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icon Clock  06/3/2014

The beverage industry has benefited from a wide range of new product marking techniques in recent years, helping them to deliver more engaging packaging and other information to their customers through their bottles’ design.

In 2013 especially, the beverage bottle segment was dominated by one major trend; customisation. Not only can the brand name be printed onto the surface of a bottle now, but even etched directly into its surface. Sometimes unique codes were even added onto bottles just to enhance the ‘unique’ brand experience for the customer, as seen with the Pernod Ricard Group’s “Absolut Unique” line last year.

Unique codes on glass bottles can easily be created through a wide range of product marking machinery. For example, adhesive inks from a Continuous Ink Jet printer or the use of a laser coder can help brands to generate these indelible marks on their products.

Delivering information on packaging

However, bottle coding machines also need to deliver more complex codes for beverage brands as customers look to discover even more information from their packaging. Data Matrix codes deliver encoded data to a customer through technology like QR coding, which enables anyone who scans the item to discover more about what they are drinking or even enter competitions.

As a variation of a barcode, the QR code enables those in the beverage industry and elsewhere to direct their customers to further information on recipes, a brand history, or whatever they might want to promote to the reader. This therefore enhances the product experience for the customer through a small but meaningful addition. QR codes are so versatile that they are even being used by Pernod Ricard as a security measure to stop their products being counterfeited.

Keeping up with complex packaging design

It is essential that coding machines can keep up with the fast pace of the beverage industry that wants to deliver the most up to date codes. Developments in packaging design such as those seen throughout 2013, not only with Pernod Ricard’s “Absolut Unique” campaign, but also with Coca Cola’s named cans and bottles mean that bottlers have to adjust quickly to a wide variety of requirements.

Coding machines need to be able to mark not just primary, but also secondary and on-shelf packaging with what can be very short notice. Therefore, having future-proof coders on a production line that is able to integrate many different add-ons at any time is a real must in order to react effectively to these variable demands.

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