Food label converters and their food manufacturer customers are having a unique moment in their history. More than ever, food product manufacturers demand flexibility from label converters. Design diversity for niche foods and short label print runs is growing in demand as well.
Combined with supply chain uncertainties, these new conditions can put pressure on converters. “The food manufacturing industry will need to adopt ever-changing and innovative approaches to the continued fluctuations of the pandemic and in consumer preferences,” Food Manufacturing reports.
Fortunately, these challenges can help create competitive opportunities for food label converters to differentiate the services and capabilities that they provide food brands. In this article, we explore how converters can seize upon opportunities within this unique moment for lasting market and reputational growth.
Four Ways Food Label Converters Can Differentiate Themselves
For converters in this space, investing in the right equipment, materials, partners, and digital capabilities has never been more important. Here we identify four opportunities for converters to increase their reliability and appeal among food manufacturers.
1. Automate high-demand aspects of printing processes
Digital presses can provide new opportunities to automate key aspects of food label printing. Advances in technology make it possible to print food labels on demand in a cost-effective way, eliminating many of the labor requirements and repetitive tasks associated with traditional large-scale print runs.
For example, a digital press can automate cleaning, the changing of print materials, and other technical aspects traditionally left to skilled laborers. These efficiencies can help enable converters to focus on improving quality and productivity for their customers rather than troubleshooting errors and deficiencies.
2. Allow for greater variety and print run flexibility
Food label converters who can respond to changing requirements quickly and easily — whether it’s short print runs or new varieties of label designs — potentially can have more competitive opportunities than converters who cannot.
Digital presses featuring automation can help enable converters to print variable data — including text, graphics, and barcodes, among other features — as needed, even for short print runs. Converters can also adapt to new requirements without potentially jeopardizing productivity, value, and quality.
With the right digital press and automated capabilities, small print runs have the potential to yield lucrative long-term opportunities for converters. In fact digital offers the potential for good margin from the start for converters, so they can often experience more immediate return on investment. In the past, traditional methods made it difficult for converters to take on small jobs.
3. Increase supply chain efficiencies and reliability
Food label converters and their clients face real concerns about materials shortages due to supply chain disruptions. Converters who work with a wide variety of vendors may have an easier time getting the supplies they need, such as substrates. Converters who have this consistent access to essential supplies may enjoy a competitive advantage, especially when other converters do not.
Converters with a variety of supplier relationships may even get more competitive pricing, which they can then pass on to their clients. Helping clients economically print labels is a great way to impress them and make yourself stand out from the competition. This can be especially important for small- to medium-sized converters who may not have the bargaining power of their larger competitors.
4. Partner with a vertically integrated press manufacturer
Converters who work with a vertically integrated press manufacturer can ensure all heads and other components their presses require arrive from one reliable source. Since the manufacturer specializes in the end-to-end production of its printers and their critical components, converters have access to quality equipment and knowledgeable service staff in the moments they need them most.
This can provide real competitive value for converters, especially those who need to meet tight deadlines or who have limited production capacity. By consolidating their equipment sourcing, food label converters can improve their efficiency and ensure timely and high-quality production for virtually any job.
Become a label converter that food brands can depend on
Food manufacturers need a consistent partner, no matter the circumstances affecting supply chains, their business goals, or market demand. A converter that distinguishes itself through efficiency, productivity, flexibility, and dependability is sure to establish itself in this increasingly competitive space.
Want to learn more? You can visit Epson.com/SurePress any time or speak directly with an Epson SurePress expert by calling:
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