Selecting paperboard for packaging:
- Liqueur chocolates
The goodness in life
Recent research tells us what we already know; that chocolates make us feel happy. To give away a carton of chocolate assortments is a sign of appreciation, love and friendship. To receive it is sheer happiness. Few things can be more tempting than the delicately designed pieces of chocolate with their flavoured fillings - each a small sensation. Before buying the carton and before opening it, we know; the carton design evokes and enhances our expectations. This combination of deliciousness and delicateness demands a package which keeps its contents in perfect condition - and expresses the temptations therein. When choosing paperboard for the carton, the main criteria are strength and hygiene, together with qualities that preserve the aroma and flavour. Characteristics which allow for the design of luxurious and beautiful cartons are self-evidently necessary.
Choice of paperboard
Chocolate assortments are mainly purchased over the counter or from self-service displays. The brand identity and the package's display of its contents are vital for the customer's choice at the point of sale. Elegance and luxury are always present in the package design. The surface presentation may be emphasised with gloss or silky smoothness. Use is often made of embossed designs and hot foil stamping, and also reverse side printing. A complex creative shape may highlight the uniqueness of the product. Within the limits of strength and firmness, chocolate assortments offer scope for highly creative package shapes.
Important promotional characteristics of the paperboard are whiteness, smoothness and surface finish. Very high print quality is required, with good contrast between the surface and the print, to achieve excellent presentation of sharp half-tone illustrations or bold, strong colours in large solid areas. Embossing and hot foil stamping require surface strength. The graphical presentation calls for pure virgin fibres. The creative and functional shape of the package calls for a strong and tough paper-board.
Choice of paperboard
The basic purpose of the package is protection of the expensive and fragile contents. A strong paperboard is required to keep the carton safe from physical hazards in distribution, storage and handling. After the purchase, the protection characteristics have to last as long as they are needed. Depending on how self-restrained the consumer is, the carton may be opened and closed many times, hence it has to withstand handling without failing in terms of function or appearance. Important protective characteristics of paperboard for chocolate assortments are stiffness, compression strength and folding endurance. Good creasing and gluing properties ensure a strong carton. A smooth surface provides for ease of handling. It also provides for good rub and abrasion resistance, thereby preserving the graphical presentation. Virgin fibres with approved coatings ensure product safety as well as aroma and flavour consistency. Since chocolate is sensitive to changes in flavour caused by the packaging material this is a point of the utmost importance.
Printing and conversion
To obtain efficiency in printing and conversion a flat, stable paperboard with clean edges and surfaces is required. The printing method is usually offset litho. Gravure is sometimes used to minimise odour and taint problems. Good absorption and drying properties, as well as good cutting, creasing and gluing properties are important. Thus a high print quality is ensured, whilst process stoppages and material waste are minimised. For prestigious cartons, produced in a multi-step process, paperboard with extremely good stability is needed, to achieve perfect registration.
The cartons are usually rectangular in cross section. Top loaded cartons are shallow in depth with flanged or cavity side walls to increase rigidity. Sometimes a supporting fitment is inserted. Hexagonal, triangular, rounded and tapered panels may provide special shapes. All these forms require a paperboard which is consistent in stiffness and thickness. Exclusive assortments are often hand packed, whereas high volume products are packed mechanically, sometimes at high speed.