M&S moves to digitally printed confectionary

15th July 2014 - Fine Cut

Marks and Spencer has revealed a new approach it is taking towards the packaging of some of its products.

The company will offer customers its Summer of Flavour Fruit Jellies in flexible wrapping that has been laminated and digitally printed.

Its design has been reverse printed, matching an existing eight-colour flexo specification through the application of four process colours and white. 

The move makes M&S the first retailer in the UK to utilise digital print for confectionary packaging purposes, after working closely with its supplier to create wrapping of this kind that can be approved for use with food.

According to M&S commercial and environmental packaging manager Andrew Speck, the decision to move in this direction wasn't based entirely on aesthetic reasons.

"Digital print allows small volumes of printed packaging to be produced, which enables new products to be trialled in-store. With no need for printing plates and a reduced artwork process, this has opened the door to on-demand print, something that conventional print techniques cannot deliver," he said.

Meanwhile, J&K Confectionary, which packed the M&S jellies, described the new wrapping as "premium". The organisation's projects and development executive Mark Trevethan admitted he thought the packs would look "fantastic" when they hit the shelves, complementing the level of detail the digital print method was able to achieve.

This isn't the first time in recent months that M&S has demonstrated an innovative approach to the labelling of its products. In June, it was reported the retailer would begin trialling a new method that utilised laser technology to effectively tattoo information onto the outer skin of its oranges.

As well as making a positive environmental impact, it is also hoped the move would help suppliers trace their products in the future by adding QR codes and other data to individual fruit, without harming their edible insides.

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