How the plantation owner has improved the printing and application of labels for packaging
It was a good year for growers, and retail chains promoted fruits in their newsletters much more intensively than in previous years. The owners of one of the blueberry plantations had to speed up the packing of fresh fruit to arrive on time. They were also awaiting laborious work related to the application of labels for packaging. The application was done manually and the labels were printed in the printing house. Plantation owners noticed that this formula had undoubtedly already reached its limits. They wanted to avoid potential downtime and delays. Independent label printing on demand – one of the many arguments was the desire for more flexibility and independence. Creating unnecessary labelstock inventories – that wasn’t the goal they wanted to achieve.
Large product range and product rotation: how to mark it all?
The owners of a several hectare plantation are farming several species of blueberry. Taking into account the weather-dependent fluctuations in harvest quantity and changing consumer preferences, they have been expanding and diversifying their assortment for several years. They offer their customers not only fresh fruit in plastic boxes of various weights. They also sell preserves: jams, juices and their own honey.
Until now, they have ordered the printing of labels in the printing house. The application was done manually during the fruit packaging process. Some of the information, such as the best-before date, was printed on the labels by the employees. However, this way of functioning did not work for limited and frequently changing product series.
Looking for individual and flexible solutions in independent label printing
Plantation owners also noticed other imperfections of the existing solution, such as:
- extended waiting time for ready-to-use labels
- increase in operating costs: MOQ for labels was overstated in relation to the needs of seasonal and changeable production activity
- excessive and unreasonable build-up of stocks.
Undoubtedly, the lack of leeway was a major problem when outsourcing printing: the ability to create label contents “here and now” on your own. The growers wanted to react quickly to the dynamically changing market conditions and needs. This led to the idea of looking for a stand-alone label printing solution, in other words, printing on demand.
The plantation owners turned to Etisoft for advice on the optimal solution.
Short series of colour labels and easy design
The solution was adjusted to the financial assumptions of the project taking into account the seasonality and variability of the production volume. First of all, we proposed a solution that differs from the popular thermal transfer printing market, that is the possibility of printing colour labels rather than black-and-white ones.
This is possible thanks to the budget-friendly EPSON C3500 printer and software. Undoubtedly, one of the most important advantages of such a solution is the option of printing short series. The possibility of independent, easy and intuitive design is worth mentioning. It is enough to have a medium quality laptop and basic knowledge of Microsoft Office. To sum up, the growers also decided to buy an automatic label applicator, which automated the part of the process.
The personalisation option goes hand in hand with photographic quality and precise representation of the details on the label. It is noteworthy that the label and colour prints do not change their parameters during cold storage.
In independent printing of labels on demand, growers appreciated:
- fast, independent printing of colour labels
- no delays due to outsourcing of printing
- possibility of printing short series in quantities adjusted to real needs
- the absence of excessive and unnecessary label stock inventories
- the possibility of promoting products on the private label market.
Personalisation of the product increases its attractiveness
The solution proposed by Etisoft has improved product packaging and delivery logistics. We are able to react quickly and flexibly to the changing situation on the market, as well as accelerate the pace of implementation of a new product for sale. Thanks to independent printing we have already noticed a significant reduction in costs – says the co-owner of the plantation.
The possibility of printing colour labels on demand will be appreciated by planters, growers, beekeepers, producers of eco-products, juices and craft beers. Personalised colour labels help products on the shelf stand out from the competition. They are in line with the popular trend of product personalization and sales on the e-commerce market. The attractiveness of the label certainly increases brand awareness among consumers, ready to pay more for the product attractively packed and aesthetically labeled.