by Adam KROLAK
Wednesday, July 12, 2023

A sweeter solution to brand protection via candy packaging for confectionery

In the confectionery industry, brand quality equals trust. The success of confectionery brands is defined by the strong emotional connections that consumers have with products such as a favourite chocolate bar or familiar sweet treat. This level of loyalty demands assured product consistency and quality, yet there are several challenges to ensuring brand protection in this industry including in the candy packaging itself.

We recognize manufacturers are under pressure from all sides. Not only do they have to manage packaging lines, improve processes, increase output and reduce TCO, but they must also follow the latest regulations and consumer trends. In a competitive market, safeguarding the public perception of even the best loved brand can be challenging. Markem-Imaje’s permanent laser marking solutions are providing confectionery brands with a comprehensive answer to these pitfalls.

Brand protection for candies

Assuring food safety

In confectionery, as in so many industries, effective brand quality and protection begins and ends with assuring high standards of food safety. The packaging and coding stage presents significant potential risks to product quality. Manufacturers are also having to respond to growing restrictions on the use of chemicals in food packaging lines. Markem-Imaje’s SmartLase family of laser printers is helping confectionery brands to address any potential of laser marking issues.

The SmartLase printers apply food-safety-regulation compliant, high-quality, permanent codes without the use of chemicals or consumables, thus helping to remove the potential risk of contamination, not to mention odours. Even at high duty cycles in very hot and humid conditions, the SmartLase’s Intelli’Cool technology virtually eliminates the intrusion of plant air, mitigating yet another potential contamination risk.

Solving the traceability challenge

However trusted a confectionery product is, it can still be impacted by a lack of visibility in its journey from facility to consumer. Without the ability to trace products from end-to-end, all along the chain, brands are at risk on several fronts. In an industry which is all about positive perception, a product recall has the potential to inflict significant damage. Insufficient coding at any stage can break the critical chain of data with serious financial and reputational implications.

In response, companies increasingly recognize the importance of ensuring that products are coded and labelled correctly at the time of production so that they can be identified quickly and precisely at every stage - from primary packaging for candy to carton to case and pallet.

Markem-Imaje’s SmartLase laser marking solutions solve this challenge. Printers such as the SmartLase F250 offer high-quality, permanent coding in high-speed applications on a huge variety of packaging materials, including metallic packaging, even with an increasing code complexity of 1D and 2D codes.

More precise coding whatever the technology applied, means more detailed product information. By enabling more advanced traceability and batch specificity, manufacturers can exactly pinpoint the affected products in the event of a recall. Not only is this valuable in minimizing the potential damage of a product recall, it’s also better for the environment as the company can recall a smaller volume of products meaning less emissions than caused by having to return a far higher volume of product and from waste created by their disposal.

Smart software solutions, such as Markem-Imaje’s CoLOS ® Packaging Intelligence software integrate seamlessly with printing hardware and major MES and ERP systems like Oracle and SAP, playing a key role in helping guarantee both authentication and traceability, for example, of sustainably / ethically sourced cocoa. This ability to trace and guarantee origin are critical in combatting major causes of global deforestation such as unsustainable palm oil cultivation.

Addressing environmental responsibilities

There are further connections between answering environmental concerns and assuring traceability. The growing appetite for more ecologically conscious products means that more responsible packaging choices is key for positive brand perception. This trend is reflected in the huge leaps forward in food packaging, with a progression from multilayer composite materials towards more recyclable mono-material films. These types of flexible films are the fastest growing category of all packaging for candy. While the increased take-up of substrates that are more easily recycled is no doubt positive for the environment, it presents yet more challenges for brands due to its impact on printability and the speed of production lines, and the potential for issues that could again impact on product quality.

To read more about how Markem-Imaje’s laser marking solutions for candy packaging and how they can help protect your brand, please download our confectionery brochure by completing the form on the above right.

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