During that time, the companies won two awards for their Aunt Millie’s Live Organic 100% Whole Wheat Bread Bag—a Flexible Packaging Achievement Silver Award and an FTA Excellence in Flexography silver award in the wide web category.
When the bag was released to the market and when the award was received, the now-ABX team was part of Berry Global. ABX eventually acquired the Berry Global plant that produced the work.
Berry played a critical role in the development of the package, which expands the use of flexible packaging. According to Allan Houston, marketing director at ABX, this project, led by ABX’s Jennifer Amaral (commercial) and John Edgemon (product development), uses a film with 50 percent renewable and bio-based PE that is sourced from sugarcane that has been downgauged 15 percent. The film, which was developed and is extruded by Berry Global, is also surface printed using Biorenewable Content (BRC) certified inks. It subsequently leverages ABX’s printing and converting expertise to strengthen the shelf appeal and commercial success of the project.
Here, Caleb Triplett, product manager at Berry Global, and Jennifer Amaral, vice president – food and bakery films at ABX, explain to FLEXO Magazine how the job was printed and what it takes to make an award-winning piece.
FLEXO Magazine: How did this job begin? What were the concerns and demands the customer brought to you?
Caleb Triplett: Aunt Millie’s needed a sustainable film option to reinforce the appeal of its Live Organic product launch to the target audience of environmentally and socially responsible consumers. Our Orillia, Ontario plant provided an innovative polyethylene film containing 50 percent renewable, bio-based, PE sourced from sugarcane. This film retained its recyclability status, and resulted in no change in film performance compared to traditional bakery films.
Jennifer Amaral: Aunt Millie’s was launching a new product line featuring family farmed organic breads, which focused on social and environmental responsibility, and wanted their packaging to reflect the same values. We were able to discuss and explore several concepts with them, and ultimately decided that using bio-based film was the most ideal option based on reducing the amount of petroleum-based resin without compromising the quality of the bag and the ability to retain its recyclability status.
FLEXO: In evaluating the job, what did you identify as potential obstacles or difficulties?
Triplett: With the changes to the source PE material, we anticipated challenges in the film extrusion process, as well as changes to the printing and converting process. However, through precise material selection and alterations in our traditional bakery film manufacturing process, we were able to develop a film that performed like other traditional bakery films in all manufacturing processes.
Amaral: We wanted to be able to provide a blend that allowed us to use as much bio-resin as possible without exhausting our supply, and retaining the same strength, quality and comparable clarity as our standard bakery bags, while still providing consumers with a convenient way to recycle it.
FLEXO: How did your operators go about executing the job and meeting the customer’s requirements? Talk about some of the significant technologies used in printing the job: What press was used? What plates and plate processors were used? What inks and substrates were used? What screening technology was used? Were any special effects or embellishments added? How did you apply targets and tolerances to the job?
Amaral: When the opportunity arose to produce these new items for Aunt Millie’s, we moved it through our pre-production planning program and determined what steps we needed to complete in both printing and converting to exceed customer expectations. The bio-sourced polyethylene film from Berry Global was printed using a 10-color, wide web, central impression (CI) press utilizing thermally processed flat top dot photopolymer plate material with HD Pixel Plus enhanced screening. Targets and tolerances for the commercial printruns were developed early in the process through optimization and process engineering steps.
FLEXO: Running the actual job: What speed did you run the press at? Were there any notable aspects of makeready and setup?
Amaral: The bio-sourced bakery film from Berry Global performed as well on our press at normal speeds as our standard bakery polyethylene film and did not require additional makeready and setup steps.
FLEXO: Examining the final print: How did your team feel about its color and consistency? What about its future repeatability and predictability?
Amaral: We utilize an on-press color control software to monitor current and future runs for consistency and repeatability.
FLEXO: What was the customer’s reaction to seeing the printed job? How can the fact that it’s an award winner help to win new business?
Amaral: Aunt Millie’s was pleased with the look, feel and quality of the new bags, as well as the quality of the print. We were able to provide them with a sustainable package that used a responsibly sourced bio-resin which was still front-of-store recyclable, and complemented their new Live Organic product line targeting environmentally and socially responsible consumers. They are one of the first brands in the market to launch a bio-sourced bag, which is also front of store recyclable.