When start-ups become heroes
Schumacher Packaging develops PoS display for CHEP start-up project
Sugar-free ice tea, beef jerky without additives, coffee lemonade and dumplings in a jar – four new-to-market products that could scarcely be more different, combined in a single display that is positioned at the point of sale (PoS) in retail outlets, where it becomes a real eye-catcher. In collaboration with packaging and display specialist Schumacher Packaging, logistics company CHEP made the dream of optimum market entry a reality for the young start-ups and their product innovations. Working to the maxim of "Start-Up Heroes", a new business model is being created for and with the brand suppliers of tomorrow with the courage to take on the established brands.
An innovative central platform was created with the objective of supporting start-up companies in brand development, as well as optimising their supply chain and product placement in retail. The initiator of the project is pallet pooling expert CHEP. CHEP approached Schumacher Packaging for development and implementation of the display. The packaging specialist is the market leader in the field of digital printing and an expert in innovative display solutions. In addition to this, Schumacher Packaging offers brand manufacturers the opportunity to obtain all services from a single source – from the initial packaging idea, through to production, all the way up to co-packing.
Two parties with commitment to the task at hand
With the idea of first performing a pilot test of the project with four different start-up companies, CHEP began looking for a display manufacturer that would be happy to take on the challenge. Fabian Miebach, Project Manager Start-Up Lounge at CHEP Germany, stumbled on Schumacher Packaging during his research. After making initial contact via the website of the packaging specialist, a personal meeting was quickly arranged. Schumacher Packaging then invited the project team from CHEP to its Greven plant as a way of offering an insight into the manufacture and further processing of corrugated board, as well as the company itself. "We were then able to get an impression of what the Schumacher Packaging Group is capable of," remembers Miebach. "You could see straight away that the chemistry was right and that Schumacher was just as interested and committed to the project as we were," he comments, describing the decision taken by CHEP to collaborate with the packaging specialist.
Off into the "Denkubator"
The kick-off of the initial test project was a meeting in the inspiring atmosphere of the "Denkubator" idea factory in Dusseldorf. Here, all those involved gathered around a table for the first time, under the leadership of an expert host. In attendance were the four start-ups, the initiator CHEP, Schumacher Packaging as the display expert as well as representatives from two well-known retail chains and an agency for brand communication and sales promotion. Working together, they juggled ideas and looked for solutions to make the brand launch of the start-up products as easy as possible with a PoS display. "The input of everyone involved was critical in getting a project moving that meets all necessary requirements and presents the four different products optimally in the market," stresses Miebach. The neutral brand "Start-Up Heroes" was then born. Start-ups will use this name in future to launch various products to market.
One display for all
Schumacher Packaging worked out the basic requirements for the display during the constructive exchange in the "Denkubator" idea factory. The primary objective here was to combine all four products – from drinks, through to a dried meat snack, all the way up to classic side dishes – in a universal display. In terms of size, the CHEP quarter pallets that are often used for displays were taken as the basis. The levels of the display needed to be designed in such a way that there is enough space to hold a sufficient quantity of each product. In addition to this, the items selected required the display to have a load capacity of around 70 kg. The goal was to implement all requirements in a single corrugated board display. The display also needed to fit in with the overall image, including the "Start-Up Heroes" design, as a way of providing an impetus to make a purchase at the PoS. The topic of sustainability has become the common denominator here. All four start-ups focus on natural ingredients, CHEP prioritises the use of reusable pallets and the reduction of transport costs, and Schumacher Packaging manufacturers the display from 100% recyclable corrugated board.
From the initial idea to the finished, digitally printed display
Schumacher Packaging developed the display – comprising a base with corresponding insert, four crates each with two compartments above one another and a top sign. A Cologne-based agency developed the artwork, which combines the four start-up products in a single display. At its headquarters in Ebersdorf bei Coburg, the packaging specialist created a 360-degree animation, which conveyed a perfect impression of the finished display. The display was printed using innovative printing technology, whereby large and medium-sized print runs of identical packaging and displays can be split into any number of partial series using the mass volume digital printer from Durst. The initial costs for printing plates also simply disappear, as in contrast to flexographic or offset printing, no printing plates are required for digital printing. The printing is performed directly from the file to the print sheet using digital "computer-to-print" technology. This allows the top sign, which depicts the four innovative products, to be continuously adapted. The next "Start-Up Heroes" line-up can then use the same display design and the top sign simply needs to be updated with a new print image. Thanks to use of the four-colour ink system on the basis of Durst Water Technology, it is also possible to perform four-colour printing of corrugated board in virtually offset quality and with an exclusive shine. The ink itself is environmentally friendly and safe for use with food. The "Start-Up Heroes" displays produced in this way by Schumacher Packaging were set up by CHEP on-site in the markets on quarter pallets with rollers and then filled with the start-up products. The first "Start-Up Heroes" displays were already in place in shops around six months after the first project meeting.
Test project successfully completed
Start-up companies with production operations, in particular those in the food sector, often struggle to get their products into the respective selling markets. This situation is compounded further by a lack of contacts, knowledge and logistics, all of which are needed to even place a product in a retail environment. With the successfully launched "Start-Up Heroes" project, young entrepreneurs now have new market entry opportunities – thanks in particular to the combined expertise and joint commitment of CHEP and Schumacher Packaging. "Thanks to the short communication channels and the flexibility of Schumacher Packaging, we were able to stage an optimum brand launch in a very short time," comments Project Manager Miebach. Start-ups benefit just as much from the "Start-Up Heroes" project as retailers, who can then test new items for the range. The two implementation partners Schumacher Packaging and CHEP also enjoy benefits, as their investment in the project is already facilitating contact with the brand manufacturers of tomorrow. It should therefore come as no surprise that the next projects are already in the starting blocks.
The heroes of today for the heroes of tomorrow
In the next step, the "Start-Up Heroes" display will move up to the next testing phase in over 50 markets. "Our hope here remains that the project can later also be successfully rolled out on a larger scale," explains Miebach. "This is also why we decided to go with Schumacher Packaging. The company has the technology and the capacity to implement production of the displays in line with our specifications and is also capable of taking over both assembly and delivery." Having acquired a logistics company, the packaging specialist has extended its scope of services to include the field of co-packing. "We can therefore obtain all required services – from the conceptual design and production of displays, through to co-packing, all the way up to transport to the markets – from a single source with CHEP." CHEP is also planning to develop a standard display in collaboration with the creative heads at Schumacher Packaging, which is based in the Dutch city of Breda. The idea behind this is that multiple start-ups can use this "template" with their own custom designs. Schumacher Packaging then produces the display as a collective order in serial manufacturing using the unique mass volume digital printing process.
Based in Sydney, Australia, CHEP AG is a global provider of sustainable supply chain solutions, including delivery, storage and pooling of load carriers. CHEP is primarily famous in Europe for the blue Euro quarter pallets of the same name. These reusable pallets with or without rollers are suitable for efficient stock replenishment and promotional product presentation at the PoS. As market leader in the field of pooling systems with a comprehensive network of manufacturers, packaging specialists, forwarding agents and trading companies, CHEP Germany offers young companies ideal conditions for market entry.