Interview with an Industry Consultant

Sofia, a member of our research team, reached out to a friend and former employee of TC Transcontinental, Tony S. We chose to have a question and answer type interview. So keep reading if you want to know more about the packaging industry!

Q1: What is/was your title?
A: I held senior positions in the printing industry, like Executive Vice President and President.

Q2: What is a typical day in your position?
A: I am currently in an industry consulting capacity so my day typically involves meetings and project initiation, planning and analysis.

Q3: Do you use digital or traditional printing methods for most alcohol packaging?
A: I have seen both digital and traditional methods used in alcohol packaging and I have been involved in both. However, it is mostly conventional/traditional printing applications for this sector, from my experience.

Q4: What type of printing is most common for printing alcohol packaging?
A: Lithographic printing is the most prevalent, however, flexographic printing is growing in market share.

Q5: What packaging features does your company offer? And which feature does your customer often choose/use?
A: The previous companies I have worked with have used mainly foil, embossing, and specialty colours to enhance the impact of the packaging.

Q6: Which clients have you worked with that specialize in alcoholic beverages?
A: I have worked with Bacardi, Mark Anthony, Diageo, Sleeman, Geloso, and Great Western Breweries

Q7: How do higher-end alcohol brands differentiate their products from their lower-end competitors?
A: It involves the use of higher-end board substrates, foil application, and embossing and debossing.

Q8: Are there any processes that go into alcohol packaging that are not included in other products?
A: Not necessarily. The pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors also use unique processes for product appearance enhancement.

Q9: What have been the most challenging things when you are working on a packaging project?
A: The biggest challenge is packaging structure integrity. Having unique folds and features while maintaining the integrity. It’s a disaster and a costly situation when the carton, container, or label malfunctions.

Q10: Are there any trends in alcohol packaging at the moment?
A: The major trends are the use of foil, lamination, and UV coatings to enhance the shelf appeal.

Q11: What are some key points to creating successful packaging?
A: A main one is the use of quality boards and the image and design depth. As well as package surface texture.

Q12: What has been your most challenging project so far?
A: A big challenge is shrink film application on a new bottle launch in the market. Holiday packaging with lots of special effects and folds is also difficult.

Q13: Since sustainability is a huge topic right now, how does your team come up with premium packaging while keeping it environmentally friendly?
A: The main solutions are the use of recycled boards and biodegradable materials.

Q14: How do you make a packaging unique in terms of its structure?
A: We typically highlight the non-boxy dimensions and structure in order to gain shelf or display attention.

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