Today part of Astrapak, Marcom has the technology and capacity to produce thin-wall injection-moulded polypropylene containers and lids, including tubs for the dairy industry (for yoghurt, cottage cheese, etc).
Aside from its competency in offset printing, however, Marcom also offers in-mould labelling (IML), using international expertise gained through its technology agreement with Shalam Packaging, one of Israel’s foremost suppliers of IML containers are a 40% shareholder in Marcom.
According to Brent Grant, Marcom’s MD, it’s all about superior decoration and on-shelf impact.
‘There are some limitations with offset printing, but with IML we can achieve unlimited decorative options,’ he says.
In Brent’s view, IML is a more versatile process, since shorter runs (than offset printing) are possible – although, as he concedes, it’s advisable to purchase labels in larger quantities to get optimal costs.
IML is particularly suitable for decorating square containers, where offset printing on four sides of the tub as well as on the lid would be prohibitively costly.
But at the end of the day, aesthetics and on-shelf display are the prime motivators, arguably even more so than cost.
Questioned about relative costs, Brent estimates that in-mould labelling is marginally more expensive – but he insists that this must be weighed against the exceptional quality of presentation. ‘Because IML offers such superior photographic quality and coverage, packaging is more visually appealing to consumers, making it more likely to catch their eyes when sitting on a shelf next to a product that has been conventionally decorated,’ he maintains.
Certainly feedback from the market seems to prove his point. ‘We simply can’t keep pace with demand; sales of in-mould labelled dairy tubs are spiralling. There’s no doubt that consumers buy with their eyes!’