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Toblerone anniversary packs shimmer with foil

Swiss converter uses high-speed foil-stamping equipment for limited-edition packaging that celebrates Toblerone’s 100th anniversary with a burst of fireworks graphics.
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Stop in almost any store in the world, and if they have a candy counter, you will find the familiar triangular box of Toblerone Swiss chocolates from Kraft Foods Switzerland. Exported to 110 countries worldwide, Toblerone can most often be found in airport duty-free shops, where it is the best-represented brand after tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

One way Toblerone has maintained the prominence of its brand over the years is through its distinctive, patent-protected packaging. With its triangular shape and colorful, eye-catching graphics, it has gained international brand recognition. Maintaining that brand recognition is important, and the company has done its homework with its marketing efforts. When it came to adding distinction to the package to celebrate 100 years of candy-making, the company turned to converter Model PrimePac Ltd., part of Model Group (www.modelgroup.com), in Switzerland, which helped Toblerone create a stunning package that resulted in a 25% sales increase.

Gold foil provides festive feel

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Model PrimePac has won numerous awards for packaging design in a range of categories, including confectionery, cosmetics, and health and beauty. Therefore, the converter was well equipped to tackle the challenge of taking Toblerone’s already-striking consumer-recognized package and enhancing it to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, while maintaining the brand’s integrity.

After many mockups, Toblerone decided on a package that uses the brand’s signature logo, under which is sketched the outline of The Matterhorn, with its peak jutting out over the “O” of the logo. A triangle graphic is positioned next to the logo, with the text, “100 years,” stamped in gold foil. The triangle also carries the words, “Your true piece of Switzerland.”

Next, they added a festive, almost 3-D effect with what looks like fireworks shooting forth from the logo. This is done in gold foil also, contrasting nicely with the gold, red, and blue Toblerone logo. The package is offset-printed in eight colors, plus UV gloss varnish and matte varnish on a KBA (www.kba.com) printing press. The package is then finished with gold-foil hot stamping. This created a challenge, Model PrimePac relates, as the fine lines of the fireworks needed to be laid down without any flaking. The premium-appearance, gold-foil hot stamping was achieved using one of two Gietz (www.gietz.com) FSA 1060 Foil Commander foil stampers, purchased recently by Model PrimePac.

High speed, large format

In 2006, as its confectionery business continued to grow, Model PrimePac started researching foil-stamping and embossing machines. The main criteria for the converter in selecting the press were the size of the output and the speed of the press. After careful testing and demonstrations, they chose the FSA 1060 Foil Commander, manufactured not far from their production site in Au, Switzerland.

“We were impressed with Gietz from the start,” states Reto Schmidhieny, member of the management team of Model PrimePac Ltd. in Au. “We liked the fact that Gietz provides the only foil stamper that is designed as a stamper and not converted from a die-cutter. We were looking for capacity, speed, and the ability to handle large-diameter rolls of foil. We realized the press’s patented Vacufoil foil-transportation system would enable us to run flat out at 7,500 sheets per hour without worrying about foil breakage. It also gave us the ability to adjust dwell time. We installed our second machine in January.”

The Toblerone package requires extremely heavy ink coverage, lamination, and coatings—all at full production speeds of 7,500 sheets/hr. Unlike converted die-cutters, the Foil Commander maximizes the amount of time the platen is closed, keeping a sufficient amount of open time to transport the Toblerone sheet at decent production speeds. The result is that this press is on impression 25% longer.

As Gietz managing director Hansjoerg Gietz explains, delivering the heavy coverage necessary on the candy package is facilitated by the dramatic increase of tonnage that the press puts on each impression; 390 tons means cleaner and easier makeready. The unique platen and toggle design has no platen flex, thus there is no need for bearers, resulting in even pressure over the entire surface of the platen.

“Even with all this, when we have heavy-coverage jobs, we want the foil to release from the sheet cleanly at high speeds,” says Schmidheiny. This is accomplished as the Foil Commander’s foil travels with the sheet. Unwinding of a full width of foil with a 14-in. dia at full speed is possible. “The Vacufoil system gives us consistent tension on the foil web, limiting the chance of foil breaks and wrinkles. The foil is then transported to a compactor, eliminating the need to rewind the used foil,” he adds.

Another feature that entered into Model PrimePac’s decision to purchase the Foil Commander was the number of kilowatts of heating power the press offered, Schmidheiny says. “Running the heavy coverage that we do takes a great deal of thermal energy to transfer the large area of foil with each impression. The dies need to recover the heat after every impression. This takes kilowatts of power to accomplish. Without the extra kilowatts, you run out of heating power and then you have to limit the speed to meet the ability of the press to reheat the dies after each impression.”

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