Opinion: seeking a sustainable point of sale presence by Rob Moore

This maelstrom of green interests has created a number of challenges for both CPG brands and retailers themselves. The solutions are not always obvious, especially in an increasingly competitive marketplace, where ultimately purchase decisions are still influenced by price.

These challenges can range from attempting to alter embedded methods in brand deployment, including design and production methods for bringing brands to market, through to how selection of recycled packaging and display materials can impact the physical experience of the brand by the shopper.

One factor impacting the deployment of recycled materials in point of sale and packaging production is that colouration of physical packaging materials can vary widely. Recycled board or paper is often not a true base white, but comes in varying shades of grey or brown – all of which need to be taken into account when printing to make sure distinctive colours remain true.

In a global marketplace many companies have become sensitive around their brand equities, and when so many companies are associated with specific colours – such as Cadbury’s purple, Coca-Cola’s red or even retailers with Harrods’s green – it is essential these colours are adequately replicated on packaging and promotional displays to deliver consistency.

Many retailers and brands have recently been using more shelf ready packaging solutions, which minimise shelf stacking time and increase standout. Often this shelf ready packaging is made from recycled corrugated cardboard, which not only raises the issue of basic colouration and the need to match colours, but also comes with inbuilt indentations or ‘fluting’. Fluting can be minimised through printing techniques to ensure that the material itself does not undermine brand design.

As more environmentally friendly processes and materials are developed and streamlined, it is certain more companies will seek the cost efficiencies which deployment of recycled point of sale and shelf ready packaging materials can bring. To ‘green’ a brand from top to bottom in the current environment may produce unexpected hurdles, but many of these can be overcome and even drive further brand profitability along the way.

Rob Moore is managing director at global media production agency Schawk