Printing and branding for confectionery in the spotlight

Confectionery Production spoke to printing solution providers about how to create visual appeal and build brand identity using high quality printing and coding technology. Daisy Phillipson reports


If your confectionery range was a movie, then its packaging would be the billboard. With such a huge range of products available on the market today, competition is fierce and the way products are packaged and promoted is a significant contributor to a brand’s identity. A colour or a logo is enough to spark recognition from a consumer as they’re making their way down the supermarket aisle.
Just like the individuals who buy these products, brand identity is the special part of a business that makes it stand out from the rest. And without packaging, it would be impossible to promote a product’s unique traits. Reliable printing makes up the foundation for an efficient production operation and the enhancement of a brand’s image. Therefore, it is essential for a confectionery provider to choose the right printing solution to fit their manufacturing line.

From vision to reality
Every customer will have a very specific idea of where they want their brand to be, and it is the packaging partner’s role to help them to translate these goals into a tangible item to be placed on the supermarket shelves.

For Crown, this means working in partnership with its customers to fully understand their branding requirements. Using a combination of performance methodology, research, development and engineering activity, its solution providers are then able to find the brief that fits their customer’s desires.

“Premiumisation remains a key trend,” said Veronique Curulla, marketing director, Crown Aerosols and Promotional Packaging Europe, “and in a sector where product proliferation is high, it is essential to ensure products have that visual appeal that will attract consumer attention.” A manufacturer must consider a number of elements, noted Curulla, including how to differentiate a product from its competitors and developing a clear understanding of the target consumer group.

After Crown’s design teams have utilised their knowledge regarding metal packaging and its in-house graphic designers have rendered a customer’s product portfolio in a virtual environment, mock-ups of the final design can be generated for evaluation before moving on to the printing process.

For three-piece promotional packaging, Crown uses an advanced lithography flat printing process to create vivid, sharp graphics that will attract attention at point-of-sale and project a high-quality image to consumers. When it comes to brand identity and reliability, Crown’s team of printing experts work closely with the customer to maximise design impact and provide print quality that is consistent with specific brand palettes.

Ultimately, we buy with our eyes, so it makes sense for food brands to promote their products with eye-catching designs. With this in mind, confectionery manufacturers can choose from a broad portfolio of visual enhancement technologies when working with Crown, including 6-colour and 4-colour printing, different base coats with white or metallic finishes, and a selection of UV inks in any colour, as well as conventional, gloss and matt varnish finishes.

An important factor to consider when seeking a printing and packaging solution provider is finding one that can help to transform a vision into a reality, while also offering advice on how best to execute the idea. As Curulla concluded, “Our dedication to their brand success is what drives us as a company and we value close collaboration with our customers to achieve the best outcome.”

Happy packaging
Another company that works closely with global confectionery brands to provide end-to-end packaging management is Law Print & Packaging Management. When discussing the requirements for the modern consumer, Melissa Hogan-Knott, sales account manager at Law Print, explained that a brand’s packaging must immediately attract and entice.
Such effects can be achieved with the rotogravure print technology the company uses, as it provides high print quality and strong, bold colours when compared with other printing processes such as flexography.

Gravure printing or rotogravure is an intaglio printing process used for high speed and large volume print processes. “It is the only printing process capable of printing continuous tone images,” added Hogan-Knott. “As a direct print process, gravure results in better ink laydown and more consistent print quality, as well as allowing for fast production times. Achieving up to 12 colour print also provides extremely colourful and intricate results, perfect for complex artwork and packaging designs.”
Law Print works with confectionery brands to provide suitable features – whether that be glossy or matt finishes, textured effect varnish, pearlescent and metallic inks, or clear and frosted windows – while also suggesting new market innovations that can add value to brand packaging.

A good example of Law Print working with a manufacturer to achieve successful packaging results is its collaboration with Happy Jackson confectionery products. The brand is renowned for its bold colours and eye-popping design, so when the team looked to redesign their confectionery range, Law Print managed the packaging supply from artwork to final delivery.
“In order to create immediate impact, Happy Jackson highlighted the importance of fluorescent pantone colours in the artwork for the pouches,” noted Hogan-Knott. “As graphics on screen will always differ to printed film, Law Print provided ink drawdowns as well as artwork proofs, to ensure colours reached expectation.”

Crack the coding
Another essential component of a company’s so-called marketing billboard is the coding of a product’s packaging. While the quality of a code will not encourage consumers to select a brand of confectionery in preference to another, it may be the reason they put it back down again.
As outlined by Carole Perry, marketing communications manager at Linx Printing Technologies, a quality code is equally essential to make sure companies are meeting the relevant regulations for product information and traceability. Coding technologies also help strengthen a manufacturer’s brand, for example by printing QR codes that offer consumers additional information that is part of a promotion or competition.

Linx offers a number of coding technologies for confectionery and snack producers, starting with its continuous ink jet, a non-contact printing technology that has the ability to print onto almost any substrate and in different colours, and comes with a fast dry option for high speed flow wrap lines.

Another option is the laser marking, which provides a permanent high quality code and is suitable for a wide range of substrates at any line speed. There is no ink involved in the printing process, meaning no drying time or risk of smudging. A wide range of fonts means the laser marking can produce high quality print to match premium packaging.

Linx’s thermal ink jet printers offer a flexible printed coding solution for both outer cases and primary packaging. Finally, the firm’s thermal transfer overprinters can be used for coding onto flat packaging film, labels and gloss card, creating high definition images by using a printhead to push a ribbon into direct contact with a substrate. To help its customers find the right solution for their production line, the company urges them to have each pack material sample printed so that it is exposed to real-life production factors.

Finding the right result
Visually stimulating packaging, eye-catching image design and quality coding will enhance a brand’s image and could be the difference between a customer picking up a product or choosing the next one in line. It is therefore essential to invest time in exploring the various printing options available in order to seek out the best possible solution for your product and your brand.

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