ePac Flexible Packaging Announces Expansion into Melbourne, Australia

ePac is excited to announce the opening of the Australian market, with its first manufacturing facility opening in Melbourne in the fourth quarter of 2021.

ePac’s first production facility will open eight kilometres from the Melbourne, at the new Newlands Road food manufacturing hub, located in the heart of Coburg’s thriving industrial district.

Jack Knott, ePac Flexible Packaging CEO said, “We’re very excited to be expanding ePac’s growing international footprint into Australia. We are focused on bringing the same great ePac experience to our customers, helping small and medium sized businesses grow and achieve big brand presence.”

Jason Brown, ePac Flexible Packaging Managing Director, Australia said, “ePac helps local brands grow into major contributors within the community, with a unique offering for brands to rapidly go to market with great packaging. Opening our first facility at Newlands Road is an exciting milestone for ePac Australia, and we’ve already had a great response from the community.”

Click here to read the full press release.

5 Ways to Get Your Product Noticed By Retailers

Are you ready to launch your new brand or product? Are you working on creating your brand’s pitch to retailers to get into store shelves? 

This can be such an exciting (and perhaps, stressful) time. But getting noticed by retailers comes down to nailing a few key things.

Ultimately, the more you can learn about the retailers you’re targeting, as well as the more you know about your brand and your targeted audience, the better. As you prepare to pitch your product, remember these top 5 must-haves to get your product into retail shelves.

1. Do your research

Research here is two-fold. Research your target audience: 

  • Who you plan to market your brand to
  • What their values are
  • What their needs are. 

Consider their favorite retail outlets to purchase your product and how much they are willing to spend on it. 

Think about what type of customized packaging will best suit their lifestyle and how they may interact with the brand. The more you can tailor your product and packaging to their needs, the better.

But secondly, and just as importantly, research the retailers you plan to pitch to. 

  • What are the store’s values, branding and messaging, and mission statement? 
  • How does your product align with their goals (and their customers’ goals)? 
  • Learn how the retailer operates and what kind of consumer predominantly shops there. 

After gathering everything, create a pitch tailored to the store. Make sure to include key points on what they want to hear, points that reflect what you uncovered in your research.

2. Have a clear ‘why’

As you know, there are multiple brands vying for retailers’ attention. How does yours differ from the crowd? 

Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start With Why.’ Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Sinek

Simon Sinek’s famous phrase, “…start with why…”, is the solution here.

How can you make a strong case as to why the retailer should choose your brand and product over others? Present what makes your brand unique by driving home the concepts and details behind your product differentiators. 

Your brand’s product differentiators – or positioning – should align with the interests, needs, and values of a defined target audience. 

To determine your brand’s key positioning, ask yourself how your product will differ from the competition― will it be organic, targeted to a specific demographic, friendly to free-from diets, or offer a unique and captivating brand story? Consider which void in the market your product will help to fill. 

Ultimately what you have to do is present a ‘why.’ Why this specific retailer should carry your brand, why it’s different from other brands, and why consumers will buy it. 

3. Show proof of success

Not surprisingly, retailers only want to stock products that will be successful and make them a profit. So bring any proof you have that the product will succeed in the market. 

This could be data from previous sales, sales projections for the upcoming year, and/or direct consumer feedback. 

Also, be sure to add in the research you’ve conducted on your target audience, including research on the retailer’s consumer base. 

Through the research that you have done on your target market, communicate how your products will appeal to their customers. 

The less your brand is considered a financial risk, the more likely retailers will choose it.

4. Foster social engagement

In today’s market CPG providers need to be savvy with digital media, including social media, blogs, video, and podcasts. They need to have an engaged audience.

Through Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter and LinkedIn, you can speak directly to your audience, encourage them to post videos and photos, and hear real consumer feedback.

You can also show your brand’s personality through fun posts, artistic photos, and quirky stories to resonate with your audience and build a following. Social and digital engagement data can solidify your brand, shows proof of success, and can persuade consumers to stick with your brand, no matter where you are in the brand journey.

5. Choose custom, professional packaging

By now, brands of all sizes know that a great package speaks volumes for your brand. 

The first thing a retailer and customer will notice about your brand is the package. 

What does it say about who you are as a company? What does it say about the product? 

It communicates brand quality, can extend shelf life and boost consumer engagement. 

And with digital printing, you can compete with big brands, regardless of the size of your business. The technology allows you to create incredible graphics with photo-like quality. Ordering custom pouches with digitally printed flexible packaging gives you the opportunity to differentiate your brand’s image and customize through short runs. 

At ePac, our wide-web digital printing technology gives you the freedom of personalization for customized packaging and messaging for your brand to reach various markets. Plus, shorter runs mean more opportunity to create various flavors and designs. 

Ready to get started? Call us today for a free quote and let us help you take your brand from start-up to success.

ePac Flexible Packaging Expands European Presence To Austria

ePac Holdings Europe is proud to announce that the company is expanding its European operations into Austria to serve local and regional businesses. Building on the current locations in Silverstone (England) and Lyon (France), ePac Innsbruck (Austria), will be located in Landeck (Tyrol) and will serve Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Orders can be placed effective immediately, and will be fulfilled by ePac Silverstone or Lyon until the production facility in Austria is completed.

Christian Bischofberger, John Peat and Nick Monk become the Managing Partners for ePac Innsbruck. Christian will lead the operation and is a proven specialist in the printing and packaging industry with more than 20 years of experience. He will be supported by John and Nick (Managing Partners of ePac UK Silverstone), who have already gained a lot of experience with the ePac business model through the successful establishment and operation in Silverstone.

Christian Bischofberger explains: “I look forward to introducing the ePac model in Austria and the surrounding region, and to work with companies of all sizes that need great packaging to grow. As with the thousands of ePac customers around the world, ePac Innsbruck’s customers will also benefit from the short delivery times and very much appreciate small order quantities.”

Nick Monk added: “The Austrian market for flexible packaging – actually the whole of Europe – is ready for a change. We look forward to working with brands to see how we can help them go to market faster, and at the same time order according to their needs to reduce inventory and cost.”

Click here to read the full press release.

Six Reasons to Upgrade Your Packaging

If you’re a brand owner, ensuring your packaging not only attracts new customers, but also retains existing customers, is a MUST. 

Maybe you’re ready to move on from stock bags, or you are entering into a major retailer and you know better packaging is a must. Or maybe you’re ready to simply take your packaging to the next level. Whatever your motive, upgrading your packaging can help boost sales, gain new customers, widen your distribution, and build better brand recognition. 

Reasons to Redesign Your Packaging

Brands of all sizes and in all segments can make the smart decision and invest in a better brand image through upgraded packaging. If any of these describe your brand, it may be time to make the move.

1. Your Packaging Quality Is Subpar 

Low quality can mean a lot of things, from low quality graphics and materials, to faulty packaging. Does your tear strip and zipper work properly? Does the package hold up use after use? Does it give off a premium, quality feel? If you said no to any of these, it may be time to upgrade.

2. Your Packaging is Generic 

Are you still packing your product in stock bags? While generic bags may work well for a short period of time, they won’t give your brand the distinction it needs to compete with large, well-known brands. 

3. Your Packaging Doesn’t Exactly POP on the Shelf

Shelf impact is key to building a brand and gaining new customers. To get a leg up on the competition, you want your package to stand out on the shelf and look different (and better) than the competition. Upgrading your package with new materials, designs, and features can all help you do just this. Consider using more vibrant graphics, a reseal zipper, PCR film, or anything else that will set your brand apart.

4. Your Packaging is Off Brand

Your package, design, and overall aesthetic work together to build brand recognition. You want your packaging to speak to who and what your brand is. 

For instance, if your brand is focused on the environment, you can switch your packaging to match that focus by offering eco-friendly options like recyclable or even compostable pouches and bags, or packaging made with post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials.

5. Your Packaging Isn’t Meeting Your Customers’ Needs

Have you considered how your customers are using your product and how the packaging can help make the experience better? Maybe it’s adding a resealable zipper or offering various sizes including single-serve for on-the-go consumption. Creating new packaging with features that aim to improve functionality as well as the customer experience will only further strengthen your brand.

6. Your Brand and Packaging Need a Refresh 

Is it time for an updated look and feel for your packaging? A package refresh can give your brand just what it needs to feel new again, and recapture consumer attention.

Partner for Your New Packaging 

At ePac, our wide-web digital printing technology delivers bright, vibrant, and precise graphics in a quality that exceeds that of conventional printing methods. We can create rollstock or pre-made pouches with the various capabilities and functionalities important to consumers today like stand-up pouches, reseal zippers, and easy open and close. Some digital printing benefits are that it also gives you the freedom of personalization for custom flexible packaging and messaging for your brand to reach various markets. Why are flexible materials important?  Contact us today to learn how we can help you take your flexible packaging ideas to the next level. 

Amcor announces strategic investment in ePac Flexible Packaging

Amcor recently announced their investment of  $10 to $15 million in ePac. The investment will include a minority ownership interest in ePac Holdings LLC and funding for more ePac locations. 

Amcor’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Development, Ian Wilson said “ePac is a truly entrepreneurial technology driven company and has proven its ability to rapidly scale up a flexible packaging business, doubling revenues each year since its formation in 2016. This is an exciting opportunity for both companies to benefit from the combination of innovative technologies and business models and the deep expertise of the industry leader. We look forward to working with the ePac team and exploring opportunities to further extend this partnership in the future.”

Click here to read the full press release.

ePac Flexible Packaging Expands into Toronto

ePac is excited to announce the opening of its second Canadian location, this time in the Greater Toronto Area. ePac Toronto will open in June of 2021 and will be located at 209 Brunel Road, Mississauga, Ontario. Hila Frish joined as ePac Toronto’s General Manager, bringing over 18 years of management and manufacturing experience to her new position. The facility has begun taking orders, with fulfillment handled by ePac Vancouver until the official opening of ePac Toronto.

According to George Boustani, Managing Partner for ePac’s Canadian operation: “We opened ePac Vancouver in December 2019, and realized the same rapid growth we’ve seen in other ePac locations around the world. Our value proposition of 5-15 day turnaround and low minimums resonates well with the Canadian market, and we’re excited to bring our community-based focus to Toronto”.

According to CEO, Jack Knott: “ePac Toronto will become our 19th plant to become operational in locations across the US, Canada, Europe, and Indonesia. In each market we see a similar dynamic unfold – small and medium sized businesses are growing at double digits, and our partnerships with them can and do help accelerate their growth”.

Click here to read the full press release.

The Top 6 Benefits of Outsourcing to a Contract Packager or Manufacturer

If you’re launching a new brand, transitioning to a new packaging format, or experiencing major growth, outsourcing part of all of your manufacturing or packaging operations has likely crossed your mind. Partnering with contract packagers and manufacturers can not only help save time, staff, and resourcing, but also provide you with the expertise and services to grow your business.

What is Contract Packaging and Contract Manufacturing?

Contract packagers are third parties that apply primary packaging to the finished, consumer-ready products, while contract manufacturers are third parties that turn ingredients and/or raw materials into finished, consumer-ready products. So, simply stated, contract manufacturers make the product, and contract packagers package the product. In this article, we will refer to these types of companies collectively as CPCMs.

What are the Advantages of Contract Manufacturing and Contract Packaging?

Companies of all size can take advantage of the following 6 benefits to using CPCM services:

1. Less Upfront Investment 

Utilizing a co-packer or co-manufacturer that has already made the upfront investment in the machinery and resources needed to fill, package, or produce your finished product means you don’t have to. For many brands, this is a no brainer, as the initial investment for the equipment + space needed is a costly one. If you are not in a position to make this investment, it may make sense to utilize a CPCM that has the machinery, materials, and staff on hand.

2. Faster Turnaround

Utilizing CPCMs who are experts in the field enables you to ensure the process is done accurately and quickly. Because of the equipment and staff on hand, CPCMs can typically turnaround your finished packaging and/or product faster than you could do in-house. This means a faster turnaround time and quicker speed to market.

3. Less Storage + Warehousing Needs 

Whether you’re partnering with a co-packer to fill your pouches, or a co-manufacturer to actually produce your product, you’ll need far less physical space to store materials or house equipment. 

4. Save Time + Resources 

Time is money, and hiring CPCMs lets you hand off time-consuming parts of your business. This in turn frees up time to allow you and your staff to focus on other aspects of the business, like marketing and growing the brand. 

5. Experts on Your Side

Hiring a CPCM allows you to tap into their experienced staff and expansive vendor network, in addition to gaining access to the extra capacity of their manufacturing facility. CPCMs have a deep understanding of specific, and sometimes niche, packaging or manufacturing processes that would otherwise have to be learned in house. Additionally, as your company grows, you will not need to hire additional staff or purchase new equipment since you already have access to the CPCM’s vast packaging infrastructure.

6. Fewer Required Certifications 

Most businesses must abide by certain regulations to legally package and distribute their products. While it is a good thing for consumers, it can be a headache for business owners. But, CPCM companies typically have the necessary certificates already in place, saving you from having to do so.

Hiring a CPCM can be a daunting task, especially if you’re a new brand. Head over to our blog post on how to hire the best contract packager, where we share a list of things to consider as you look for the right partner. 

Benefits of a Good Packaging Supplier

Finding the right packaging supplier is just as important as hiring the right CPCM. At ePac, we partner with brands like yours to manufacture the best quality packaging with our cutting-edge digital printing technology. Call us today and let us help you get started, or click here to get a free quote. 

Why Go Flexible: 5 Advantages of Flexible Packaging

As a brand owner, there is a lot that goes into choosing the perfect package for your product. If you’re faced with the decision on whether to go with rigid or flexible packaging, we have compiled some information that’ll make the choice clear. When you choose flexible packaging, you’ll be getting a premium package from a fast-growing segment that proves to be one of the top choices of brands around the globe. 

Before we dive in, what is flexible packaging? Flexible packaging is non-rigid packaging — for example, a bag or pouch — that is used to protect a variety of different products. Unlike a rigid package like a box or glass jar, flexible packaging is “flexible” in nature and can easily change shape.

If you’re considering a flexible package for your product,  read on for the top five advantages of flexible packaging.

1. 360° Branding

Flexible packaging allows for high-quality and high-impact graphics on every inch, so you can have 360-degree branding instead of being limited to the size of a label. And when you choose to partner with a manufacturer that specializes in digitally printed flexible packaging, you can be sure you’re getting precise, photo-quality graphics and images.

Stand up pouch from our friends at Ruth’s Vegetarian Gourmet

2. Endless Sizes and Shapes

The great thing about flexible packaging material is that it is available in various sizes and forms that work with just about any application. Flexible ranges in size from small single serve sachets to larger multi-use pouches and can be used in many markets, including pet food, snacks, coffee, and nutritional supplements. Plus, your packaging can be tailored to your specific needs, with spouts, reseal zippers, tear notches, and various other options for ultimate customization.

3. Extended Shelf Life

Flexible packaging works to extend the shelf life of the food inside through multiple ways. With high-barrier films and airtight seals, highly perishable products are kept safe from oxygen and moisture. Resealable bags also work to keep oxygen out, keeping food fresh for longer.

4. Consumer Convenience

Brands of all sizes, and in all markets, are ditching the glass and carton, and packaging their products in portable, unbreakable pouches. They’re lightweight, thus easy to handle, carry, and store. Plus, many pouches and bags are easy to open and stand up for easy snacking, pouring, and serving. Many of these containers come equipped with convenient reclose options to make the packaging resealable for convenience and extended product freshness. 

Consumers just prefer the convenience of flexible packaging.

Stand up pouch from our friends at Imperfekt Bites

5. Eco-Friendly Packaging

When it comes to environmental impact, rigid packaging just can’t measure up. Flexible reduces waste at every stage of its lifecycle. When transporting packaging, flexible packaging weighs considerably less than rigid packaging, which means you can ship more in each truckload, making fewer runs, using less gas and reducing CO2 emissions. Their light weight also lends a hand to source reduction, since the package uses less materials overall, thus reducing waste. 

According to the Flexible Packaging Association, “When you consider the full life cycle of packaging materials, in most cases, flexible packaging requires less energy to manufacture and transport, reduces product waste, and sends less material to landfills.”

The Power of Digital Printing

While all flexible packaging offers these benefits, only digitally printed flexible packaging can offer you the best packaging in the business. Digitally printed flexible packaging produces fewer emissions and less energy consumption than traditional printing. With digital printing on flexible packaging, you can take advantage of short runs, alleviating inventory space and cost concerns. You also will have faster set-up, flexibility to make changes to the design quickly, and faster turnaround, all to get your product to market quickly.

Digital printing allows you to create high-quality, photo-resolution images each time, in packages that deliver vibrant design and with the convenience features consumers crave. Want to learn more about digital printing for your custom flexible packaging needs? Call us today, or click here to request a free quote! 

ePac Flexible Packaging Announces Expansion into Ghana, Africa

ePac is excited to announce the creation of their newest location in Ghana. ePac Ghana is now taking orders and will have all orders fulfilled by ePac UK Silverstone while the Ghana location is being built.

“We are fortunate to have a partner in Ghana with all the qualifications we look for when opening a new ePac location. Victor brings a multitude of talents to ePac, cares deeply about the community, and is committed to helping local brands grow. This is precisely ePac’s mission across the globe”, commented Jack Knott, ePac’s CEO.

According to Victor Sosah: “As a Ghanaian I am acutely aware of the need for healthy eating options in our country, increasing local production, and reducing our reliance on imported foods whilst promoting made in Ghana products both locally and internationally. Our focus here with ePac Ghana will be to help local and regional small and medium sized businesses be successful and to make a difference in the communities we serve.”

Added Virag Patel, ePac’s Chief Operating Officer: “Bringing our unique business model to Ghana to help local brands is exciting. ePac Ghana will serve as a base for further expansion on the African continent”.

Click here to read the full press release.

7 Advantages of Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging

Regardless of the size of your company, digitally printed flexible packaging has a variety of benefits over conventional printing methods like offset, gravure, and flexographic. There are many differences between digital and conventional printing, and while traditional print is a great choice for many brands, there are several advantages to choosing digitally printed flexible packaging. Read on to learn the 7 advantages of digital. 

1. Turnaround time is cut in half, and then some. 

With digital printing, there are never any plates to create or set up. This means once the digital file is sent over, your project is ready to print in minutes instead of the days or weeks it would take to create and set up the plates for each package design. And, when you partner with a local digital printing manufacturer, shipping time is significantly decreased, so you get your packaging fast. In some cases, it’s the difference between getting your order in days, instead of months.

2.  You have the ability to print multiple SKUs in a single run. 

For smaller brands looking to print less of each SKU, this is the game changer of digital printing. Because there are no plates, multiple SKUs can run at once so brands can combine multiple SKUs into one order, or one print run. No matter if you have 3 designs or 300, digital printing has got you covered, and all in one order.

3. You can make changes to your packaging design on the fly. 

Since there are no plates, there is no lengthy or costly set up when a change needs to be made to the design. It’s just a new file, so you have the ability to make tweaks to your packaging design file without the headache, cost, and delay associated with the creation of new plates. If your ingredient list changes, you get a new certification, or even if you change your logo, you can easily adjust your design file and start printing the updated design immediately.

4. You only have to print what you need, when you need it. 

This allows you to respond to market demand in real time. And, with digital printing, short and medium runs are possible, so you can print to demand and avoid having excessive inventory. This allows you to keep more cash in your business while decreasing the risk of obsolescence and excess inventory, both of which can cost you more than you may realize.

5. Short run, seasonal, and promotional packaging is possible with digital printing. 

Brands of all sizes can take advantage of short runs for seasonal and promotional packaging when you don’t want to place a large order. This allows you to try packaging for target markets, come up with a fun, limited time promotion, or create seasonal packaging for any holiday or season you can imagine. With no plates and short runs, you are not limited to how many SKUs you can create.

6. Digital printing is more environmentally friendly than traditional printing methods. 

In fact, digitally printed flexible packaging adds even more sustainable benefits, overall, including:

  • Custom flexible packaging uses fewer natural resources and energy to manufacture and transport than other package formats and generates fewer CO2 emissions.  
  • Flexible packaging, when it comes to food packaging printing, also reduces food waste by extending the shelf life of the product inside.
  • Digitally printed flexible packaging also produces fewer emissions and less energy consumption than traditional printing. 
  • The HP Indigo 20000 printing press is a carbon neutral machine used in all our plants. Learn more about the environmental benefits of our press here.
  • With no printing plates, there is less materials needed to set up. 
  • Customers can order to demand, which means less inventory potentially being wasted, since obsolete packaging usually ends up in our landfills.
  • Lastly, digitally printed sustainable packaging is also an option! Brands have the ability to add a recyclable pouch or post consumer recycled (PCR) rollstock to their product line up.

7. Digital printing has capabilities like none other. 

For instance, Variable Data Printing (VDP) is made possible only by digital packaging technology. Brands can take advantage of creating customized and personalized packaging on each package printed, or the track and trace capabilities.  This technology helps customers enhance product shelf presence, create digital consumer engagement (like QR codes), and guard against counterfeiting, as well as provide the ability to track products from cradle to grave.  

Partnering with a Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging Manufacturer 

By choosing digital printing for your flexible packaging, you will benefit from a slew of different advantages, especially when compared to traditional print. If you’re curious about what digital print could do for your brand, give us a call or click here to receive a free quote.