Taking the wrap

27 February 1998

There are practical and competitive advantages to be gained from better laundry packaging, says Supertrack.

As the possibilities for price-cutting and cost-cutting become ex-hausted, processors are beginning to focus on quality/service as a less kamikaze basis for competing with their rivals. Instead of asking: “How can we sell this roller towel or this pack of bed linen for 1p less?” they are starting to ask: “How can we increase the perceived value and appearance of our products? How can customers be influenced to choose our products offered at prices which are the same or even higher than those of competitors?” The laundry industry has long recognised the futility of long-term price warfare and it is finally looking at other means of w#inning market share.

Supertrack reports a significant rise of interest in shrink-wrapping as a means of improving presentation and has supplied more of its Superwrap machines in the last 12 months than in the previous five years.

In a fully automated, high-volume production line, the unit cost of shrink wrapping comes down to around 2p/pack, Mr Malcolm Goldie of Supertrack says. “This provides a realistic opportunity to produce a tight, strong, transparent and dust-proof pack that can even command a premium price.” Supertrack no#w has installations all over Europe and can offer matching shrink tunnels and interlinking conveyor systems that will handle outputs of up to 20 packs/ minute depending on size.

The five different automated models in the range use “sleeve wrapping” techniques. Packs are sealed front and rear with a heated bar, and pack sides are sealed with rollers as the packs emerge from the shrink tunnel.

Non-commercial operations such as Sterile Theatre Services in Derby have adopted shrink wrapping and Eastbourne Textile Care runs its Superwrap machine 24-hours each day, seven days/week.

Apart from the practical aspects, packaging is a major consideration in pricing strategy and can be a significant factor in commanding premium prices. After all, whoever heard of Chanel reducing the price of a bottle of No.5 by 2p to achieve more sales?

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