fog properties of PP foils used for PP trays. A store survey showed that sales of meat fall if the cover foil of trays containing fresh meat is fogged up from inside, or covered with condensation.
Optimal ripeness during harvest, avoidance of mechanical damage, suitable hygienic procedures, optimal temperature and relative humidity during all post-harvest operations are the main factors affecting the quality of fresh produce during post-harvest storing. The chemical nature of the atmosphere in which produce is stored is one of the secondary factors and a basis for storing fresh products in a controlled atmosphere, or for packaging in a modified atmosphere.
Since the demand for organic food in Europe and the USA keeps increasing, the distribution chain is getting longer. Organic food must therefore endure long transportation and must have a longer shelf life without using traditional preservatives. The search for new ways of how to extend shelf life without compromising the quality of organic food is now a big challenge for organic food producers. One of the solutions is sorbent technology in organic food packaging.
Column: Packaging and the Environment
The use of plastics that are biodegradable is currently undergoing significant growth. Unlike conventional plastics, biodegradable plastics have no negative impact on the environment. As Harald Käb, the chairman of the Board of Directors of European Bioplastics, said at the congress organized by the German Packaging Institute (dviDVI) in Berlin, this new type of plastics has a great potential in packaging.
Global warming has been discussed for a long time now, but recently we have been able to feel it in our country as well. Beverage suppliers and companies providing logistics and selling beverages are among the few (except for those who feel that in the summer the temperature should not drop below thirty) who love hot weather. Beverages are sold mainly between May and September. When the weather is hot, sales of non-alcoholic beverages and beer reach record highs.
Column: Packaging of Hazardous Products
IBCs are ideal for the storing and transportation of liquids. They are intermediate bulk containers that are easy to stack and thus save on the cost of transportation and storing. They are easy to handle and their spare parts can be easily replaced. The use of intermediate bulk containers is very widespread. They can be used, for example, in the chemical industry for the transportation and storing of oil, lubricants, diesel, gasoline, acids, lye, paint, varnish, thinner or resin. A standard IBC is a plastic container made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) with a filling opening and a removable screw top in the upper part. The lower part has a lever draining valve with a safety transportation top. It is in a steel cage with a support pallet that is designed for handling with a fork-lift truck.
Column: Packaging and …
For the third time, students from the college in Štětí have helped to decorate the interior of the plant SCA Packagi
ng with their own work. This year’s exhibition, with a private viewing, took place at the plant in Boletice; the previous two exhibitions took place in Jílové u Děčína, which is the oldest of all the twelve plants in the territory of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cooperation of the college and SCA is a longstanding one. The company has financially supported the college several times and arranged field trips for the students. On the other hand, the college has supplied custom-made training programmes on packaging technology for SCA, led by its professors.
Two years after the publication of a database of European packaging technology suppliers, a revised internet version, edited by the producers and suppliers of packaging, packaging materials and packaging machinery, is currently being launched. The project is a result of the cooperation of EPIC (European Packaging Institutes Consortium) and the software supplier ELMA MULTIMEDIA B. V. The database is in English.