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First Impression Labels recently partnered with Danone on an exciting initiative with one goal in mind: to promote innovation and sustainability within the Danone range of products. Having worked in the industry since 1997, delivering world-class flexographic and digital labelling solutions, we thrive on challenges – particularly where we get to partner hand-in-glove with brands. Add to that our fleet of 13 Flexo Presses, 5 Digital Presses and 40 Finishing Machines at our disposal, there’s no job too big for us!

From Inline vs Offline, Foils, Varnishes and Silkscreens to Unique Coding, Reverse Printing and Unique Print like Mosaic and Collage, our capabilities are versatile. However, for this collaboration, digital capabilities were where we saw the most potential for innovation and an uptick in sustainability within Danone – with a particular focus on Variable Data Printing.

If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, Variable Data Printing is a form of digital printing in which elements may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process using information from a database or external file. Additional digital benefits of Variable Data Printing include speed to market, no origination costs, design without limits and inline silver ink. To showcase the scope of personalisation Variable Data Printing can deliver, we printed each delegate’s name on an UltraMel Milkshake bottle using our HP Indigo presses!

With this in mind, we proposed the addition of a QR code on each Danone UltraMel Milkshake pack. The idea was to replace the foil on pack using our digital press, to create connected packaging that was more sustainable to print. This QR code would work hand-in-hand with an innovative Hirt & Carter Digital Solutions platform called SmartPack™.

SmartPack™ allows brands to digitise products at scale, driving a dynamic digital experience. At the heart of this platform is the concept of a SmartCode™ which connects each product to the web and a wider digital ecosystem using a GS1 Digital Link for packaging. Each connected product becomes a new digital media channel for consumer engagement, proven to drive data acquisition and deliver growth.

Combining this with another Hirt & Carter Digital Solutions product, an interactive marketing and gamification platform called uWINa, we are able to create digital experiences that incentivise, engage and instantly reward consumers. uWINa delivers innovative and immersive consumer campaigns that grow brand awareness, ROI and build qualified leads, whilst decreasing costs. In other words: Fun for consumers and smart for brands!

For the purpose of this collaboration, each Danone UltraMel SKU would have its own unique user experience from the time the consumer scanned the QR code to the competition element using uWINa. To drive consumption for the competition element, we suggested adding a perforation on the pack label, that allowed for the separation of the sleeve for recycling purposes or the unique code on the reverse side.

We also suggested using the QR codes on packs to communicate with consumers about sustainability and urge them to recycle their Ultra Mel Milkshake packs – which are already manufactured using 70% recycled PET plastic.

A further look at sustainability, saw us suggesting Danone switch to Polyolefin Material. With a lower density than other shrink labelling types, it offers excellent clarity, is printable on both sides, and is APR and EPBP approved for PET recycling. It also offers high shrink for excellent label fit on all containers, eliminating loose fit on HPDE containers.

ECG Printing was another sustainability route. The benefits of using this process include a 40% reduction in carbon with the option to use Variable Data Printing as a way to introduce SmartCodes onto every SKU.

All-in-all we thoroughly enjoyed this innovation and sustainability collaboration with Danone and look forward to seeing the fruits of our labour actualised. If this is something your business would be interested in, please get in touch and we can propose innovation and sustainability solutions for your brand.