Melting ice cream isn’t only a factor for the person enjoying the ice cream, but a chief concern of manufacturers and distributors of frozen food products. The temperature sensitivity of frozen dairy products presents challenges when it comes to labeling them. Labels must be able to adhere to the container in cold conditions and the application process must happen in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the quality and safety of the product.
One of our long-time customers, a prominent food and beverage distributor, was grappling with this issue when attaching promotional booklets to the containers for a particular line of ice cream. They reached out for our expertise because our clients know we will work closely with them and their other partners if needed to find a solution for any labeling or packaging issue.
CHALLENGE — Affixing Promotional Booklets to Frozen Products
When adding promotional information to a container, it should go in a prominent place so purchasers see it right away. Naturally, our customer wanted to apply their booklets to the lids of the ice cream containers for maximum visibility. However, in their already established process the filled cartons were packed into shipping boxes upside down, so it was impossible to automatically apply the booklets using their existing method.
They couldn’t manually unpack and repack each carton to apply the label because the ice cream would be at risk of melting, which could impact the quality and safety of the product. This would also add unnecessary complexity and time to their smooth process that was built to meet delivery times to the supermarkets they served.
That is when our team stepped in to find a solution to their sticky problem.
SOLUTION — Partnering to Complete the Cartons
As our customer’s process was serving their needs for speed, temperature control and operation efficiency, we decided to work further up the supply chain to solve this problem.
Typically in situations such as this, our ability to lease equipment does the trick. We explored the possibility of placing a piece of our equipment in the ice cream manufacturer’s facility to apply the labels during production, but for various reasons that wasn’t possible. We also checked to see if we could place leased equipment in the carton manufacturer’s facility to apply the labels there, but discovered the carton lids were pre-fabricated, so that wasn’t a viable option either.
Since we couldn’t place the right piece of equipment in facilities involved in the process, we worked with our customer and their partners up the supply chain to have the carton lids shipped to our facility. Here we applied the booklets using our equipment. The lids with the booklets securely attached were then sent to the carton manufacturer so they could be applied during production. Finally, the ice cream cartons reached our customer ready for distribution with the promotional material already applied.
RESULTS — Maintained Frozen Product Quality, Safety and Promotional Efforts
Our customer was able to put their promotional efforts into practice without disrupting the flow of production or throwing a kink in their supply chain. Automating the promotional booklet application ensured our customer could deliver a quality product safely and on time to the supermarkets they served.
Through creative problem solving, PrintFlex Graphics bridged the gap between marketing and production by implementing solutions without disrupting an already well-tooled process.