Huhtamaki PPL leverages digital technology

Executes numerous successful campaigns

Meenakshi Sapru, head - Sales, Digital Printing at HPPL. Photo PSA

Mumbai-headquartered Huhtamaki Paper Products Limited (HPPL), the Indian subsidiary of Finnish packaging major Huhtamaki Oyj, has had a very successful experience with digital printing technology due to which it has been able to execute numerous high-quality campaigns since it commissioned India’s first HP Indigo 20000 press more than a year ago, Meenakshi Sapru, head – Sales, Digital Printing at HPPL said during the IFCA conference held in Mumbai late-October.

The highlight for the company was Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign that HPPL executed after commissioning the press in April last year. In keeping with the campaign’s principal idea ‘Har Rishta Bola, Mere Naam Ki Coca-Cola,’ HPPL printed labels for Coke cans and bottles with special relationships printed on them, including Bae, Bro, Dude, BFF, Dad, Mom, Daughter, etc. Each of these relationships came with a descriptor.

According to Sapru, the entire ‘Share a Coke’ campaign took six months from ideation to execution and HPPL printed and supplied 130 million labels with 2,436 designs. The scale of the project was such that Coke ran the campaign in 12 different languages, 32 relationships and five descriptors. There were almost 3000 different artworks and many different SKUs.

Some other important campaigns that HPPL has executed using the digital technology include Arham Hygienics hand sanitizer sachet, which was a new product launch and required only small quantities for a very small sachet size. “The campaign was unviable to execute through the conventional process and the digital printing capability helped HPPL in adding this customer,” Sapru said.

HPPL also executed a project of printing idli batter pouches for Aananda Foods, which required 4,000 pouches every month. HPPL successfully supplied digitally printed pouches to speed up time to market, Sapru said.

Another project that HPPL executed successfully was for Percept Brands, which required ultra pop stand-up pouches for a new product to test its product before official launch. HPPL successfully supplied pouches in three designs and got the commercial order in bigger quantity, which was then processed in gravure.

HPPL also handled a campaign for Albea for their tube laminates and printed on standard PBL laminate with multiple variants in short quantities.

Growing role of digital technology in Indian packaging

Just like the global market, Indian packaging market too is undergoing a change driven by changing consumer needs. Sapru believes that the product life cycle is shrinking and majority of consumer buying happens unplanned. In this kind of environment, digital printing has a big role to play as a brand can execute time-bound campaigns, go for test marketing, launch limited edition products and offer greater personalization.

All of this points out to the fact that digital technology has a bigger role to play not only at HPPL but also in the wider Indian packaging industry.

“We see a lot of opportunity in the market, which can be dealt with digital printing technology,” she concluded.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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