Beverages, mixes, cereals
Selecting paperboard for packaging:
- Dried milk and drinking chocolate
- Coffee creamers
- Tea and coffee
- Snack soup
- Breakfast cereals
- Pasta, rice, potato
Flavour preserved in appealing packs
Many everyday products, such as coffee, tea and the multitude of mixes and cereals, are strongly branded. These products are bought regularly, and their packaging is often taken for granted. Their packaging design, however, which often incorporates paperboard, has to meet many needs. These range from protecting the products against changes in moisture, flavour and aroma, providing for an efficient packaging operation, to physical protection in storage, distribution and at the point of sale. Packaging also has to inform, attract and be convenient for the consumer.
The most obvious purpose of the packaging is to keep the products safe and fresh. Depending on the type of product, appropriate features and barriers against physical damage, moisture and flavour change are incorporated. Durability, strength and, overall, an attractive and hygienic appeal are important criteria when choosing paperboard for these products. Last, but not least, the paperboard should provide the basis for eye-catching graphics.
Choice of paperboard
Beverages, mixes and cereals are usually selected from retail displays. The main promotional features of the packaging are brand image, product identity and an overall attractive shelf appeal. Visual impact makes the product stand out from the competition. A clear and durable graphical presentation is required to display the product distinctly. The graphical design and the function al shape create an image of the product and consumer expectation. It is vital to achieve a clear presentation of printed information about the use and ingredients. To enhance the use, tear-strips for easy opening may be incorporated.
Important promotional characteristics of the paperboard are whiteness, smoothness and surface finish. The hygienic appeal and graphical presentation call for pure virgin fibres. A high print quality is required, with good contrast between the surface and the print, to achieve a good presentation of sharp half-tone illustrations, and words which are easy to read. Often bold, strong colours in large solid areas are used to emphasise the brand identity. Lamination or hot foil stamping, used for top of the range products, require surface strength. A stiff multiply paperboard is necessary to prevent cartons from bulging.
The main purpose of the package is to protect the product. This includes protection from various kinds of physical hazards and environmental dangers during distribution, storage and handling at the point of sale. Also, the preservation of flavour and aroma is vital, as is protection from changes in the moisture content. There are a number of ways to incorporate flavour and moisture barriers in the package design, such as by using film overwrapping, sachets and bags. The protective characteristics have to last as long as required. Often the package is needed as the user's storage container at home. In such a case it has to withstand repeated opening and closing, without deteriorating in function or appearance.
Important protective characteristics of the paperboard are compression strength, toughness and folding endurance. Good creasing and gluing properties ensure a strong carton. A smooth surface provides for ease of handling, good rub and abrasion resistance, thereby preserving the graphical presentation. The use of virgin fibres provides for durable creases on closure flaps, and, together with approved coatings and additives also assist in the preservation of aroma and flavour. Product safety, where the product is packed in contact with, or in close proximity to the paperboard, is also achieved by the use of pure virgin fibres and validated by meeting internationally accepted standards of safety, e.g. BGVV approval and EU-Directives.
Printing and conversion
To obtain efficiency in printing and conversion a flat, stable and dust free paperboard is required. 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.
Usually, the packages for beverages, mixes and cereals are rectangular in cross section. They are often provided with the side seam glued, but can also be produced from flat blanks. Being high volume products, they are packed mechanically, often at high speed. The packaging machines require low creasing resistance and, for side seam glued cartons, low carton opening force.