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The Spot Demetallizing Film - a unique, environment and health-friendly technology for effective food packaging.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SD4Food (The Spot Demetallizing Film - a unique, environment and health-friendly technology for effective food packaging.)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-05-31

The goal of the SD4Food project is development of the feasibility study to investigate the possibility of deploying the Spot Demetallizing Film technology (SDF) at a European scale, and to collect detailed data on market circumstances that might hinder successful introduction of the SDF to the European packaging and label market before the end of 2018.
The SDF is positioned at advanced state of innovation and an answer to the needs raised by our customers – printing offices dealing with production of high quality packaging and labels made of metallized film. This type of packaging is used for keeping the food product fresh, in good sanitary conditions and is a kind of compromise between specific properties of metallized film and possibility of showing the product inside the packaging, which is necessary in case of wrapping of (inter alia) meat and fish. Good food packaging extends the product’s life, protects it from physical damage and keeps out bacteria. Food producers say that currently used forms of the packaging are not efficient and shorten the expiry date of many food products, especially of meat (including sliced meat), fishes and cheese. The SDF meets expectations raised by the EC in directive no. 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging wastage. The EC said that better and more effective packaging will promote and support less food wastage by extending the life of food products or helping consumers to understand the data provided on the packaging. The food wastage in the EU amounts to ca.89m tonnes per annum (i.e. 179 kg per capita) and the projection for 2020 – if no action will be taken – is 126m tonnes (i.e. a 40% increase). Simultaneously ca.79m EU citizens live beneath the poverty line and ca.16m depend on food aid from charitable institutions. The SDF is an innovation that duly meets this challenge. The world`s packaging and label market in 2014 grew by 3.7% over the prior year, to 55,500m square meters. Europe alone represents 25% of the world’s label market, and showed a 1.8% growth rate in year 2014. This large demand is caused by an inreasing trend to pack food products in an attractive packaging as the price stopped to be the main factor influencing a decision whether to buy given product or not. Thus, food producers look for packaging or labels fitted with transparent viewing window to clearly show what a food product is inside - just to show product`s advantages. Based on the feedback notes from the packaging and label market, we predict that effective implementation of the SDF will revolutionize packaging and label branch in Europe. Innovation contained in our solution consists in local removing of metallized layer in a needful spot and thereby the film becomes fully transparent for the human eye exactly at the point where it is needed, thus, it is possible to clearly show what is inside.

Industrial problem to be solved. Metallized film is produced by vacuum covering of transparent film with a layer of aluminium. Its popularity is caused not only by technical and environmental advantages this type of film provides but also metal savings during production process and versatility of application. This is why its popularity usage is continuously growing. Compared to the typical aluminium film, the metallized film has similar barrier properties (level of steam and oxygen permeability, high protection against light and bacterial microflora), but does not fracture or rip. Production of metallized film requires 130x less aluminium and production costs are 5x lower than in case of the aluminium film. Due to these properties metallized film is used inter alia for packaging of candy-bars, candies, biscuits, ice cream, coffee, tea, cereals, fish, meat, and also even gifts. Because many products are packed in metallized film, we confirmed there will be increasing market willing to pay for the SDF. The metallized film
 is used especially for packaging of food products;
 allows to obtain desirable gloss effect to make impression of shining inscription, to make food product packaging more attractive for the consumer e.g. ( it means increased sales of food products and continuously growing profits);
 fully covered with aluminium layer, no possibility to see what is inside the packaging (the aluminium layer blocks out everything);
 the only alternative method of distinguishing is painting with gloss finish (gold/silver colour flexographic paints), but this method is very expensive, does not provide gloss effect and the packaging is just matt.
Overall objective of the Feasibility Study (FS) is to systematically survey, by means of detailed market studies and customer pilots, detailed needs of the obtain users described above (direct customers: metallized film printing offices; indirect customers: food producers), in order to deploy the SDF and to demonstrate its advantages to potential customers. The survey will further identify and validate aforementioned issues related to technical feasibility of the SDF. The results of the survey and pilots will allow our company and customers to assess the overall economic benefits of the SDF application compared to the currently used products and methods of packaging. Also the regulatory and technical requirements in the obtain countries will be clarified, to ensure that the SDF will meet them. Based on the results, we will determine the entire EU-wide market potential, customer segments in the obtain countries and potential product development in time.
The specific objectives for the Feasibility Study were as follow:
a) comprehensive customer needs analysis to better understand target customers’ needs;
b) European market and competition analysis;
c) commercialization and internationalization plan;
d) in-depth IPR study to fully assess freedom-to-operate aspects;
e) development and submission of the European patent application;
f) development of the business plan that will answer the question if the SDF has sufficient commercialization potential to boost durable growth of our company in the following 5-6 years.
Conducted Feasibility Study confirm the good chance of SDF technology success. The SDF meet expectations of potential FMCG customers. Companies participating in the pilot study expressed their interest in purchase of the SDF products. Pilot study confirmed that attractive, transparent packaging is a crucial factor influencing customers decisions and the interviewees gave the highest score to marketing functions. Market research show growing demand for innovative, attractive packaging and good perspectives on European market. Competitor analysis confirmed that there are no similar products/services on the market. Print Silver can be the first company on the food packaging and label market that provides a unique, innovative solution on film demetallization that allows to keep food product safe, fresh and show how does the product really look like. We identified the most profitable market segments.
Detailed commercialization and internationalization tactical plan is prepered to achieve ambitious business goals and future growth. In-depth IPR study showed that demetallization of film is a new process in packaging industry. SDF technology does not have much competition in this area. Application of current technology can be introduced onto the Polish market where they are protected by patent. Trade marki is uder construction. The Print Silver company is running promising studies to improve technology of printing on metallized film packaging – until expected results are obtained, study results should be protected by trade secret. Business plan is prepered as result of market research and pilot study to boost the growth of Print Silver company in the following 5-6 years. The break-even point when SDF technology implementation begin to turn a profit will be riched in second year.
We have a great opportunity to be a part of a very perspective and profitable market.
Our innovative SDF technology will help create and produce on mass scale very atractive packaging wich protect, inform and inspire consumers.