With the global snacking market estimated to be valued at US$540bn (Euromonitor: Premiumisation in Snacks, a Framework for Growth), packaging is one of three key elements of premiumisation, the others being where the product is sold and its ingredients, Crown claimed.
“Metal conveys a premium feel, being a solid and robust material that gives the impression the contents are worth protecting,” said Crown marketing director Laetitia Durafour.
“It is also easy to decorate and a wide range of effects and finishes can be applied to tailor a product to specific market or consumption occasions.”
From a technical perspective, Crown said that, for metal substrates, the manner in which ink is applied to the non-absorbent surface means the design and prepress process is complex. The company uses offset printing for two-piece and three-piece metal packaging, so that ink is applied to a printing plate, transferred to a blanket and then on to the metal itself.
Two-piece cans are printed when formed. Three-piece are printed on flat sheets. “In either case, the reflective surface provided by the metal is highly desirable. Once the pre-press is finalised it enables manufacturers to print at incredible speeds – up to 4000 per minute in the case of beverage cans,” said Crown.
Crown Food Europe has produced metal packaging for a number of clients in the snacks sector, including metal format containers that are 100% recyclable for Bier Nuts’ crunchy, coated peanuts; and packaging for Satisfied Snacks’ Salad (as) Crisps concept in metal tins.