Color-Change Technology

CTI invented a new suite of color-change technologies for packaging using solvent inks, including temperature-activated thermochromic, sunlight-activated, glow-in-the-dark, and reveal technology wherein the ink reveals a message after product consumption.

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Cti Cups Cold Thermo

Previously, solvent-ink printers were forced to use water-based inks that slowed down manufacturing operations. The new solvent-specialty inks eliminate the operational hurdles of water-based inks.

CTI’s consumer research has found that the color-change technology is a tool for brands to drive content on their social media platforms. When brands do a great job of creating “wow” experiences on their packaging, consumers turn and share that story with their friends on social media. This quickly results in increased sales as friends try the new technology and share their experiences.


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“Consumers have their phone in their right hand and a Starbucks, Coke, or Coors Light in their left hand,” explained Patrick Edson, former vice-president of consumer insights for Coors Brewing Company and, since 2012, the chief marketing officer for CTI. “In brand mapping exercises, we call this challenge ‘getting the right hand to talk to the left hand.’ If you can create an experience or start a story with your product in the consumer’s left hand; they in turn will share that experience on their phone in the right hand.

“Brands realize that the color-change technology is more than just creating an experience on a cup, it’s a new form of content for digital marketing,” Edson added.

Lyle Small, founder of CTI, weighs in: “Color-change technology is now affordable for cup printers and they offer a tremendous innovation tool for printers to help drive new margin for their customers in quick-serve restaurants and convenience stores.”

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