Napkins Today!

Lifestyes change with the passing of time. And so do habits and customs.

The art of table-setting, too, evolves according to modern society. Practicality and aesthetics still remain two reference values for this traditional art that is translated in modern society into products made using tissue as raw material for the production of tablewares. For companies operating in the folded products converting field, the development of new technologies becomes an effective instrument through which to introduce on the market a new perception of the simple table napkin.

Maura Leonardi

“Flexibility, dynamism, avant-garde articles and product personalization: these are the key words for Gomà-Camps,” declares Maties Gomà-Camps, Converting Director of Gomà-Camps, the Spanish leading company in the AfH field. “The possibility to offer our customers a wide range of products for the Insitutional market – toilet rolls, kitchen towels, table napkins, jumbo and jumbo maxi rolls, tablecloths, interfolded towels, facial tissue – and the guarantee of product personalization, have allowed us to grow and consolidate our position in the AfH segment. The particular attention payed to innovative technology and the competence acquired in the course of the years have become increasingly strategic elements. They are fundamental in order to conquer and maintain the leadership position in a very competitive market such as that of the Iberian peninsula,” continues Maties Gomà-Camps. And it is precisely this spirit of initiative and innovation that led the company to launch in the last few months the new “Deco” table napkin. The product seems to have all the right characteristics to revolutionize the market that is very traditional by definition, and where the classical white, single-ply napkin is still the favourite.

THE GOMÀ-CAMPS GROUP, STRONG OF AN OVER 250-YEAR EXPERIENCE IN THE PAPER PRODUCTION INDUSTRY, employs about 520 people and has six production sites in total: three on national territory, one in Portugal and two in France. It is the number one privately-owned group in Spain, with 100% of the shares belonging to the family. The headquarters are located in the historical building in La Riba (Tarragona), and production sites are in Vilaverd, Valls, Constãncia in Portugal, Gradignan and Castres in France. Customer orientation, the strength of ideas and the wide range of products offered have constituted the stimulus to introduce the “Deco” table napkin to the market. The company, with a clear and established vision aimed at continuous growth and finalized at the consolidation of its leadership position on the market, sees technological innovation as the main instrument to be in the vangarde. The new range of two-ply napkins, 40x40, embossed and decorated, revolutionize the concept of the table napkin, conferring to it a new appeal: from simple disposable item, it becomes an indespensable element in table decoration.

AVAILABLE IN SEVERAL FORMATS AND COLORS WITH A SIMPLE YET ELEGANT DÉCOR, THE PRODUCT PRESENTS ELEVATED CHARACTERISTICS OF SOFTNESS AND FLEXIBILITY. The new item, promoted and advertised in the institutional segment, represents the first step in the changing perception of the napkin for Spanish consumers.

It is offered to the market in five different options that not only highlight Gomà-Camps’ flexibility in answering to different market requirements, but also gradually introduce the new concept:

- 40x40 “Deco” napkin, white

- 40x40 “Deco Colours” napkin, colored (blue, green, red, brown, and salmon-pink) and decorated

- classic 40x40 napkin, white “Point-to-Point”

- classic 40x40 “ Point-to-Point ” napkin with colored tissue con carta colorata (blue, green, red, brown, and salmon-pink)

- classic white napkin 20x40 “ Point-to-Point ” for product personalization.

In order to better realise the importance of this new product, it is necessary to consider the context in which this company operates. The Spanish market is divided in two segments: the consumer and the institutional.

IN THE CONSUMER SEGMENT, the leading product in terms of diffusion and consumption is the simple, white, Point to Point napkin, to the detriment of two or three-ply Point to Point products, which prevail in the institutional segment.

Tourism increase, away-from-home consumption and strong market competition - caused by the high number of small converters - has resulted in these recent years in a constant growth of the institutional segment. This has led Gomà-Camps to propose an innovative product able to satisfy its customers’ needs by offering them the opportunity to widen and enhance their business. “Deco” introduces a new consumption philosophy, according to which napkins are not only simple necessities but also a decorative element for the table. The company, present also in the consumer segment with private label products, decided to launch the new product in the institutional segment first in order to gradually accustom customers.

CONSIDERING THE TRADITIONAL AND CONSERVATIVE CHARACTER OF THE SPANISH RESTAURANT BUSINESS AS WELL AS THE DIFFERENT CULTURES CO-EXISTING IN SPAIN, Gomà-Camps decided to promote and market this product in a non-invasive manner: following the “think local, act globlal” criterion, a new and proactive marketing and communications activity was carried out.

The distribution system traditionally used by the company was also modified and re-organised with the aims of guaranteeing an efficient and widespread distribution and catching the attention of the final users (bar, restaurants, hotels).

This is the reason that Gomà-Camps chose specialized magazines to convey its marketing campaign.

“DECO” IS NOT A CHANCE NAME; this choice is in line with our marketing activity, through which we intend to associate the product and the decoration with the company name. This will make us easier to identify among our competitors and will strengthen the Gomà-Camps (GC) brand, leader in the institutional segment.

Deco stands for decoration and indicates an aesthetically pleasant and functional napkin, ideal for table decoration, not only a simple disposable product”, Says Antonio Martin, Sales Director of Gomà-Camps.

THIS PROJECT IS BASED ON THE NEW DECO-EMBOSSING SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE FOLD DIVISION OF FABIO PERINI S.P.A. This new technology, previously applied to toilet rolls, allows to achieve a flexible product - thanks to the easy change of the decoration pattern - with a high added value: the product is both embossed an decorated.

Glue application on the decoration pattern guarantees a better adherence between plies; the use of coloured glue allows to avoid the use of printing, enhances the aesthetic aspect and makes the product hygienically safer.

This system can be used for the production of napkins with two or more plies and allows both to change the back ply’s embossing pattern and to work with a smooth back ply, without any need for changing the decoration roll.

“By launching Deco, we intend to increase our sales in the filed of folded products and makes Deco the napkin par-excellence!” concludes Antonio Martin. •

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