Anstadt Co. Capitalizes on the Folding Carton Opportunity
Packaging remains a top application opportunity for print providers. According to the annual "Hot Markets" forecast of overall print demand, packaging topped the list of market opportunities. The annual report is a great marketing planning tool for printing companies of all sizes to target the vertical industries and applications that provide the greatest growth potential. (Click here for the Printing Impressions Top 25 Hot Markets report.)
A key packaging subsegment is folding cartons. According to Mordor Intelligence, the Global Folding Carton Packaging Market was valued at US $134.49 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US $177.25 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.62% over the forecast period (2022-2027). Folding cartons is an attractive packaging application because:
- It is one of the most used eco-friendly packaging options.
- It offers opportunities for many types of print providers because folding cartons come in many sizes and can be printed on smaller format presses compared to other bulkier package printing alternatives.
- It is a packaging subsegment that is rapidly migrating to digital printing presses given the advances in technology.
Digital packaging print technology is opening the opportunity for print service providers of all sizes to diversify and expand into packaging. Anstadt Company CEO Matthew Doran saw packaging as an emerging opportunity for the company. The Anstadt Company is a fifth-generation family-owned, integrated marketing and print execution company headquartered in York, PA, currently in its 144th year in operation.
The firm is heavily invested in digital technology including a fleet of state-of-the-art HP Indigo digital printing presses — backed by a robust portfolio of finishing equipment, as well as a Scodix unit for digital embellishment. In addition to packaging, the company produces a wide array of direct mail, photo products, and Web-enabled print-on-demand applications.
According to Doran, “As we looked at building a strategy that would provide a growth opportunity for the company, producing folding cartons meant the ability to compete for new types of business, serve new supply chain models, provide sustainable offerings, and offer one-of-a-kind boxes.”
Anstadt entered packaging printing through acquisition. A month before the pandemic took hold, Anstadt acquired another York, PA-based firm, Triangle Printing and Packaging. Doran indicated that the participation in digital packaging had a substantial positive impact on the firm during the pandemic and provided value for clients and prospects dealing with supply chain issues and challenges in differentiating their brands.
Doran explains, “These mid-tier companies have unique needs that only digital print can meet, such as cost-effective short runs and quick turnarounds, with customized embellishments that make their packaging stand out. The concept of leveraging Scodix technology for embellishment has particular appeal. These smaller firms feel packaging, especially with some of the embellishment capability, is a differentiator and can make their business and brand look big.”
Doran continued, “We see the digital folding carton market as similar to where digital print-on-demand technology was several years ago. Marketers don’t have a clear understanding of what can be done with technology. They need to be educated on the fact that they can produce short runs, versions, and customize special cartons. It is clear that the opportunity in front of us is significant and is contributing to double-digit revenue growth at Anstadt.”
Barbara Pellow is the owner and founder of Pellow and Partners. With her long history focusing on digital communications and print technology, she works with both print service providers and equipment and software manufacturers on the development of strategies to improve revenue and profitability and grow market share.