Digital Printing Opens New Possibilities

Published in the August 2014 Issue Published online: Aug 10, 2014
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"Digital printing presses make it possible to send graphics directly to a printing press.
"Digital printing allows potato packers to individualize packages for specific shipments.

Idaho Package has been a leader in the Idaho Potato packaging industry since 1983. Things have continued to change and evolve in our industry over the last 30 years and will do so into the future. While potatoes have and always will be a hundred weight business the need to find ways to market to certain segments of consumers is paramount in today’s retail world. Many shippers have invested a great amount of time, money and effort to be able to ship unique packages or value added items to retailers. These include vertical form, fill, and seal (VFFS) pouches and pillow packs, individually film wrapped potatoes for microwaving, and pouches that are microwave safe that allow the entire package to be “steam” cooked in the package. By investing in this capital these packers have become a one stop shop for many major retailers allowing them to capture the hundred weight business the retailer sells in the form of 5# and 10# bags as well as bulk potatoes for display along with the ability to supply them these value added products. These value added products also command higher price levels and return at a greater rate than your traditional hundred weight business.

The next evolution in this market is upon us in the form of digital printing.

Our manufacturing partner Emerald Packaging, Union City CA is one of the first beta sites in the United States for this new and amazing technology.

Emerald has installed and begun printing film with a new 30” web Hewlett-Packard digital printing press.

This technology in simplest terms allows you to take graphics generated on a computer straight to press without requiring expensive printing plates.

You can print as few as one or multiple impressions. It works in the same style as your digital printer in your office printing on a film substrate rather than paper.

This allows you a tremendous amount of flexibility to come up with creative ideas to test market in certain areas or run promotional items for certain geographic regions. It affords you greater speed to market with seasonal and event oriented promotions. Imagine the ability to market to a local region of the country.

A packer in the Magic Valley with a new chipping variety can sell pouches in Kansas City under the moniker of “KC Chips”; a packer in Sugar City can market “Omaha Bakers” in a reclosable pouch to a regional retailer in Omaha; a dehydrator in Southeast

Idaho can sell into New York City with a specialty flavored mashed product with graphics that focus on the various boroughs of the city for Thanksgiving; a fryer from Western Idaho can test market a new style of seasoned crisscut fries to consumers in a select region to determine marketability. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination and marketing prowess.

This printing process is designed for laminated structures that can be made into pouches or formed at the individual packers. It is not intended for 100,000 5# bags, those types of runs are more economical on traditional flexographic presses. The materials can be used for dehydrated, fried, and fresh product.

If you would like more information on this new technology and our abilities to supply you with roll stock or premade pouches please contact us at Idaho Package Co., and we will be glad to help you.