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Using the Latest Technology to Move Products off the Shelves
Marketers know the value of packaging. After all, seven out of ten purchasing decisions are made at store shelves — driving the need to differentiate brands through packaging. Many marketers, however, may not be aware of the full range of packaging technologies available to refresh brands and move products off shelves.
Thermoform fill-seal (TFFS) packaging has been used for years in the food industry but is now exploding into the retail arena as Contoured Packaging™ -- a highly versatile process that shapes film into virtually any shape and size with heat, vacuum, and molding. The process also incorporates a wide variety of features such as easy-open seals and re-closable options as well as films with oxygen and moisture scavenging properties or water-soluble capabilities.
A TFFS system produces a next-generation Contoured Package with features that move beyond familiar blister packs and pouches to enhance product appearance, package integrity, and shelf endurance. Thermoforming also offers marketers faster turnaround times on product changeovers. In addition, Contoured Packaging offers benefits for both the marketing and production/packaging department – a relationship often plagued with compromise and product-to-market delays. Overall, the process offers marketers an efficient, flexible and effective process that matches branding goals.
Changing package design is often a part of a product launch or sales push. But ideas on the drawing board can quickly become stalled if package production is a fixed system locked into one shape and size. Working with a flexible, versatile method such as a TFFS system solves this problem.
Rollstock TFFS systems use film webs on the top and bottom of a product. The bottom web of film is heated and formed into a mold and the top web of film then seals the product with or without a vacuum. Printing and labeling are easily incorporated inline to display product and branding elements.
Consumer brand lines commonly encompass products of various shapes and sizes. A TFFS system is ideal to meet the challenge of giving brands a cohesive look and feel under cost-effective circumstances.
Keep It Neat
Key to getting a great looking package on the shelf is keeping it looking great. Today, large retail stores stock larger volumes of products on their shelves to reduce inventory and stocking expense. As a result, products endure a great deal of wear and tear before they are purchased. Without durable packaging, brand equity can be degraded, negatively affecting sales, and wasting valuable shelf space. Contoured Packaging is more durable giving the product a neater appearance on the store shelf.
A manufacturer switched to a Multivac TFFS system to package its line of combs. Although the package’s appearance didn’t change, sales increased by 15%. The durability of the film front and back simply looked better on store shelves and continued to differentiate the product over a long period of time. The company refreshed its brand by changing the packaging to give it a fresh, crisp, clean look at the point-of-sale.
Packaging offers something new to customers. While your core product may not change, the presentation of the product can change market perception.
Water-soluble film is a great example of this type of innovation. While it is not new, it has recently become more feasible largely due to processes in TFFS technology. Seals on the film have become tighter and the overall package has greater integrity. In fact, Multivac now has a rollstock system, the R550 Soluformer, configured specifically to manufacture soluble packages. Water-soluble film also has applications in cleaning products, detergents and industrial additives.
Adding an easy-open feature such as a resealable press-to-close or slider zipper can help differentiate products on shelves and also build brand loyalty. However, maintaining seal integrity on the shelf is also important. Often the benefits of a tight seal outweigh the benefits of easy-open features. By simply adjusting the system, any easy-open feature can be applied with little or no additional packaging materials required. Multivac has a long history of working with medical device manufacturers on easy-open features for self-administered diagnostics and medicines. The same designs apply to consumer applications with very effective results.
Markets develop and evolve more quickly today than ever. As consumer groups become increasingly diverse and more apt to quickly change loyalties, marketers need fresh ideas to remain relevant and viable on the store shelf. With Contoured Packaging, marketers can easily change or upgrade a package to include the features and visual elements that impact sales.
In the November issue of Packaging Strategies, we feature a new trend: Re-commerce, brands and Generation Z, resealable closures in food packaging, a pretzel company with filling & weighing equipment for more productivity and much more!