Tenth annual Dscoop conference is the largest to date

Final attendance numbers exceeded 2,200 which makes it the biggest Dscoop event held to-date.

DscoopX, held March 5-7 in Washington, D.C., the largest event in the organization’s ten-year history

“The participation of Dscoop members in DscoopX, even in unique circumstances, shows how committed this community is,” said John Rogers, Dscoop Global Executive Director. “Walking in the opening general session Thursday, and seeing a packed room filled with people excited to kick off the conference….”

DscoopX also played host to Dion Weisler, the newly appointment CEO of HP Inc. Dion spoke at Friday’s General Session and met with Dscoop leadership during his visit.

DscoopX also brought together 116 Partners in a combined 45,000 square foot Solutions Showcase. Companies representing packaging, finishing, direct mail, trans-promo, commercial, media substrates, photo specialty and more sectors combined to make it the largest Solutions Showcase in the organization’s history.

“DscoopX is just one event which highlights where the future of the industry is headed,” said Gary Peeling, Dscoop Global Board Chairman and Managing Director of Precision Printing Co. Ltd. “It’s not enough to just focus on the print side anymore. Growth and success requires embracing a new generation of professionals who are armed with the marketing and sales expertise to support your mission. It’s a shift that we will continue to see over the next few years, and one the Dscoop community is excited about.”

Dscoop and HP announced new initiatives throughout the week.

  • Dscoop University introduced changes to the online learning platform
  • Dscoop introduced the DscoopX Packaging Renaissance, which included a segment for Dscoop members and representatives from global and national brands to connect on trends, insights and advancements in label and packaging. As a part of the Packaging Renaissance, attendees could attend nine individual educational sessions focused specifically on that sector.
  • The first annual Jetcomm conference preceded DscoopX. Jetcomm is the new user community for HP Inkjet users, there were 150 attendees.

​In a special awards ceremony held during the conference, some of Dscoop’s finest volunteers were honored for their commitment to the community. Chris Reine of Franklin Press was named the Dscoop Top Contributor for the third year, Nosco (Waukegan, IL) was the winner of the first annual Rod Key Marketing Excellence Award and Susan Moore was this year’s Jack Glacken Award winner, which recognizes the individual who has made the largest contribution to the Dscoop community over the course of the past year.

 

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What’s Your Next Great Product? Your Innovation Management Roadmap

One of the key drivers in fast-moving-consumer-goods companies is innovation, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Just why is innovation management important and how can companies, large and small, implement an effective and sustainable new product development process?

The importance of innovation management

In 2005 management consulting firm, Arthur D. Little, was commissioned by EDANA (the international association for the nonwovens and related industries) to assess Europe’s nonwoven industry on the quality of its innovation management. More than 30 companies used Arthur D. Little’s innovation management learning framework (Innovation Health Check) to benchmark their performance.

Results of this diagnostic study suggest that:

  • Good innovation management is crucial to profitability and growth.

  • Most companies need to improve the quality of their innovation process, both significantly and rapidly.

Size up your brand’s growth potential

To understand the growth opportunities that your brand portfolio offers, it is advisable to implement a variety of projective techniques. These might include:

  • A map of future markets accounting for consumer trends.

  • A benefit-driven market segmentation based on function vs brand characteristics.

  • A prioritized set of innovation platforms.

Mapping future markets

Market trends can be researched using such online tools as Euromonitor International: Market research data. Wipes benefit from a number of trends. The wipes market is expected to benefit from increased consumer spending on greater hygiene and convenience, due to a rise in disposable income levels. This makes wipes an excellent candidate for brand extension.

Benefit-driven market segmentation

By segmenting consumer markets according to the benefits sought from a wipe product, it immediately becomes clear where the opportunities for new product developments are.

What is an innovation platform?

An innovation platform is a group of individuals with different backgrounds and interests who come together to diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals. A good innovation platform will define the scope of opportunities, priorities ideas and focus on all the players.

Facilitating innovation

In larger companies, innovation is traditionally a remit of the marketing department. Brand teams, with a good understanding of customer requirements, shoehorn in creative innovation and develop endless brand extensions alongside their general day-to-day duties. To offset this strain on resources, other companies create specialist innovation teams who have the time to focus on the creation of a strategic growth portfolio. They increase their sustainable growth potential through the adoption of both long-term divergent products and core brand extensions.

Smaller companies can find the resources to innovate through a cooperative development relationship with their supplier.

The seven steps of a good innovation platform

Innovation platforms generally follow several steps.

  1. Initiate – identify facilitators.

  2. Define focus – gather research and background information. Discuss bottlenecks, problems and opportunities.

  3. Identify options – plan strategies to overcome challenges and exploit opportunities.

  4. Test and refine solutions – coordination of experiments, monitoring and analysis of results.

  5. Develop capacity – identify capacity gaps and find ways to fill them.

  6. Implement and scale up – document innovation and transition to production.

  7. Analyze and learn – feedback lessons learned into continuing innovation process.

 

 

 

This article first appeared on Simon’s blog.

 

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Innovative Recipes Can Revolutionize the Juice Aisle

A stroll down a grocery store imported foods aisle, which is stacked with juice and nectar creations from Europe and Latin America, feels worlds away from the U.S. juice category a few aisles over.

There, a familiar and largely bottled domestic homogeny of various citrus, apple and cranberry juices stands in stark contrast to the colorful and intriguing wall of imported innovations. A sea of wildly diverse blends of fruits and vegetables—many of them packaged in cartons—showcase the innovative offerings that much of the rest of the world gets and has come to expect.

Market watchers of the stagnant U.S. juice market need only to see what is selling here to discover what consumers thirst for now. Rapidly growing sales of coconut water juice blends and trending super-fruit and salad smoothies all point to healthier and more interesting ways to hydrate and nutrient-load than the prosaic juices and nectars that dominate the U.S. market.

This growing competition from other drinks along with health concerns about sugar and calorie counts have contributed to an inflation-adjusted 9 percent drop-off in U.S. juice sector sales as a whole, according to market watcher Mintel, in a comprehensive November 2014 report on the U.S. juice market. This slide will almost certainly continue without innovation that moves packaged juice beyond the breakfast table and positions it as a portable, healthful snack that satisfies at any time of day.

The few bright spots in the category, indeed, are the more innovative segments where products are being positioned to address these challenges. Smoothies have been successful, for example, in positioning products as nutrient-rich anytime snacks. Though just 5 percent of the overall category, smoothies grew dollar sales by 35 percent between 2012 and 2014 according to the Mintel report.

Many of these ever-more-exotic, health-oriented fruit and vegetable blends and smoothies have been successfully formulated as lower-sugar alternatives to orange juice, whose U.S. retail sales have declined by 30 percent in the past decade, notes Barron’s. But as producers in Europe and South America figured out a long time ago, aseptic processing and carton packaging provide a highly effective method for preserving juice beverages without preservatives—an ideal combination for consumers, who seek quality products along with innovative and healthier formulations.

These better-for-you juices and smoothies have been a popular area of exploration for visitors to LiDestri Food, Beverage and Spirits’ new Innovation Center in Rochester, N.Y., which offers food and beverage producers a veritable playground for product experimentation. Here is where they can have ‘bench time’ to explore and tweak formulations or do test runs to gauge mid- and then full-scale production issues.

A focus on flavor is one of many reasons LiDestri Food, Beverage and Spirits, Inc. recently invested in the only two high-acid Tetra Prisma® Aseptic production lines in the U.S. in Pennsauken, N.J., with the capacity for up to six more at that location.

Following the trends, our private label offerings, packaged in cold fill aseptic cartons, sync with the consumer move toward healthy and deliciously indulgent beverages. Some examples include:

• a vitamin A-, C- and E-fortified lemonade called LEMONACE;

• a strawberry banana juice smoothie;

• SMOOTHCHATA, a take on the rice-based Mexican beverage horchata; and

• SuperGreens, a vitamin-rich fruit and leafy vegetable blend.

Our work in this arena has taught us two important lessons: 

  • Aseptic processing is optimal for these new breeds of beverages for a variety of reasons, the first being taste; and
  • It pays for producers to consider packaging in tandem with formulation innovations, which is possible with an Innovation Center such as ours.

Tetra Pak’s aseptic processing and packaging is gentler on natural flavors and nutrients, making it a strong fit for preserving the natural flavors in juices, nectars and smoothies. The system also protects products without the need for preservatives, another important consideration as natural and healthful products increasingly resonate with consumers.

These modern packages also provide differentiation for our customers, who want to stand out against the competition for their packages too. In addition to having a distinctive silhouette, the fully printable surface also creates a billboard effect that’s perfect for the bright colors and eye-catching graphics that consumers increasingly have come to expect from modern package design. And retailers like them for their space efficiency, which allows them to fit more product on shelves.

As savvy beverage manufacturers and private label producers continue to innovate to revive and grow the juice category, we look forward to helping them meet the needs of their customers both inside and out.

 

Stefani LiDestri is the Chief Marketing Officer for LiDestri Food, Beverage and Spirits, Inc., a 40-year-old, family-owned company based in Fairport, NY, with four manufacturing centers across the U.S. LiDestri’s diversity offers opportunities for Stefani to innovate and communicate across multiple industries, channels and disciplines.

 

 

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SCHAWK! Earns 2014 U.K. ‘Supplier Of The Year’ Award From Nestlé For ‘Best Sales And Marketing Partnership’

Nestlé Recognizes Schawk for Bringing New Ideas to its Partnership

Schawk!, a leading global brand deployment provider that produces and protects brand assets to drive brand profitability, was recently honoured as U.K. ‘Supplier of the Year’ for ‘Best Sales & Marketing Partnership’ by Nestlé.  The award was in recognition of Schawk bringing new ideas to its partnership with Nestlé and its delivery of packaging development workflow improvements.

The Nestlé U.K. Supplier of The Year Award for Best Sales and Marketing Partnership was designed to recognize and acknowledge suppliers that exemplify outstanding performance and execution.

Schawk was chosen U.K. Supplier of The Year by Nestlé for working so successfully with its Pack Change teams to identify and implement improvements that help the global nutrition, health and wellness company improve its agility, enabling it to respond to changes in consumer demand and market conditions more rapidly.

Rob Moore, managing director at Schawk, Manchester, said: “To be recognized by one of the world’s most admired companies in this manner is quite an honour. It does more than recognize our performance. It affirms Schawk’s commitment to helping Nestlé identify opportunities to execute workflow changes that support its sales and marketing goals while reducing total cost.”

Added Moore, “We work very closely with the Nestlé Pack Change teams, offering expertise, helping to manage colour targets and advising technical constraints at the start of projects to help ensure that the final delivered packaging meets marketing expectations and helps drive brand performance.”

Schawk! produces brand assets and protects brand equities to drive brand profitability. Leveraging its 60+ years of industry leadership, Schawk! identifies and deploys scalable solutions to address a brand’s complex production and delivery needs through proven expertise in workflow, resourcing, color management and imaging. Schawk! is part of the brand deployment group of SGK. SGK is a division of Matthews International Corporation (NASDAQ GSM: MATW). For more information visit: http://www.schawk.com

Nestlé is committed to enhancing the quality of consumers’ lives through nutrition, health and wellness. Our mission of “Good Food, Good Life” is to provide the best tasting, most nutritious choices in a wide range of food and beverage categories and eating occasions, from morning to night. For more information visit: http://www.nestle.com/

 

PHOTO: NESTLÉ U.K. SUPPLIER AWARDS CEREMONY, Gatwick Hilton Hotel, February 26, 2015

Left to right: Sarah Bakker, Entertainer; Peter Sheehy, Schawk; Garry Smith, Schawk; Connel Fowler, Schawk; Ana-Maria Velicia, Nestlé; Scott Thorogood; Schawk and Mark Durden-Smith, Television Presenter. 

 

 

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Brown-Forman unveils the new look of Comfort

Southern Comfort releases Caramel Comfort, a blend of Southern Comfort with the smooth taste of caramel with notes of vanilla, whiskey and spice. But the most intriguing part of the announcement just might be the new bottle and package design for the entire Southern Comfort brand. The new design is more than a label change.

Spirits companies often take advantage of existing bottle molds and use labeling to differentiate products. Each packaging structure goes through several tests before it can be deemed worthy of carrying the liquor brands’ products. So the internal and external design agencies are encouraged to maximize that investment with less expensive changes, such as labeling.

So the move to the more masculine bottle is unusual, especially considering that the most distinctive part of the design—the bottle’s shoulders—appear to be untouched. The removal of the embossed signature though gives the marketing team, more room for identifying the varietal as evidenced by the large letters used for caramel in this specific design.

The minimalist graphic design also has more modern appeal with a casual tone, evident in the brand’s other branding. For example, this is the language used to announce the new Caramel Comfort:

“Well, hello there intrigued reader. We just wanted to pop in to introduce you to Caramel Comfort, Southern Comfort’s new beverage on the block. What’s that, you ask? It’s a delicious blend of Southern Comfort with the smooth taste of caramel. You’ll also notice notes of vanilla, whiskey and spice. We know, we’re excited about it too and even more excited to share a glass with you.

You probably want to mix it into a drink, but you may have no clue what to do. Don’t worry! (Seriously, don’t do that. That’s not what we’re about.) We’ve made it easy with Caramel Comfort. Here’s a saying we like: “Caramel Comfort is just right with Sprite.” Did we come up with that mixture because it rhymes? Maybe. But it also tastes ridiculously awesome.

“Caramel Comfort is pretty fantastic,” said the Southern Comfort Beach Guy. “My favorite part is the caramel. Have you seen my towel?”

Did you notice that the bottle looks different? Well it is. In fact, ALL of the Southern Comfort bottles are different! Check out the new bottle and packaging design. The awesomeness inside the bottle hasn’t changed, but we thought it could use an upgraded wardrobe on the outside. You may notice our new look as you stroll down the grocery and liquor store aisle. Go ahead – pick one up. Pretty cool, huh? It’s the perfect combination of sweet, smooth and delicious. Swoolicious? Probably not a real word but we honestly don’t care; we just know it’s a darn good beverage to enjoy with friends.

Here’s the deal: at Southern Comfort, we’re not afraid of flavor, which is why we have so much of it. Heck, flavor is exactly what M.W. Heron had in mind when he crafted the original Southern Comfort 141 years ago with a fusion of fruit and spices to create the flavor of whiskey made comfortable. People like to be comfortable and we like people – it just makes sense. Pick up a bottle of new Caramel Comfort ($16.99 750mL) today and thank us later…or now.”

 

What do you think of the new branding direction?

Package Design issues call for contestants and brands for the 2015 Makeover Challenge

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The American Marketing Association’s Houston Chapter opens its 2015 Call for Entries

The American Marketing Association’s Houston Chapter has officially opened its 2015 Call for Entries in the Chapter’s annual Crystal Awards. Entry deadline is Friday, April 10, 2015, with a late deadline option of April 17, at a higher fee.

 

This year, there over 90 categories to enter, ranging from full marketing campaigns in B2B, B2C and nonprofit, to specific projects such as branding, print and digital advertising, research, public relations, online marketing, interactive and multimedia, promotional products and packaging, events and trade show displays, collateral creation, and web marketing. Additionally, 2015 marks the launch of three special “members-only” categories, which includes a Corporate Citizenship category open only to AMA members. A panel of internationally distinguished marketing executives from outside the Houston area will score entries to determine the finalists and winners.

 

According to AMA Houston President, Jared Houser, “A Crystal Award is the most sought after trophy in the region’s marketing community because winning a Crystal is more than a beauty contest – it’s about proving results. Additionally, to capture the spirit of what winning a Crystal truly means, our Crystal Award co-chairs have made some dynamic changes to this year’s event.”

 

The 2015 Crystal Awards gala will be held May 15 at Hotel Zaza. “Not only are we thrilled to be hosting the event at Hotel Zaza, we have completely revamped how we take entries from the marketing community. In order to save our entrants time and money, our entry system is now fully online. Meaning, our entrants now have the ability to upload their project work samples electronically and not to have to print and deliver physical submissions,” said Stacey E. Moore, 2015 Crystal Awards co-chair.

 

The gala evening includes a cocktail reception and the awards presentation, followed by dinner and a special after-party. The 2014 gala drew a record crowd of 530. This year, the event chairs are anticipating upwards of that number as the area’s top marketers are expected to be in attendance to experience the new venue and format.

 

According to Houser, “Because of the changes our chairs have made to the program and the fantastic entertainment we are developing, we expect record entries and attendance. If you are a marketer who created an amazing project with tangible ROI, it’s time to submit to Crystal Awards so you can relish in the reward. We are ready for Houston to show us what they’ve got!”

 

About AMA Houston

AMA Houston is the area’s premier professional marketing organization and the nation’s largest AMA chapter. AMA Houston provides marketers the ability to remain competitive in today’s business environment through networking events, special interest groups and real-world educational programs. Named Chapter of the Year six times in the last nine years by AMA’s international headquarters, AMA Houston serves more than 1,100 members with diverse marketing expertise from a variety of industries. For information, visit www.amahouston.org.

BodyLab Gets Fresh, New Look From Multi Packaging Solutions

In launching BodyLab by Jennifer Lopez, Basic Research wanted a vibrant new look that reflected the spirit of the brand, an innovative research-based line of health and fitness formulas designed specifically for woman. 

The packaging uses color-coding to organize the brand family, accentuating the visual cues with metallics. In addition, the entire look is enhanced with an overall prismatic effect to convey the message of transformation. 

The MPS creative team worked with Basic Research to explore structural, material, and decorative technology options to achieve the desired look.

When it came to metallic options for the brand architecture, MPS in-line FoilKote technology emerged as the ideal solution, allowing the multiple foil colors to print in a single pass in perfect registration with key graphics. 

For the prismatic finish, MPS HoloKote technology was the obvious choice, elevating standard materials to superstar status, easily enhancing the brand with a unique appearance.

Brand consistency across all SKU’s, substrates, and manufacturing technologies was essential. With all our proofing and production systems calibrated to the same G7 standards, we were uniquely able to deliver color continuity for the offset cartons and flexo labels.

MPS also supplied the product inserts and POP for a complete turnkey solution.

From design through production, the MPS team supported the launch. Three of our manufacturing facilities worked together to deliver the full array of brand print and packaging.  Cartons were produced in our Dallas, TX and South Plainfield, NJ.  Labels and inserts in Idaho Falls, ID. Our vendor partner supplied the POP displays as part of our complete solutions philosophy.

 

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