The roll is “renovated” with the Colour Embossing system

In the field of paper for domestic use, toilet rolls play a leading role (total consumption in 2003 was 12 million tons and per capita consumption was 3.3 kg): product innovation has therefore become a key factor for companies operating in this segment in order to maintain or gain market share.

Maura Leonardi

Printing, embossing and the use of coloured paper are the main tools for product personalization to foster the loyalty of customers, who are increasingly demanding innovative products. Furthermore, companies are also facing market saturation in terms of consumption, so products with Ecolabel or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certifications are today the leading items to conquer new market segments. But in order to keep market share, renewing market shelves with new products is not enough.

Within the wide offer of diversified toilet products, it is necessary to find new, appealing solutions able to attract the attention of an increasingly over-supplied and distracted consumer. Coloured, recycled, perfumed, multi-ply, printed, or TAD rolls are some of the products that flock our supermarkets.

IF WE CONSIDER EUROPE, for example, clear differences as far as consumption habits and trends can be traced among its countries: French consumers favour pink or peach coloured paper, while light yellow dominates the British Isles’ supermarket shelves. But yellow and pink are not the only colours diffused in Northern European countries, where also light blue and lilac are very much appreciated. In Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain, the traditional white roll, decorated or printed, is most popular.

Even “me-too” products are no longer satisfying; products with a competitive quality-price ratio are required.

The international scenario has changed and retailer label products have grown and have almost equalled branded products. In these years private label producers have acquired the know-how necessary to plan, launch and manage complete ranges of products, developing marketing and communication strategies, focussing on market segments not yet penetrated by big brands and targeting non-central objects (e.g. ecological products).

Consumption growth of private label products for domestic use has also been favoured by the downturn in the market that has characterised recent years; this phenomenon has led consumers to choose discounters and big retailers able to offer a good quality-price ratio.

SALES VOLUMES HAVE INCREASED AND ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS ARE DEDICATED ALSO TO PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS, characterised by a particular evolution and quality segmentation, resulting from specific strategies. These latter have been dictated by specific product positioning needs but are also sympathetic to environmental issues. Therefore, today, offering printing, different formats, embossing and colours is no longer sufficient. Innovative solutions able to stimulate an increasingly competitive and diversified market are indispensable.

Marketing and promotion become key tools also for the converting industry, to foster and conquer not only customers’ loyalty but also the perception that the product generates in their minds. It is a brand new approach to toilet products, which are no longer to be considered as mere rolls, but rather as objects able to embody also emotional values.

For this reason, the research for new technologies aiming at conferring to the roll further added value have become a must.

IN THIS CONTEXT, THE NEW COLOUR EMBOSSING SYSTEM, STUDIED AND PATENTED BY FABIO PERINI S.P.A., REPRESENTS A VALID ALTERNATIVE TO CONQUER NEW MARKET SEGMENTS and generate new concepts in the high level range of products. In this case the marketing action has been carried out upstream of the production process, i.e., in the phase of Research and Development of new machinery, by considering the needs of converters and of this market that is very attentive to innovation. The embossing laminating system – the evolved decorated product, also launched by Fabio Perini S.p.A. some years ago – laid the foundations for further studies and research for new methods, aimed at conferring the product added value. In fact, now that brand recognition has become the key to success, product personalization is the paramount objective.

The Colour Embossing system, born from the Nexxt generation of converting machinery, allows to “play” with new ideas and introduce them on the market. With this new system, during the embossing phase the ply also undergoes an inking process, which confers colour on the embossed points, thus filling the pattern engraved on the paper. The ink decoration creates an interlaced pattern of colours that makes the ply apparently similar to a fabric’s weft.

THE COLOUR EMBOSSING SYSTEM UNITES THE ADVANTAGES OF PRINTING AND EMBOSSING AND CAN BE APPLIED TO ALL MEDIUM-SPEED PRODUCTION LINES. Embossing, carried out through the high pressure exerted on the ply, gives the product softness and absorbency and distinctly transfers the steel rolls’ pattern onto the paper. It is a re-evolution of the decorated and coloured product.

Colour Embossing allows to reconcile the need of coloured paper with the observance of environmental norms – a much debated issue nowadays. The possibility of changing decoration and colour and having two or three-ply products makes the system very flexible, ideal for differentiated productions at reduced costs.

The new system represents a valid alternative to existing techniques for converters, enables them to develop concepts and promotions aimed at further segmenting demand and reaching new targets.

So today, with Colour Embossing, the roll is “renovated”: and who knows what the imagination of marketing directors will come up with tomorrow…?! •

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