Sleeving machines offer chance to gain market share in energy drinks segment

Sleeving machines allow you to make the most of the marketing ‘real estate’ on any kind of bottle or similar package, with wraparound labels that are made to fit using shrink sleeving.

This means you can use as much of the surface of the bottle as you want for labelling and branding – and if you are in the sports and energy drinks segment, that could be an important way to gain market share.

According to Mintel, consumers are looking for better information about the nutritional impacts of energy drinks, including safe quantities for consumption per day, and how specific functional ingredients help to keep them awake and alert.

This is at a time when 54% of all Brits claim to frequently feel tired, rising to 60% of women.

David Zhang, research analyst at Mintel, says: “The high proportion of consumers wanting to understand how energy drink ingredients work offers a way for brands to differentiate themselves in the market by highlighting the ingredients used.”

Interestingly, 55% of Brits who buy sports drinks, and 47% who buy energy drinks, say they consume them at home, rather than outdoors or at the gym.

So it is worth making the best use of the opportunities offered to you by shrink sleeving machines – as many of your customers may be in more of a position to study your labels than you realised.

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Wrapping machinery that disguises near-emptiness may mean happier consumers

One aspect of wrapping machinery that you might overlook is whether it makes it easy to see how much is left in a container.

It might seem like the weight of the pack and its contents would be a good indicator of near-emptiness, but remember that consumers might not know how heavy the empty container will be once all the contents are gone.

Use wrapping machinery to hide the bottom of a jar or bottle, and this could effectively leave the shopper with no cues or clues as to how full or empty it actually is.

Interestingly, newly published research in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that this could have a big impact on users’ state of mind.

Titled ‘Acts of Emptying Promote Self-Focus’, the article explains that emptying a container – whether it is a jar, a bag, or even a pocket – triggers feelings of inner emptiness too.

Most people compensate for this with self-indulgent behaviour, including ‘retail therapy’, but significantly this focuses on shopping for themselves, and not to buy gifts for others.

So it is worth considering which behaviour might be more beneficial to you – and if your product is one relating to self-indulgence, hiding how much is left could leave your customers unprepared for the emotional effects of using the last of it.

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Why sleeving might be the future for dietary supplements

When you think about sleeving, you might have certain preconceptions about the types of products that are packaged and labelled in this way – and the most obvious examples are drinks and some household cleaning products.

But what about vitamin supplements? These are often supplied in pharmaceutical bottles, but in many cases are packaged using ‘normal’ label equipment and adhesive front and back labels, rather than all-around sleeving.

A report from Datamonitor Consumer includes several trends within the supplement market that could make shrink sleeving more prevalent within this category, however.

The analyst notes that young people are more trusting of labels’ claims of health benefits – in fact more than two in five of those aged 18-34 consider such claims to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘completely’ trustworthy.

However, an increasing number of people are resistant to the idea of ‘popping pills’, or of taking supplements in any kind of tablet or capsule form, for that matter.

Instead, there are a growing number of functional beverages, chewable supplements and even jellies on the market.

Sleeving is the ideal way to make the most of the packaging ‘real estate’ on these, proudly displaying health benefits from any viewing angle, and helping supplements to stand out on a crowded supermarket or pharmacy shelf.

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Simple labelling machines may be best for food

It is easy to think that complicated product labels can help make the product itself appear more complex, and so more valuable, but in some cases more simple labelling machines could help you gain the competitive edge.

This is particularly the case in the food market, where consumer analysts Mintel have reported a trend towards clear packaging with smaller, simpler labels that do not obstruct the view of the product itself inside the packaging.

Food and drink analyst Amanda Topper tells Mintel it is “no surprise” that clear packaging is gaining ground, as part of a wider trend towards consumers gaining the ability to directly assess the quality of the product at the time of their purchase decision.

“Transparent packaging, combined with simple product labels, may be the winning combination in terms of appealing to health-conscious, quality-seeking shoppers,” she says.

Whether this means shrink sleeving with clear plastic, or using wrapping machinery with built-in or separate labelling machines to affix the label, the trend is a ‘clear’ one in every sense, making it a transparent opportunity for food producers to gain an advantage on the shop shelves.

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Advanced Dynamics’ labelling and sleeving machines to feature at PPMA

The upcoming PPMA Show in Birmingham this September will feature a range of Advanced Dynamics’ label equipment and sleeving machines.

PPMA is due to get underway on September 30th and last until October 2nd, and Advanced Dynamics will be at stand D31 in the NEC Birmingham.

Visitors can see how label equipment like fully automated Pack Leader labelling systems – of which Advanced Dynamics are the sole UK distributors – can take over from manual labelling without requiring a huge initial capital outlay.

The worry of spending upfront is an obstacle that prevents many companies from considering automated labelling systems, but Pack Leader’s range includes versatile and compact machines ideal for use in small businesses.

Malcolm Little, managing director of Advanced Dynamics, said: “The PPMA exhibition is the perfect platform for us to demonstrate high-quality automatic labelling systems which can improve efficiency and transform a production line.

“Label applicators can mitigate the risks of adhesive issues, wrinkling, skewing and frayed edges – faults which delay production, cost money and lead to waste.”

The Pack Leader SL301 shrink sleeving machine will also be on display at the booth, offering an alternative for bottles and caps that contain beverages, food, medicines and other pharmaceuticals.


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Hen today, gone tomorrow: campaigners call for consistent labelling system for chicken

Chickens get a rough deal, going from egg to meat in less than 40 days if they are intensively farmed – and campaigners are now calling for a clear, consistent and mandatory labelling system for chicken meat to ensure consumers are accurately informed of how it was reared.

Tamsin French, Sam White and Johanna Olsson are visiting 21 member states of the EU in just 39 days – the same length of time as an intensively farmed chicken is alive for.

In each country they will dress as Rosa the chicken, on behalf of the Labelling Matters campaign, which in turn is supported by organisations including Compassion in World Farming.

Sam said: “We have the opportunity to potentially change the way people buy their chicken meat across the entire EU.”

Already, a mandatory labelling system has been introduced for eggs; the campaign wants to achieve the same for chickens reared for meat, rather than for egg-laying.

The Labelling Matters campaign would like to see not only mandatory labelling for free range chicken, but also for intensively farmed meat, so that consumers are left in no doubt as to where their chicken was raised.


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Label print and apply weathers the digital storm

While other forms of print may be suffering due to the rise of digital technologies, the process of label print and apply is seemingly withstanding the storm.

Digital technologies have eaten into the market share of many print formats, with websites taking over from printed newspapers, and email reducing the need for headed business stationery.

But the label print and apply process is still going strong – and even products ordered online tend to ship in full retail packaging, rather than OEM or white-label boxes.

According to a report from global packaging analysts Smithers Pira, label printing is actually increasing in value in many markets, particularly in the Western world.

“The only market segments where print demand continues to grow worldwide is in packaging print, including printed labels,” the organisation reports.

“In value terms, the growth in digital printing … means that market value is generally growing ahead of market volume, or at any rate not falling so quickly.”

The report is an indication of how, while digital technologies are often seen as the enemy of print, in terms of packaging and labelling they can actually be beneficial.

As a result, companies are achieving greater return on their investment into digital labelling machines, keeping this market uniquely buoyant.


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Future label equipment can help reach new family units

We often point out that label equipment is not just a piece of hardware; the way you use it, and the images and text you include on your labels, can have a big direct impact on the success of your marketing activities.

The right label equipment gives you good control over what your labels show, but it is also important beyond this to know exactly what message you are trying to send out.

In the years ahead, this could be even more important for products aimed at households, and particularly at parents.

According to consumer analyst Mintel, there are currently three million children in the UK living in single-parent households, and the number of single fathers is on the increase.

The consumer insight provider says that “these aspects demand sensitive marketing of household products” – and there are other emerging trends too.

For example, more couples are choosing to remain childless, while others are opting for pet ownership as a substitute.

Your use of label equipment is therefore an important consideration for the coming decade, to ensure you do not alienate any of these groups by focusing too much on the traditional concept of the ‘nuclear family’.

In fact, for those who are able to successfully embrace these less-standard household models, the trend could lead to considerable opportunities to gain a competitive edge. mintel

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Short-run labelling machines ‘are a packaging megatrend’

Short-run labelling machines are one of the three ‘megatrends’ currently shaping the global packaging market, according to a newly published report.

Color Digital Label and Packaging Market Forecast: 2013-2018, from InfoTrends, predicts coming developments in all aspects of colour digital printing for packaging purposes.

There are several key trends shaping the sector – and the level of competition between different manufacturers, meaning ever smaller market niches must be targeted, is one major driving force.

“Brand owners worldwide need to target ever smaller market segments to be competitive,” the analyst explains.

“In turn they need the timely, economic printing of short runs that digital printing can often provide.”

Short-run labelling machines must deliver good results with good economy, and the ability to quickly be reconfigured for the next product run, whatever it may be.

This economical aspect is part of ‘lean manufacturing’ – operating with less waste – and this feeds into a further current megatrend, sustainability.

Overall, the three megatrends are: sustainability; lean manufacturing; target marketing.

Together – and with the right labelling systems in place – these are allowing manufacturers to find profitable niches, even in a competitive global marketplace.

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Moving to a minimum font size for food labelling systems

European food producers will need labelling systems capable of printing a minimum font size before the end of this year.

The Food and Drink Federation reports that, from December 13th, new rules come into force regarding mandatory labelling requirements for food products throughout the EU.

Among the new demands are minimum font sizes for mandatory information; emphasis for allergenic ingredients in the list; allergen information for foods sold loose; extended country-of-origin labelling for meat; and mandatory nutrition labelling for pre-packed foods (due to come into force in December 2016).

Mary Lawton, policy and industry liaison manager at the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, said: “This is a period of significant change in the provision of food labelling information for consumers, with nearly all food and drink affected by this regulation.”

Producers have time to take the necessary action to comply with the rules; however, the minimum font size is worth bearing in mind when checking labelling systems.

For example, consider the use of shrink sleeving – in this instance, it will be important to ensure the minimum font size is met after the label has been shrunk to fit the packaging to which it is being applied.

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