Sales quadrupled at Mehlig & Heller with seasonal secondary placement displays
Digital printing technology at Schumacher Packaging enables seasonal display themes
Whether during the first picnic of the spring, the holiday and camping season or on the occasion of Oktoberfest – meat and sausage products are popular among the German public throughout the year. To optimally address the seasonal desires of consumers, the traditional butcher's shop Mehlig & Heller relies not only on the right products, but also on corresponding display themes at the point of sale. To this end, the company has Schumacher Packaging, specialist in paper-based packaging solutions, vary the print image on an established standard display using the latest digital printing technology – which repeatedly "wows" its customers.
Mehlig & Heller is a traditional business in the butcher's trade that is based in Veitshöchheim near Würzburg. The company primarily offers its products, which have won several awards, in the food retail trade and generally in dedicated branded jars. For sales promotion, Mehlig & Heller has been relying on secondary placements with corrugated board trays for years. In addition to the use of shelves, positioning the products in a second, ideally prominent location within the retail space attracts far more attention among consumers. When Mehlig & Heller first started using these displays, they were in neutral white and only had the company logo printed on them. This did not, however, allow the full potential of secondary placement to be utilised.
Between physical stability…
To increase brand awareness and create even more attractive positioning at the PoS, Mehlig & Heller were keen to optimise its secondary placement displays. However, only a new display manufacturer was able to actually implement this plan. "Schumacher Packaging really impressed us with its experience in this field," comments Alfred Hutzel, Sales Director at Mehlig & Heller. Working together, the packaging specialist and butcher's shop initially developed a stable corrugated board display that was to be filled with a special group of the butcher's products. Flexographic printing was used to give the display an attractive design. To cover an even greater range from its own product portfolio, Mehlig & Heller ultimately decided to go for a standard display with various product modules. The load capacity requirements were particularly stringent, as the corrugated board display needed to be capable of handling the sausage specialities in their typical glass jars with a net weight of 300 g each. Schumacher Packaging guaranteed the required stability and load capacity, as well as the corresponding size by redesigning a one-piece display.
… and flexible messages
In addition to the physical requirements, Mehlig & Heller were also keen to optimise the communicative function of its display. The butcher's shop had regularly been creating seasonal products for some time – for example during Oktoberfest, the carnival season or at Christmas. So it was only logical to support the PoS marketing with seasonal campaigns. "The market is fiercely contested in our product segment," comments Hutzel. "Our goal with our seasonal special editions is to attract attention, and we are keen to support this in a targeted way with retail displays carrying products in keeping with the respective edition." Implementing this vision with the one-piece display using flexographic or offset printing would have led to constant additional costs due to the need for new printing plates. Schumacher Packaging had the perfect alternative here. The packaging and display specialist is the industry pioneer when it comes to modern, customisable digital printing in large quantities. From its headquarters in Ebersdorf bei Coburg, where the displays for Mehlig & Heller are produced, Schumacher Packaging operates a state-of-the-art digital printer that can print an entire run of identical packaging and displays with any number of different print images – all the way up to complete personalisation, for example with individual barcodes for every single package or every single display.
State-of-the-art digital printing technology for display versioning
The Delta SPC 130 digital printer from Durst has been in use at Schumacher Packaging for several months as the company's first series-produced machine. The state-of-the-art single-pass printer operates at a high print speed of up to 120 metres per minute in a format size of up to 1.30 x 2.80 metres. In the case of Mehlig & Heller, the Delta SPC 130 really played to its unique advantage of being able to version identical packages and displays with different print images. The need for a standard display that can be repeatedly adapted in keeping with seasonal sales promotions or the launch of special product editions then became a reality – directly and without any set-up costs. Schumacher Packaging can produce the standard display designed for Mehlig & Heller without needing to worry about the different print images. The unlabelled ink system of the Delta SPC 130 on the basis of Durst Water Technology also offers currently unique colour printing in the highest quality range with exclusive gloss and exceptional colour stability. The ink is also odourless, environmentally friendly and safe for use with food.
Event-based marketing quadruples success
Mehlig & Heller constantly holds new marketing campaigns – whether for Shrove Tuesday, the barbecue season, Oktoberfest or for new product launches such as the Bake+Snack meat loaf for the oven in 2018. The matching display is now also available in a flash for each campaign in the food retail trade. An advertising agency develops the print image. Schumacher Packaging produces the displays, prints them digitally and then supplies them to Mehlig & Heller. The butcher's shop prepares its promotional products in the erected displays and then supplies retailers throughout Germany. The result: Since offering seasonal displays, the company has sold four times more pre-assembled displays. "The attractive images, ranging from a family picnic, through to a barbecue evening, all the way up to a football match, really appeal to both retailers and consumers," explains Sales Director Hutzel. "While doing their shopping, customers view the scene on our displays and think 'I want that too!' And before you know it, our products are in their shopping trolley too. This is precisely what we are trying to achieve with our secondary placements." Production and seasonal printing of the displays run smoothly. "With Schumacher Packaging, we have a reliable partner at our side that understands our wishes and helps us realise them in the best possible way," explains Hutzel. "The cooperation leaves nothing to be desired." Both companies are owner-managed family businesses – so it should not really come as a surprise that the chemistry just works. The next joint project is already in the starting blocks. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Mehlig & Heller, selected products will be available in a special gift box.