Monthly Archives: June 2016

Brand Protection and Packaging

The challenge confronting the brands

Counterfeiting is a global menace faced by virtually all brands. In layman’s terms a counterfeited item is a perfect look-alike of the original branded product but with far inferior quality. Such fake products when get a free hand in the market, fail to deliver the quality that the original brand stands for. This often results in a huge reputational loss for the brands that have built equity by putting in hard work and toil over the years.

Brand-Protection-and-Packaging3

What is more alarming is the fact that the dark underbelly of counterfeit and fake goods market represents more than 2.5% of world trade according to the latest OECD report quoted by International Chamber of Commerce.

Counterfeit products originate in almost all countries. While the pharmaceutical and food industry is the most vulnerable to this threat with the consequences that may result in loss of health and life, other sectors facing the brunt of thefake are toys, car parts, electronic goods, fashion to name a few. Besides deceiving the end users and eroding brand equity, counterfeiting also digs a hole into the economy. According to a recent research report by a leading brand management consultancy, counterfeiting now costs more than 2% of the global economic output that works out to around $1.8 trillion a year.

Brands need to ensure they do everything to protect their products from being duplicated and keeping the fake, off the shelves. In factpackaging can play the most important role towards Brand protectionfor thwarting counterfeiting.Packaging can incorporate authentication features embedded in latest technology for retailers and consumers to differentiatebetween original and the fake.

The anti-counterfeiting packaging market is witnessing an impressive growth owing to increased awareness among consumers about secured packaging; the spotlight on brand protection technologies placed by packaging manufacturers, and the ever evolving legal and regulatory landscape.

Identifying barcodes, holograms, watermarks though are economical and easy to print on packages; they are susceptible to be copied by the counterfeiters who are well equipped with modern technology and machinery. Other measures involve track & trace technologies, tamper proof packaging, overt features, hidden images among others.

The challenge for brands, however, is to adopt anti-counterfeiting measures that are complicated to copy or reproduce but convenient enough for supply chain and retailers to identify and validate besides being economical.

Anti-counterfeiting solutions @ Uflex

Anti-counterfeiting solutions are one of the most significant offerings of India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company Uflex Limited. Uflex considers its clients as its partners and does not leave any stone unturned to come up with bespoke brand protection and anti-counterfeiting solutions. This stems from decades of experience in servicing global clients backed up with unmatched R&D expertise.

Some of the anti-counterfeiting solutions that Uflex offers:

  • Different types of Holograms {analog 2D/3D conventional, Dot matrix (up to 24,000 DPI); non-diffractive Litho (up to 1,20,000 DPI) and E-Beam};
  • Unigrams;
  • Latentograms;
  • Wide Web Holographic Films {Soft embossing films, Hard embossing films, UV Process Manufactured Fresnel, Diffractive, Holographic and Hybrid (Combination) lens embossed films, High Refractive Index films, Windows/ De-metallized and Lens films};
  • Holographic Pouches;
  • Holographic Strips;
  • Holographic Scratch;
  • Holographic Wads;
  • Holographic Shrink Sleeves;
  • Holographic thermal lamination films as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Biaxially Oriented Poly Propylene (BOPP) variants in generalised and customised designs;
  • Labelling solutions using foils, Fresnel lens and holographic effects {Printed Labels, Tamper Evident Security Labels, Anti-counterfeit Labels, Bar-Code Labels, Scratch Labels, Thermal Transfer Labels, Serial Number Labels, Holographic Labels};
  • Hot and Cold Stamping Foils and OEKOTEX Certified Textile Value Addition Products {Sequins Film, Hot Melt Film, Holographic Glitter Film} etc.

Uflex Limited’s‘SPORTS FOR GROWTH’initiative wins Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2016 at Singapore

India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company Uflex Limited has been honored with the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2016under the Social Empowerment category for its ‘Sports for Growth’ initiative.

Sports for Growth is a social intervention that Uflex has rolled out in association with a leading not-for-profit-organization Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS) with a goal to realize every child’s right to play freely as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender and socio-economic background. The overarching mission is to contribute towards empowerment of underprivileged children and youth who are at the risk of social exclusion.

Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2016 Uflex Limited honoured with Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2016 

The activities under the initiative ‘Sports for Growth’ have been extensively rolled out in various states of India like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. Apart from popular games like cricket, football and hockey, unsung sports like sepaktakraw, volleyball, kabaddi, wrestling, kho-kho among several others are strongly promoted. While undertaking various activities under this initiative, Uflex through its implementing partner STAIRS, pays particular attention towards the inclusion of girls and promotion of sports for the benefit of the differently abled. The programmatic interventions also addresscross cutting issues of sensitization of children and youth against drugs and substance abuse besides empowering their communities.

‘Sports for Growth’ comprises sub-interventions like Uflex Khelo Delhi, Cricket Championship, Cricket Scholarship, Uflex Khelo Haryana, Khelo Uttar Pradesh, Khelo Himachal and Stairs School Football League (SSFL). After the astounding success of the Delhi Chapter of SSFL, Uflex has also pledged support to the Gujarat Chapter of SSFL till 2020. SSFL is looked up to as the tournament for spotting talent for the Under 17 FIFA World Cup that will be hosted by India in 2017.

Uflex has been conferred with the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award (A.R.E.A) at Singapore in conjunction with the International CSR Summit that brought together Asia’s top CSR experts, practitioners, speakers and leaders.A.R.E.A. recognizes and honours Asian Businesses for championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship.

An independent jury panel comprising business leaders, academicians, retired senior government and political leaders assessed and evaluated the nominations that were received. Some of the noted jury members are Dr. Eugene Chien – Chairman of the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Republic of China; Dr. Niven Huang- GeneralManager of KPMG Sustainability Consulting Co.Ltd, Secretary General of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, Taiwan and Lt. Gen Sudhir Sharma, Former Quarter Master General of Indian Army,Former Defence Attaché of India in London.

Some of the other awardees include Pfizer Ltd. Taiwan;Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited; HSBC Sri Lanka; Puritas Private Limited;Taipei Financial Center; British American Tobacco- Bangladesh; Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn. Bhd;among several others.While considering Uflex’s ‘Sports for Growth’ intervention for the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2016, the Jury particularly noted organization’s endeavour to institutionalize sports for the benefit of the not-so-privileged children and youth of India by taking both state and non-state actors together. The jury also underpinned the efforts made towards inclusion of the girl child and differently abled in the Indian sports ecosystem besides training and mentoring children and youth to even consider sports as a career opportunity.

Expressing pleasure upon this prestigious conferral, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director of the Flexible Packaging behemoth Uflex Limited in an official statement said, “I am glad that our intervention ‘Sport for Growth’ is helping power-pack the personalities of the not so privileged children and youth, particularly that of girls and the differently abled by infusing agility, confidence and self-esteem in them. Nothing bonds people better than Sports is what I strongly believe. ‘Sports for Growth’ is a definitive step for a physically fit and mentally alert India”.

Sustainability

Sustainability

At DRUPA,Comiflex shakes hands with Uflex to Make In India

Italian firm Comiflex SRL has shaken hands with India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company Uflex Limited confirming its intent to manufacture Gearless C.I. Flexo Printing Machines under a Technology Transfer Agreement with the latter. This happened at DRUPA where Uflex is currently exhibiting.

L-R Ajay Tandon, Gianfranco Nespoli, Ashok Chaturvedi

 (L-R: Ajay Tandon, Gianfranco Nespoli, Ashok Chaturvedi)

The memorandum of understanding has already been signed between Mr. Gianfranco Nespoli, Owner of Comiflex SRL and Mr. Ajay Tandon, President & CEO, Engineering Business, Uflex Limited. Uflex will market and sell these machines across the world.

With 50 years of enriching experience to his credit,Mr. Gianfranco Nespoli, is a renowned exponent in the field of designing and producing high quality C.I. Flexo Machines. Mr. Nespoli is one of the founding members of Flexotecnica that was founded in 1979 in Galganano for manufacturing flexo printing presses for roll to roll printing on films and paper for packaging applications.

Expressing his pleasure, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited, who is currently attending DRUPA said “We will be manufacturing Gearless C.I. Flexo Printing Machines in collaboration withComiflex SRL at our Engineering Plant in India. I am glad that Uflex has partnered with one of the sharpest brains of the C.I. Flexo printing machine technology. Innovation to create value added differentiation is the guiding principle at Uflex and our engagement with Mr. Gianfranco Nespoli’sComiflex SRL testifies it”. “This tie-up furthers the ethos and spirit of my Government’s flagship scheme Make in India” added Mr. Chaturvedi.

Uflex is in Hall No. 15 at Stand No. C 51 from May 31 to June 10, 2016

How flexible packaging became an extension for branding & marketing

293552800_LS_Ashok_Chaturvedi

By Ashok Chaturvedi 

‘Change is the only constant thing in this world’ – quite an oxymoron, isn’t it? I remember those days back in the eighties when the unit packs or sachets as they are commonly known as created ripples in the Indian market. It was a change in how people perceived products. It was a change in how people purchased things. It marked a sea change in how people used products. The ever swelling middle class of the country suddenly started finding FMCG brands affordable.

Brands that they once heard about on radio and glimpsed through during TV ad-breaks were now gradually becoming a part of the daily household. The FMCG sector was quick enough to turn around and adopt these changes. They knew the power of the consumers then much as they know it now. Thus kick-started, the story of change which still continues.

Beginnings are usually low key. At the heart of the ‘sachet’ revolution has been the arrival of flexible packaging industry. First things first, both consumers and brands only aimed at small portions carefully packed in order to avoid any spoilage before the expiry date. This was the bare minimum that was taken care of. Gradually with the advent of efficient communication channels and liberalization of our economy, more and more Indians started gaining flair for western products.

Now was the time when brands started acknowledging the possibilities that lay ahead in the arena of flexible packaging. They now started offering the consumers more variants in terms of size and volume. Clear and eloquent branding coupled with a reasonable spread of SKU (stock keeping units) was considered just about adequate at this juncture.

The middle class was evolving rather rapidly. Deft response to their needs and requirements was now being looked at by brand custodians with an eye for precision and details. Now came in the all-pervasive role of thorough Research and Development (R&D) by brands and the flexible packaging manufacturers to find customized solutions.

Polyethylene Terephthalate Films, Polypropylene Films, Blown Films, Cast Films were being carefully weighed for pros-and-cons in terms of their visual characteristics, physical strength, performance at various temperatures, resistance to chemicals and barrier properties to find use in packaging solutions for packing various types of products.

Aluminum foils that were used for wrapping food items owing to their superior impermeability to water vapour and water; barrier against heat and light and their ability to prevent infestation by germs and bacteria were now competing with a close contender – metallized films. These metallized films clearly outperformed the conventional aluminium foils in terms of offering similar advantages at much reasonable cost. These films are light weighted and thus, leave much lesser carbon footprint. Metalized films found wide usage in packaging foods, snacks and confectionary.

Longer life for everything around us
Early forms of potato wafer packaging entailed less elaborate wrappers made of polyethylene or polypropylene TQ film. Now with the advancement of packaging technology, chips are packed in at least four layered structure comprising BOPP, Extrusion POLY, MET PET and POLY which tremendously improve the shelf life. Added to this are functionalities like sliders/ re-closable / re-sealable zippers that further keep the product safe for deferred use.

Fertilizers, cements, flour and pet food used to be packed in woven sacks or multi walled paper sacks that were often ruptured and damaged during handling and transportation. These products now come in large printed laminated flexible packaging with excellent barrier properties having a perfect control over moisture ingress and air egress.

Mouth fresheners that were once packed in plastic or metal cans now come in a variety of sizes or even as portion packaging. The bigger packs come as flexible packaging re-closable packages with a laser cut for easy opening, offering convenience and functional ease to consumers.

However, the three side gusseted standup pouches are serving to be real trailblazers on the retail shelf where they are upright and leave no opportunity to get noticed by the consumers. The printable area on the pouch has increased substantively offering more branding possibilities to the marketers. Sleeve in pouches are offering the best of both the worlds imparting luster and barrier properties of film on one hand and effective display of carton on the other.

Profile flexible packs are real head turners that may assume the shape of a shirt, a canon or a bottle for that matter. Besides being high on functionality their aesthetics are unmatched. Chain packs that you would find hanging from the hinges of retail shelf inherently impart a continued visibility at point of sale (POS) besides offering all the convenience of unit pouches to the consumers.

We can see teabags, shampoo sachets, mouth fresheners all over constantly wooing the customers. Portion flexi packs that also derive their lineage from chain packs are working well for detergents, antacids and medicines ensuring that only the required portion is dispensed at a time.

Way Ahead

In the present day and time intelligent packaging is being considered as an extension of branding with a much better interfacing with marketers and consumers sharing real time information about supply chain coordinates, shelf life, freshness, quality and various other aspects. Driven by rapid advancements in time-temperature indicators (TTI) intelligent packaging is anticipated to witness a strong growth in the coming times.

This system could be able to detect product contamination and change of color in case the packed product is not fit for consumption by the consumer anymore. Intelligent packaging is thus becoming synonymous to better functionalities and pack utility.

Flexible packaging is all about light weighting and space and energy conservation when compared to the rigid counterparts. Studies have proved beyond reasonable doubt that flexible packaging requires much less energy at the stage of manufacturing, transportation and disposal. One truckload of empty flat pouches is equivalent to more than 75 truckloads of empty rigid containers.

Flexible packaging is a contemporary phenomenon that is here to stay. It is evolving with each passing day. Brands love it, so do the customers. The legacy that this genre of packaging has built for itself over the years will continue to spell convenience and value for money riding on the wave of new technology and innovation.

(The article originally appeared in ET.com)