• Sha Jumari

The Secret is in the Sauce

We catch up with the packaging design team from Thailand’s Thai Containers Group to find out what goes into their award-winning entry for preprint corrugated packaging.

Thai Containers Group (TCG) is no stranger to the Asian Packaging Excellence Awards. The company has been taking part in the awards year-on-year, and has never gone home empty handed.

In the 2017th edition, the company submitted five entries in total; two entries to Pre-print Corrugated category, and three entries to the Post print Corrugated category. TCG bagged two awards: Gold in Preprint, and Bronze in Postprint.

“We are very appreciative and grateful for the award wins. Design is just one part of the whole process. The award belongs to everyone involved in this project; from the sales representative, designers, prepress, production, delivery, and even the customer. The win would not be possible if the cooperation and coordination between all the departments are not good,” said Ms Prinda Akkaraphab, design solution center manager, Thai Containers Group Co. Ltd.

Ms Peeraporn Sumretpon, lead designer for the winning entry, agreed: “It’s not just my win; it’s the win of the team. The packaging that we submitted, we were able to produce with the collaborative effort of my team of designers, prepress and production. It’s the success of the team.”

The winning Gold entry is a corrugated packaging for the Thai company, Thaitheparos. Thaitheparos manufactures the Golden Mountain brand, which currently holds the number one market share for seasoning sauces in Thailand. This particular soy sauce is the brand’s bestseller item. As part of the new marketing campaign, the client wanted a more attractive look in the supermarket.

The entire project took two months to complete. All the client gave to the team is a food shot, an image of the bottle and the logo. The rest is up to the team. The machine used for the packaging is a machine from the German brand, Conprinta.

“The Thaitheparos packaging was difficult to produce. Firstly, the paper weight is only 100 grams, the same as regular writing paper. In order to produce good quality for preprint, our challenge was to adjust the machine to be able to handle the lightweight paper,” said Sumretpon. “Secondly, we only have four colours; two spot colours and two process colours – which are transparent colours. We had to use our knowhow to separate the colours for the printing press in order to produce a good printing quality.”

Important features of the soy sauce that the brand wanted to highlight include was its exceptional marinating qualities and its ability to produce more tasty food. They also wanted the packaging to convey that it is an all-natural product.

“We executed this by ensuring there is texture in the food shot, and incorporate green elements in the final look. It was important that we focus on the food shot and the branding. The box is modern looking, and stands out as most attractive in shops,” said Sumretpon.

Design solution team at Thai Containers Group Co. Ltd.

TCG is the first in Thailand to have a preprint machine. The company has a specialised Design Solution Centre with professional designers to provide a one-stop service for packaging research, structural and graphic design, 3D simulation, sample making and testing, and plate making.

“We always strive to improve design quality and brainstorm for new packaging designs for the customer. We do market surveys, research and development, product analysis and always keep updated on packaging trends. Our aim is to propose as many ideas as possible to the customers, and always think beyond the customer expectations,” said Akkaraphab.

The team from this innovative department is responsible for choosing the winning entries for award submission. The entries were chosen based on design, print quality of the total lot, the final appearance, printing registration, the printing quality, the printing speed and the production capability.

According to Peeraporn, the current packaging trend in Thailand is all about the millenials: “Thailand is going for speed. It goes in line with the rise of Generation Y, who are constantly on-the-go and busy. Packaging will tend to follow this rise. Therefore speed in lead times is becoming more important in Thailand. In terms of quality, we see it moving towards the quality that Japan has.”

“A recurring problem for the design team is that the customer is concerned with cost. Sometimes when we design beyond customer expectations, and the customers really love it, but due to the cost that comes with it, it doesn’t get approved. This is always the challenge for us, as they want the costs to always go down. I would say around 80% of customers are very concerned with cost,” Peeraporn added.

Established since 1971, TCG is a subsidiary of Thai conglomerate, SCG Packaging. TCG is one of the largest corrugated containers manufacturer in Southeast Asia, with a number of production bases in various locations across the region to serve both domestic and international markets.

The company has since styled itself as a total packaging solution provider. Its services aim to cover every aspect of the packaging production cycle; including primary packaging, folding cartons, corrugated containers, logistics materials and merchandising displays. TCG has put in place a recycling programme, which recycles used packaging back into the production process.

Is TCG ready for the next Asian Packaging Excellence Awards in 2018?

“Sure! We are already in the process of choosing the next entry pieces to submit for the next awards. We are excited because we have many great products with many customers,” said Akkaraphab.

This article and more in the latest issue of Labels & Packaging Innovation Asia.

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