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  • 19 Aug 2014

Volume and price driving print decisions

New ERA/GfK study looks at brand owners’ demands for their packaging printingGravure is seen as the ideal print process for high volumes and offering the highest quality

Brand owners see print volume and price as the most decisive factors when selecting a printing process, with environmental aspects less of a concern, according to a new study commissioned by the European Rotogravure Association (ERA) and conducted by European consumer market research body GfK.

The Demands by the brand owners for their packaging printing study by GfK, which follows two previous GfK studies commissioned by ERA under the topic Image of gravure in packaging among the brand owners and which were carried out as a comparison of the image of gravure and flexo printing in packaging, was conducted to find out indications about brand owner strategies concerning the print process for their packaging.

Results from the study showed that the most decisive criteria in choosing a printing process are print volume and price, and, provided that excellent image quality and high color saturation are requested, printing quality also ranks among the important criteria. Environmental aspects are less taken into account in choosing a printing process, according to the results of the study.

By process, gravure is seen as the ideal print process for high volumes and offering the highest quality, while flexography is regarded as a process suited for medium volumes offering medium but generally acceptable quality.

Digital printing only plays a role for very small volumes, and does not come into question yet for substrates such as film – the major substrate for the printing of flexible packaging material.

The study also confirmed a tendency towards more frequent design changes and therefore smaller volumes per job, and a trend towards customized packaging. These tendencies are expected to continue, and favour flexible and fast print processes, ERA said.