Packaging Impressions Forum Highlights Packaging Growth Opportunities
Packaging Impressions held a panel discussion titled “Packaging 101 for the Commercial and Wide-Format Printer” at the 2022 PRINTING United Expo to educate commercial and wide-format print service providers on how they can enter the packaging segment. The presentation relied on examples from panelists about how they completed their journeys from commercial printing to packaging.
The forum had insights from Cory Francer, printing industry analyst, NAPCO Research; Todd Meissner, president Color Ink/FunDeco; Tom O’Brien, VP business development, Taylor; and Linda Casey, editor-in-chief, Packaging Impressions magazine.
The session kicked off with a presentation from Francer complete with data and trends that prove packaging is an industry well worth exploring.
During his presentation, Francer explained labels were a great starting point for those just getting started. There are a variety of digital production options available and there are fewer finishing/converting processes required. But for other segments, like flexible packaging and corrugated, he explained that while they may be more challenging, it’s a market to watch.
Francer gave some words of advice. “Talking with your internal customer base is a great place to start,” he said. “But then to expand, look in your local community. There’s so many artisan, craft, and boutique brands that serve a local clientele. They need low volumes of labels; they need short runs of packaging. And consumers are increasingly looking to support these types of brands.”
Meissner touched on how it’s not only a physical change, but a mental change as well.
“As a commercial printer, I’ve always viewed us as being like a marketing and advertising company where as long as what we’re producing looks pretty, that’s all that matters,” Meissner said. “But with folding cartons, we found that it’s important to have good quality manufacturing practices.”
The mic then went to O’Brien, who explained that he got into packaging because he fell in love with flexible packaging after seeing an HP Indigo 20000 in action at a 2019 HP event in Israel.
“I came home and told my wife I have to do this and at the age of 63,” O’Brien said. “I took the building at the back of our property and built it into a facility that’s geared towards SQF certification. We’re not there yet, but we have everything in place so that the first time a customer tells us we’ve got to have it, we will be there.”