With a significant increase in time-to-market speed and reduced production costs, the organic food industry’s recent trend toward flexible packaging is not surprising. Organic food products do not rely on preservatives for a long shelf life and the associated economy of scale; freshness assurance and speed in getting product to market are essential industry success factors. Digital pouch printing meets these specialized needs and also offers greater opportunities for short-run promotional packaging and marketing-strategy trials.

Variable Data Printing Is a Key Advantage

The traditional plate-based printing press met packaging needs when uniformity and large production runs were the norm. Digital printing changed things. Product suppliers now have the means at their disposal to individualize segments of a packaging print run to tailor to the preferences of a variety of specific regions and demographic groups. Instead of requiring a series of costly short-run work orders, producers can now create the individualized packaging they require in a single flexible packaging printing order. Known as variable data printing, or VDP, the approach enables segments of a print run to differ according to varying promotional needs or consumer demographic preferences. This saves both time and production costs because it can consolidate a range of packaging print requirements into a single work order.

Speed and Cost-Reduction Make Flexibility Even Better

Flexibility in package printing is a highly desirable benefit, but adding in the factors of quick turnaround time and lowered costs makes it an even more attractive option. Because conventional printing requires the creation of plates to transfer impressions to the packaging media, both time and cost are added to a print run. Conventional printing also generates waste and chargeable overruns. Digital printing eliminates these issues. This helps to ensure that organic food packaging is produced quickly and efficiently, which also enables a fresher product to arrive at local retailers.

Product Packaging and Branding Statements Go Hand-In-hand

The way both repeat customers and potential purchasers perceive a company has an impact on how much of a product moves off the retailer’s shelves. First impressions count, and innovative, informative and consumer-friendly packaging concepts can compel shoppers to reach for one new product instead of another. Organic food consumers tend to pay much greater attention to what’s inside a package, its ingredients and where the contents came from. Flexible pouch printing enables organic food producers to design and create a variety of packaging formats to appeal to and inform a wide range of consumer preferences.

Single-serving packaging, see-through pouches, resealable stand-up or lay-flat packaging and on-the-go convenience are some of the product factors that appeal to purchasers while also making recognizable branding statements. Because product freshness is an important part of the organic foods market, and preservatives are a no-go issue, laminated and puncture-proof pouches that can maintain airtight and moisture-proof interiors appeal to this specialized and often discriminating market base.

Customize, Test and Implement

The ability to print on demand and make changes on-the-fly when and if needed accounts for the growing trend toward flexible printing in the organic food industry. Digital printing has changed the way consumers can be catered to according to their unique demographic and personal preferences. Trial runs and marketing-strategy testing are no longer costly and potentially risky ways of determining what works best when considering new packaging designs and formats.

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