When the customer is heard, the players in the production chain are integrated, and, above all, the needs of end consumers and market expectations are placed at the center of the packaging project, the chance of the product being a success increases considerably. Based on this integration, connection, and multidisciplinarity, the packaging is a strategic product and brand communication element.
This thought and the need to have a product ready for the international market guided the development of the new packaging of the Protein Cookie Bar Croquinole by Dadz Alimentos. The new packaging concept is also tied to the company’s principles, which “was born to manufacture products that facilitate the busy lives of those who want to consume food with natural ingredients, ready for consumption, with all safety and without waste.
According to Dadz’s CEO, Augusto Zarpon, the company is consolidated as a gluten-free food factory that prioritizes using natural ingredients to ensure the maintenance of all nutrients and offer consumers healthy food that can be consumed anytime, anywhere. But the moment of truth of this product is materialized precisely by the packaging. And therefore, choosing the right partners to develop it was fundamental.
“We were adapting the Croquinole packaging for the international market with the support of Apex Brazil. We saw how to make the packaging redesign viable with flexographic printing. The desire was immediate: to have a flexible plastic packaging printing process, from start to finish, applying best practices at all stages,” says Augusto. And it was during the event “From file to shelf,” organized by Clicheria Blumenau and DuPont.
The journey began with the choice of the design office Casa Rex, with the support of Apex Brazil and the other players in the printing chain. “Apex Brazil accompanies the internationalization process of Dadz through Design Export, a program aimed at companies that wish to incorporate design into their products, packaging, or processes to increase their competitiveness in the international market. This project is promoted in partnership with Centro Brazil Design (CBD), and there is also the participation of Sebrae in the adaptation of the factory to the Digital Transformation Program conducted by FIESP, CIESP, SENAI, and SEBRAE, with a focus on Intelligent Industry. Everything aims to increase the competitiveness and productivity of the industry and leverage its performance in the international market.”
With the new packaging, the Croquinole brand is ready to land, initially, in the Latin American and US markets. An increase in sales in the Brazilian market is also expected due to the adequacy of the packaging to the new product positioning and, of course, the visibility generated by the brand’s internationalization. In Brazil, Dadz sells Croquinole online and in some gourmet markets in São Paulo. According to Augusto, it is not yet possible to define the product’s market share. Still, it is already known that there is global demand to absorb the company’s entire production capacity.
From file to shelf
The event planned by Clicheria Blumenau and DuPont, which counted with Gualapack, professors Fabio Mestriner and Aparecido Borghi, among other renamed speakers, was the beginning of the Croquinole project with Dadz. Adriana Bronzoni, DuPont account manager responsible for the project, recalls: “it was a pleasant surprise to receive Dadz and see the birth of the Croquinole packaging redesign project with an exportation focus.”
Mission given, mission accomplished, and DuPont gathered the various suppliers that would participate in the project: 3M (double-sided tapes), Laserflex (anilox cylinders), Gualapack (packaging conversion), Clicheria Blumenau (pre-printing and clichés), DuPont (Cyrel® flexographic plates) and LinkFlow (systems integration). “From the beginning, we understood that together we are stronger and that each could ship their latest technologies to ensure the delivery of the best packaging,” Adriana recalls.
On cutting-edge technologies, Adriana cites DuPont™ Cyrel® ESXR plates, the latest member of the DuPont™ Cyrel® EASY platform, with embedded flat spot technology. In addition to excellent print quality in high light and smooth gradients, Cyrel® ESXR has higher print latitude and exceptional robustness, increasing plate life and decreasing the need for print cleaning stops.
For the Croquinole project, the innovative DuPont plate was printed on the XPS system, a state-of-the-art ESKO technology offered by Clicheria Blumenau. “Besides excellent durability, the ESXR plate delivers superior ink transfer without implying increased ink consumption. Technical features like this are aligned with the new demand for packaging projects that leverage the exports of 100% Brazilian products,” adds Adriana.
The participation of the packaging converter, in this case, Gualapack, since the beginning of the project was also essential to guarantee its success. The company was responsible for printing and laminating the material, using flexographic printing with up to 08 colors using high-performance inks. Among the main challenges, José Costa, Gualapack’s pre-printing manager, remembers the care taken with the preparation and separation of raw materials, with the standards required by the certifications, and the monitoring in all stages of the processes, validating and ensuring quality.
And he adds: “The excellence in this development drives us to face new challenges and create new projects for the food industry, reinforcing Gualapack’s leadership in the supply of stand-up pouches and high-performance flexible packaging.
Alexsandro Pires, a pre-printing specialist at Clicheria Blumenau, adds: “The challenge of participating in the conception of this packaging in partnership with the other suppliers in the chain was permeated by the integration of everyone and the periodic meetings for alignment and definition of strategic actions. The process was very beneficial for Dadz, and the involved suppliers could mutually connect their solutions, generating assertive results”.
In practice, the perfect combination of pre-printing technologies, image treatment with contrast and color fidelity, quality plates, LED, and dotless exposure made it possible to achieve a high-definition image with the highest level of consistency and print repeatability on the substrate, in this case, the flexible packaging converted by Gualapack. “It is also important to highlight the use of LinkFlow Sistemas’ artwork flow control and remote approval feature, which allowed the SKU information and file approvals to be centralized in a digital and safe environment from the beginning to the end of the process,” Alexsandro celebrates.
Innovation reflected in the packaging
Among the innovative technologies applied to the new Croquinole packaging, Chicheria Blumenau highlights:
– Dotless – innovative screening technology that combines high quality and consistency in the reproduction of flexographic prints, generating lower dot gain, gradients with smooth minimums, higher contrast, and gains in productivity.
– XPS – new flexographic plate exposure technology using UV LED light that enables simultaneous front and back exposure.
– LED – provides stability, consistency, and uniformity to the flexographic plate engraving process.
“This project proved that in addition to producing the printing matrix, the plate setter must offer well-aligned and parameterized processes to achieve more efficient printing and optimal color control. That’s why we highlight the importance of generating digital proofs to predict the printing results and be aligned with the pre-printing, meeting expectations with predictability,” adds Alexsandro Pires from Clicheria Blumenau.
Born within Clicheria Blumenau, LinkFlow Sistemas also had a fundamental role in the Croquinole project. As Rodrigo Pereira, CEO of the company, explained, “our solution was used in the remote approval process of the new packaging. In this process, the user enters the package layout to be approved into the system and defines the users and sectors involved that will be notified about the need for this approval. There is the possibility to view all the details and request changes until the final approval of the file”.
This way, according to the entrepreneur, the involved users can follow the approval status safely and automatically. The system facilitates the control and versioning of the approval, reduces lead time, and integrates all sectors, besides delivering performance indicators that help in process management. Until then, the art approval process was done by e-mail.
The engraving technology used by Laserflex was another differential. The Cobracell extended cell engraving, an exclusivity of the company, ensured the converter a better ink transfer, reducing the number of anilox changes in the machine and, consequently, the set-up time. “Before we started the project, we went to Gualapack to wash all the anilox used to print the Croquinole packaging. This cleaning is fundamental to keep the cells clear of ink and allow the repeatability of color patterns in reprinting cases,” points out Wanderley Procida, Commercial Representative.
No less important was 3M’s participation in the project. The multinational company supplied the cliché mounting tapes for flexographic printing, whose differential is the foam in different densities and high adherence for cliché fixation with clean removal of the sleeve: “The air release allows bubble-free mounting under the double-sided tape and the cliché, avoiding blotting problems on the printed paper. The controlled thickness also ensures registration between colors when mounting the clichés,” explains Fernanda MacNight, Product Manager at 3M.
She reminds us that the company offers eight foam densities that allow precise adjustment to the needs of each print in different images of CMYK, solids, gradients, letters, and barcodes. A micro-replicated liner tape has been applied that creates micro-channels in the adhesive that allow air to escape during assembly; air bubbles disappear between the tape, cliché, and sleeve. The adhesives adapt perfectly to different substrates and conditions of use, and the tapes ensure consistent reproductions throughout the production orders.
The integration design and packaging industry is a differential
As synthesized by professor Fabio Mestriner, who also participated in the redesign project of Croquinole packaging from Dadz Alimentos, “a packaging project in which the design talks to the industry, ends up adding information and knowledge that optimizes the final result, reduces the production time and, mainly, avoids mistakes and rework.”
And this concept guides, precisely, the recently launched Program DuPont™ Cyrel® Print Up, whose proposal is to create the opportunity to join, from a strategic alliance, a group of companies with complementary specialties that seek the “Unified Objective” of establishing the “Parameters” that will serve as a reference for companies wishing to achieve the “State of the Art” in flexographic printing of packaging chosen to join the program.
The results obtained in the Croquinole project by Dadz and other DuPont Print Up Program projects reflect the goal of achieving the “state of the art” in flexographic printing. This contribution is very welcome both by flexible plastic packaging converters and brand owners for whom these improvements will be reflected in the results of their companies.
The Croquinole project also represents a milestone for the packaging production chain by proving that integrating the various players can streamline the process and ensure greater productivity and success for all involved. And those involved are unanimous: “the Croquinole project represents an essential step for the companies that work in the packaging chain. Each link is a strategic and vital component to guarantee a satisfactory end. We are talking about a paradigm shift: competition takes place at the production chain level, and, in this way, everyone succeeds.
Croquinole’s packaging redesign project also clarified that good packaging design impacts product performance at the POS since the packaging makes the product look like it is intended. Good packaging triggers a brand-strengthening process, and it is precisely the quality of the print that shows the quality of the design, and flexographic printing offers its state of art to ensure product and brand value.