Digital Printing Technology Delivers Larger-Than-Life Packaging Impact
The digitally printed packaging boosts Savco’s sustainability profile
June 18, 2019
When it comes to sheer size and weight, watermelons are undoubtedly in a league of their own in the world of fresh produce—requiring extraordinarily strong packaging to get these spherical-shaped giants of sweet fruity wholesomeness to market in pristine condition under very tight timelines.
In addition, any such packaging also has to play a critical marketing and branding role for fresh produce distributors such as Mississauga, Ont.-based Savco Worldwide Inc. and its H2O brand of seedless watermelons.
Happily for Savco, the folks at Georgia Pacific’s recently-formed Hummingbird digital printing solutions division thrive on answering big challenges with bigger and better solutions enabled by today’s wide-format digital printing technologies.
Measuring 40 by 48 inches and boasting holding capacity of up to 700 pounds, the octagonal bins designed by Hummingbird for Savco were printed on a 110-inch HP PageWide digital corrugated press that offers significant advantages over traditional wide-format printing methods.
“The growing or buying seasons for some produce can be just a few weeks,” says Savco Worldwide president Sav Tsoukalas, “and the HP PageWide digital printing solution gives agility to provide up-to-date packaging quickly to farms for shipping to consumer outlets.”
Tsoukalas says that the bins are shipped straight to the company’s many farmers for speedy farm-to-store delivery across Canada and the U.S., while effectively acting as the brand’s moving billboards.
According to Tsoukalas, the digitally printed packaging boosts Savco’s sustainability profile to help meet the environmental stewardship requirements of distributors and to win contracts.
“Another advantage is the easy recyclability of HP PageWide digitally-printed corrugated packaging, which can be collected along with general corrugated materials from stores for recycling,” says Tsoukalas, adding the PageWide packaging also meets the retailers’ requirements for food-grade ink.
According to Hummingbird, the odorless waterbased inks used on the HP PageWide press are free of UV-reactive chemistries—meaning they can be used across a wide range of primary and secondary packaging applications for food, personal-care and other sensitive products without additional barriers.
“Corrugated boxes are the fastest-growing packaging segment,” says Robert Seay, director for digital business ventures at Georgia Pacific Corrugated LLC in Denton, Tex.
“High-volume digital inkjet printing provides brands with new marketing and supply chain management opportunities for any size job, including versioning and customization.”
For his part, Tsoukalas says that Savco is keen to take advantage of the high-quality graphics and vibrant color of HP’s digital printing to engage customers with its H2O Melon watermelon brand.
“The graphics on the bins are creatively designed to represent clean, clear water—visually attracting shoppers in the store, says Tsoukalas, adding the H2O brand is using nine different designs for this year’s season, compared to three designs last year.
In addition, the H2O bins also feature QR (quick response) codes with geo-location links to connect the watermelon bins to their farms of origin.
“I want to give the farmers credit and the opportunity to publicize their local business and location to the consumers,” Tsoukalas states.
“This makes it a true partnership.”