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Combining Digital Print and Corrugated Packaging for a “Box that Learns”

Matteo Bonfanti, designer at Ghelfi Ondulati, Italy, spoke today at Digital Print for Packaging Europe in Berlin, about a recent project that combined traditional materials, new technologies and one HP digital printer, to reach consumers in a timely way.

Matteo Bonfanti, Ghelfi Ondulati
Matteo Bonfanti, designer at Ghelfi Ondulati, Italy

Vignola is a rural Italian region with arguably some of the best cherries. Picked daily by the Vignola Consortium - which is made up of over 200 farming families that manually harvest and fill approximately 400 boxes of cherries per day, per farmer. These cherries can be farm-to-table the same day they were picked, and their quality and freshness make a premium product.

But the consortium faced a challenge - the product was reaching the store shelves in less than 24 hours, but the customer did not always understand (or appreciate) the freshness and quality of the product. The producers wanted a solution that would allow information from many sources (the consortium farmers), in a quick time frame (less than 24 hours), to educate the consumer about the product (when and where they were picked).

Ghelfi Ondulati, a corrugated converter specializing in digital innovation, had the idea to digitally print corrugated packages that would work in conjunction with mobile technology to tell the consumer the “story” of the cherries they had purchased, or, as Bonfanti says, “Make a new box, that learns about the product it contains, and connects the user with information he needs.”

The company used an HP PageWide T1100S high-speed color inkjet web press for corrugated packaging to print a unique QR code on each box of Vignola cherries, which allows the customer to scan the code and be short linked to a unique web site where they can see traceability information for their specific box of cherries.

The producer who boxes the cherries scans the pre-printed QR code with a dedicated application which then activates the web page. Information such as the field of origin, type of cherry, the date and other information related to its activity can be found on the site, and the consumer can also directly message the Consortium via Facebook or Whatsapp through the web page.

The advantage to this packaging is a better experience for the consumer, and more interaction with them, as well as enhanced traceability and improved logistics for the company, says Bonfanti.

To learn more about Digital Print for Packaging Europe, click here.


Note: PMMI Media Group editors have purchased carbon credits through to ensure flights we take to cover this event are carbon neutral.



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