European packaging company Decorative Sleeves said its UV Flexo printing process offered lower origination costs than the traditional gravure equivalent but could still provide high quality photographic reproduction to enhance and maintain brand image and appeal.
The company said this made it ideal for promotional requirements such as those of L'Oréal, who it provided with sleeves for promotional twin packs of its Studio Line Hair Gel range - Radical, Out of Bed and Remix.
Decorative Sleeves' unit business manager Paul Rogers confirmed to CosmeticsDesign that while their core business is the food and beverage industry - recent product promotions they have been involved with relate to the Malibu and Guinness brands - the company has around 20-25 years' experience with cosmetics and personal care products, which account for around a quarter to a third of the company's business.
The sleeves produced for L'Oréal were printed in eight colours using low shrink PET film and featured a promotional message along with a full colour transparent image of a snowboarder in different action shots for each brand.
Decorative Sleeves said that, thanks to immediate availability of the film in stock, together with the utilisation of its in-house artwork department, the company was able to complete a fast turnaround, delivering the sleeves within just three weeks of receipt of artwork.
Asked about average turnaround times, Rogers said that it could take up to six weeks, and so three weeks is a good turnaround time. "Three weeks is fairly typical for our Flexo process," he said, "but by industry standards, that's very good."
He pointed out that even faster turnaround times could be possible, depending on scheduling. "Anything can be done more quickly," he said, "it all depends on what other jobs we have on."
As many companies follow the trend towards just-in-time stock control, this could make it difficult for packaging companies to respond quickly to urgent customer requirements, while maintaining stock levels can lead to higher overheads and costs.
Decorative Sleeves' marketing manager Heather Johnson believes the company has struck the right balance: "It's a question of having a good range of film in stock, but also, as film is subject to long lead-in times, we have a good relationship with our supplier who holds stock in the UK for us."
And the verdict? "We are delighted with these sleeves and the speed of response from Decorative Sleeves," said L'Oréal Haarkosmetik & Parfümerien's product planning manager Damian Hütter. "In particular, the sleeves are very striking and help to convey the quality image of L'ORéAL."