Oil prices fell on Thursday on fears of a global economic slowdown due to a U.S.-China trade war but losses were capped by a tightening crude market and rising political tensions in the Middle East. Oil prices have been supported in recent months by output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers as well as falling supplies from Iran. Click Read More below for additional information.
Consumer brand packaging providers are being challenged as they’ve never been before. Brands are asking package printers to develop vibrant, high-quality packaging that fit its specific need, brand personality, and market niche. Not only does the packaging have to reflect the brand’s logo and colors but also match each package on a store shelf with no color variation. In a word, these packaging suppliers need to keep their clients satisfied. One of the leaders in this field is Marrs Printing & Packaging, a full-service digital and offset print provider located in a 45,000 sq ft facility in City of Industry. This Southern California converter has adapted its entire packaging production environment to solving the challenges of short-run, color consistent, rapid speed-to-market for today’s well-known consumer products. This includes the latest technology in digital presses and finishing equipment as well as the fastest offset press in the market—two recent installations of a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 41-inch press. Click Read More below for additional information.
A new study from IDC predicts retailers will spend $5.9 billion this year alone on artificial intelligence (AI) tools like automated customer service and product recommendations. Furthermore, 79 percent of retail and consumer products companies expect to use intelligent automation to learn more about their customers by 2021. Yes, retailers are making big investments in machine learning and automation, and the returns so far are strong — but they're unevenly distributed. The biggest beneficiaries of these trends are the already powerful retail giants like Amazon.com, Walmart or Target. That’s because these powerhouses have one, the largest pools of consumer data to feed their models and, two, the resources to build, test and deploy AI at scale. Click Read More below for additional information.
Smurfit Kappa has been awarded with the ‘Transforming Innovation’ award from Kellogg´s, in the Americas. The award was recognition for a recent project in which Smurfit Kappa redesigned the cereal giant’s packaging to optimise its supply chain. The Smurfit Kappa team worked closely with Kellogg’s to identify a sustainable and innovative packaging solution requiring fewer cases during transportation. Smurfit Kappa and Kellogg’s have been working together for over 20 years. “Smurfit Kappa is more than just a supplier, it is a business partner,” said Hector Gonzalez, Packaging Procurement Manager at Kellogg’s. Click Read More below for additional information.
A summary of results for the first quarter ended May 4, 2019: •Net sales increased to $734.0 million, including the adverse impact from changes in foreign currency exchange rates of approximately $16 million or 2%. •Positive comparable sales of 1%, on top of 5% last year. •Gross profit rate of 60.5%, flat to last year. •Operating expense, excluding other operating income, of $472.0 million leveraged 230 basis points on a GAAP basis and 160 basis points on an adjusted non-GAAP basis. •Operating loss of $27.3 million. Operating loss margin improved 210 basis points from last year to 3.7%. Excluding certain items, adjusted non-GAAP operating loss margin improved 130 basis points from last year. Click "read more" below for additional information.
Two Sides’ efforts to combat misleading claims related to print and paper has resulted in over 400 companies worldwide, including 118 in North America, removing unsubstantiated ‘green’ claims in their marketing materials. Despite our repeated efforts to contact TIAA and BlackRock, they continue to ignore consumer preferences and fact-based research to make unsupported environmental claims in their literature and mailings. Common consumer misconceptions about print and paper are reinforced by service providers as they increasingly encourage their customers to switch to electronic bills, statements, and correspondence to reduce costs. The incentive to switch is often based on unfounded environmental claims such as ‘Go Green – Go Paperless’ and ‘Choose e-billing and help save a tree.’ Not only are these claims misleading, but the drive to digital is not without environmental impacts and not welcomed by many consumers. Click "read more" below for additional information.
Is direct mail marketing going the way of the dodo bird? Despite dire predictions that digital marketing would take the place of print marketing, one trip to your mailbox proves that direct mail matters, perhaps more than ever. We recently spoke with Debora Haskel, vice president of marketing and corporate communications for IWCO Direct, a leader in direct mail marketing for 50 years. The company, which started as a small printing business, has successfully navigated the industry’s evolution from traditional print marketing to omnichannel marketing. Today, it is one of the nation’s largest providers of data-driven marketing solutions and postal logistics strategies for direct mail. Haskel says that contrary to popular opinion, the rise in e-commerce has driven an increase in the use of print marketing. In fact, she believes direct mail matters even more than it did in the days before the internet, and that it is essential for millennials and click-and-mortar businesses. Click "read more" below for additional information.
Durable shelving and dunnage allow the use of tower systems on shop floor environments by protecting components that could be easily damaged or misplaced in production floors. DS Smith Plastics, Extruded Products offers a selection of Tower dunnage systems for different market sectors. These tower systems are a hybrid between industrial packaging, shelving and supply-line packaging. The systems are easily moved vertically across the shop floor for easy access of production line components and safe material handling. Known for optimising space on assembly lines, tower systems make for great shelf systems offering with easy access to components stored in the tower. Shelves are made with textile dunnage that prevents scratching on components that are sensitive to scuffs and scrapes. Furthermore, the use of textile on tower systems keeps the solution lightweight and easier to manoeuvre across the floor either manually or with autonomous guiding vehicles. Click "read more" below for additional information.
ePac is a market leader in the production of flexible packaging. With branches spread across the US and UK, ePac Flexible Packaging is further expanding with its newest branch located in Chino, California. ePac LA will be opening June 2019 with order taking available now. ePac LA focuses on both regional food manufacturers and contract packagers throughout the Southern California area. ePac provides brands of all sizes custom packaging with high-definition graphics, fast time to market, and low minimum orders with their use of the latest digital printing technology. As a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, ePac is committed to lessening the environmental impact of plastics with their digital printing platform. Click "read more" below for additional information.
Park Ridge, N.J.-based content marketing agency and magazine publisher Wainscot Media announced Tuesday that it has acquired 9Threads—a New York-based design firm publisher of B2B magazines Footwear Plus and Earnshaw’s—from former owner Symphony Publishing Group for an undisclosed sum. The deal expands Wainscot’s portfolio to include more than 50 publications, according to the company, ranging from healthy living and luxury lifestyle titles to city and regional magazines. Click "read more" below for additional information.