Monomaterial Labeling Technology Conquers ‘Over Packing’ Challenge in Snacks and Bakery Industries

Monomaterial labeling technology delivers best-of-both-worlds solutions to address consumer and sustainability demands. Image courtesy of Cama North America.

Consumer demand and advancing legislation are reshaping the way suppliers serve the market. Not only do the public require more flexibility and more choice, but they want this in more sustainable packaging and nowhere is this truer than in the snacks and baked goods industries.

Supermarket shelves will attest to the food manufacturers’ ability to keep pace with these demands; but what this doesn’t show is the incredible work going on behind the scenes in relation to the development and constant evolution of packaging machines.

One such company addressing these challenges is Buffalo Grove, IL-based Cama North America, subsidiary of Cama Group. Cama Group, Molteno, Italy, is a global leader in secondary and tertiary packaging machines and turnkey lines, with many customers and installations in the bakery industry. “We have to make sure we can give the producers the machines they need,” explains Billy Goodman, managing director, Cama North America. “And these machines need to be capable of absorbing future challenges too. Gone are the days of one machine for one job; we must produce machines that can handle multiple flavors and multiple formats, while also having the capability to process more-sustainable materials.”

For our European customers, the PPWR 2023 Directive dictates that everything must be recyclable or reusable, explains Goodman, so we are making an effort to help all of our customers reduce packaging and be more sustainable. “Our challenge is to develop solutions that allow them to hit these goals, while also being more flexible and capable of absorbing market variations, and without compromising sales performance or creating negative consumer experiences. It’s a real balancing act, but it’s something Cama has perfected over the past few decades.”

A case in point is Cama’s labeling technology, which replaces multi-pack flow wraps with labels that secure individual products in shelf-ready collations. Typical applications include chocolate bars, individual cake bars, wafers, noodle packs or wet wipes, all of which can be secured together by a common shared label and then ‘broken off’ individually as required.

Turnkey packaging lines from Cama Group deliver best-of-both-worlds solutions to address consumer and sustainability demands. Image courtesy of Cama Group

“We still need the primary packaging to maintain product integrity, especially with snacks and baked goods,” Goodman explains, “but we can deploy secondary stickers or labels that come from the same chemical family, which means they can be recycled in the same process to that used by the primary packaging. The moment you go to monomaterials you’ve taken the first step to making waste collection and recycling more effective. It’s an easy win.”

Another advantage of this approach is the flexibility it gives to branding and marketing. Secondary flow wrap materials are almost always created and printed by specialist companies before being delivered and stored in bulk, with end-users often storing hundreds or thousands of feet of pre-printed wrap materials. Stickers, on the other hand, give these companies the ability to be more agile with their branding and marketing, as they can be printed on demand – even lineside – and easily tailored to discrete batches.

With a range of machines, packaging technologies and domain experience, Cama Group produces machines that can handle multiple flavors and multiple formats, while also having the capability to process more sustainable materials. Image courtesy of Cama Group.

“Our strength is how we deliver these label-based packaging capabilities,” Goodman elaborates. “We are currently developing a highly integrated turnkey packaging line for a large multi-national customer that combines the ability to collate and package individual products into shelf-ready cases or as labeled multi-packs into shipping cases. Not only do our solutions handle multiple case styles, but their modular design flexibility means they can more easily adapt to available real-estate. Changeover is also tool-free and both packaging processes are highly optimized, ensuring that they do not compromise the speed of any upstream processes.

“Over wrapping, or as it has now been dubbed, over packing, has less and less appeal for suppliers and consumers alike,” Goodman concludes, “so alternative, more-sustainable approaches are growing in popularity. And with our range of machines, packaging technologies and domain experience, we can deliver these alternatives. We know what our customers want, and, just as importantly, we know what their customers want. Thanks to our range of experience and capabilities, we are able to adapt our machines to a solution that addresses their precise needs.”

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