packagePRINTING magazine presents:

Survey Reveals Just How Much Consumers Hate Waste

CAMBRIDGE, MA—November 19, 2014—LiquiGlide Inc. has announced survey results that clearly demonstrate consumers' intense dislike of product waste and the extreme measures many of them take to get the last few drops of everything from food items like peanut butter and mayonnaise to health and beauty items like toothpaste and body lotion, including picking through garbage and even physically injuring themselves. Consumers hate waste so much they are even willing to switch brands for ones with packaging that allows them to easily get their products out.

LiquiGlide's survey of more than one thousand consumers asked participants about their attitudes and habits related to the packaging, use, waste and disposal of sticky consumer goods. To conduct the survey, LiquiGlide asked questions that focused on waste awareness and attitudes regarding consumer waste. The results offer insight into the depth of peoples' hatred for wasting consumer goods, the reasons why they dislike wasting products and just how determined they are to get every last drop.

Survey Highlights:

  • Consumers hate waste. When told how much shampoo, conditioner, mayonnaise, laundry detergent, toothpaste, and body lotion that the average person throws away, 89 percent of those surveyed responded that they think it's "a huge waste," and 85 percent say they hate that they're not getting the full value of what they paid for. While 57 percent of respondents think manufacturers are "screwing them over," almost two-thirds (60 percent) say what bothers them most is the wasted money.
  • They hate it more than going to the dentist or doing household chores. When asked to rate their dislike for certain activities on a scale of one to 10, wasting consumer products (average: 4.8) topped going to the dentist (4.3) and doing chores (4.2), and tied paying taxes (4.8)! Waiting for the cable repairperson topped the list, with an average rating of 5.7.
  • It's not only about the lost money; it's about the principle of the matter and the environmental impact. The top reason why people hate wasting consumer goods is wasted money (60 percent of respondents). When asked how much money they thought they lost annually because they couldn't get to the last few drops of product, 60 percent estimated between $1 and $49, and 33 percent estimated $50 or more worth of product wasted each year. Beyond money concerns, 20 percent of respondents said it's the principle of the matter that they should get everything they paid for, and 16 percent cited environmental concerns.
  • Consumers are determined to get every last drop. People hate wasting consumer goods so much that nearly 40 percent of respondents say they won't quit until they get every last drop from the packaging. More than 60 percent of respondents spend more than a few minutes squeezing or scraping the last drops of product, including 15 percent who spend "as long as it takes." More than two-thirds (69 percent) say they hesitate to open a new package when there's still a tiny bit left in the previous one.
  • They'll try some unbelievable tricks to get every bit of product out of its packaging. Almost all respondents have used at least one special method to get every last drop out, from storing bottles upside-down (84 percent) to adding water (68 percent), cutting containers open (61 percent), using spatulas (40 percent) and using centrifugal force (19 percent). A few more zealous consumers admitted to buying special tools (12 percent) and pulling unfinished bottles from the trash (11 percent). More than 50 percent of respondents said they have their own tricks. When asked for the "craziest way" they've gotten product out of its packaging, respondents admitted to smashing, heating, stepping on, licking, sucking and biting – all to get those precious few last drops.
  • Getting the last few drops can come at a price. Almost 60 percent of respondents admit to making a mess; 31 percent have gotten product all over themselves. Another 18 percent admit to being the victims of farting noises from bottles, and an impressive 13 percent have injured themselves chasing those last few drops.
  • Wasted products are worth fighting over. Twenty seven percent of the respondents who live with their significant other (182 of 665) admitted to fighting over product waste!
  • While shampoo is frustrating, toothpaste and lotion are the worst. When asked to indicate frustration toward a list of specific viscous consumer products, respondents indicated that toothpaste and body lotion were the most frustrating, with average ratings of 5.8 based on a 10-point scale.
  • Consumers crave a solution. The overwhelming majority of respondents said they were willing to try new packaging if it enabled them to get products out easily (toothpaste, 93 percent; shampoo, 89 percent; body lotion, 88 percent; laundry detergent, 87 percent; conditioner, 85 percent and mayonnaise, 80 percent). The survey also revealed interesting data about brand loyalty – most respondents are willing to switch brands for ones with more efficient packaging (body lotion, 74 percent; toothpaste, 71 percent; laundry detergent, 69 percent; shampoo, 68 percent; conditioner, 67 percent and mayonnaise, 60 percent).

"We know that consumers hate waste and they're clearly expressing a need for better packaging solutions. It's a problem we take seriously," said LiquiGlide CEO Dave Smith. "Our slippery, safe coating technology can be customized to help any viscous liquid slide easily across surfaces. We are confident that our permanently wet coatings are going to become an industry standard and change the world by significantly reducing consumer waste."

Source: LiquiGlide.

LOI: The Letter and the Spirit

By Paul V. Reilly

A letter of intent (LOI) is a nonbinding but authoritative document that defines the terms under which the purchase of one company by another will proceed. When a buyer and a seller reach the LOI stage, they'll have agreed that the potential fit looks good and that due diligence—the research phase that structures and certifies the transaction—can begin. In this post, we'll review the steps the seller should take once both parties have signed the LOI. The buyer's post-LOI agenda will be the subject of the next installment.

There's no set-in-stone format for LOIs, but all of them will spell out the parties' general understanding of:

  • purchase price
  • seller's assets
  • terms of payment
  • responsibilities under a “no shop” provision that enjoins the seller from talking about the sale of the company with anyone else while discussions are under way. (This is one of the few obligatory features of the LOI.)

As the seller, you now must begin to think in concrete terms about how you will convey your assets to the seller and what will happen after the company leaves your ownership and control. New Direction Partners advises its selling clients to focus on five tasks after signing:

1. Hire a deal lawyer, and involve your accountant. The legal requirements that govern M&A transactions are very different from those that apply to contracts and real estate. The attorney who represents you must be well versed in representations and warranties, indemnification, and the many other specialties of this complex body of law. Because the risk to the seller in an M&A transaction can never be zero, your counsel must be a skilled practitioner of everything that can be done to hold your risk to a minimum. Needless to say, your accountant should be privy to all that is going on so that there will be no disconnect between your financial situation and your legal posture.

2. Make your numbers. At the risk of stating the obvious, you'll still have a business to run and projections to meet after you sign the ROI. If you miss a forecast, you may be confident that sales and profits will bounce back, but the buyer probably will not share your optimism. Failure to make numbers injects uncertainty and ranks among the top deal-killers in M&As. Stay focused on hitting all of your business targets!

3. Respond to due diligence requests on a timely basis. Speaking of deal-killers, we have seen tardiness on the seller's part undermine more than one otherwise promising M&A. Expect a continuous stream of requests for information from the buyer while due diligence moves forward. Responding to them ASAP will go a long way toward getting the deal done.

4. Develop a communication plan. M&A negotiations should proceed in confidence, but some stakeholders must be brought into the loop at the right moments to protect the integrity of the deal. This applies in particular to your customers, whose loyalty is the asset your buyer values the most highly. Your communication plan should specify who will be told, when, and what steps will be taken to assure key accounts that there will be no interruption in service during the transition of ownership. Depending on how it is handled, communication is a make-or-break element of M&As.

5. Think about and plan for life after ownership. This is what my New Direction Partners colleague Peter Schaefer calls taking “An Emotional Walk on the Beach.” For the seller, an M&A isn't just a business transaction—it's a resetting of personal expectations and, often, the embrace of a new set of personal goals. Will you remain active in the industry? If the buyer wants you to stay on in a post-sale management role to help make the transaction a success, will you be comfortable playing the ex-boss working for a new one? Many owners are entrepreneurs whose entire adult lives have been defined by building the businesses they are putting up for sale. Life after ownership can be just as rewarding in its own way—if you begin charting your course now.

Cover all of these bases, and you can sign your LOI with confidence and enthusiasm. Don't hesitate to seek qualified advice about any aspect of the deal as you progress toward closing.

REVO Brings Digital Control to Flexo Presses

By Noel Ward

Flexo press owners faced with demand for shorter runs have been actively seeking new techniques to accelerate and streamline job changeover and color management. So far, press vendors have offered up presses that speed up plate changes, yet still require stopping the press for every job change. Advanced color management techniques have enabled use of additional colors to expand the gamut, but it’s still anything but a seamless process. And still, when faced with multiple short runs and substantial color shifts between jobs, the overall processes are less than optimal when compared with many of the latest digital presses and even some hybrid flexo/inkjet machines.

But that may be about to change.

The REVO Digital Flexo Revolution collaboration of eight industry leaders has resulted in a new approach to flexo printing that may well delight flexo press owners. AVT, Adare, APEX, Dupont, ESKO, Flint, GIDUE and UPM Raflatac have teamed up to put the flexo printing process under digital control. Process consistency, efficiency and cost reduction are REVO Revolution’s objectives, targeting short runs, color quality and broader flexibility. Together they developed new software, hardware, UV flexo inks, digital plates, new generation anilox rollers, seven-color separation, standardized substrates, and digital automation on press.

These varied partners bring specialized knowledge and dedicated products from their own specific areas of the flexo industry. The result is the 17” wide M5 GIDUE REVO UV Flexo press, rolled out last week at an open house at All Print Resources in Glendale Heights, Illinois. It demonstrated all aspects of the GIDUE Excellence Technology (ExcelPrint, ExcelDie and ExcelCut) for the automatic "non-stop" exchange of print cylinders, magnetics and flexible dies and all the concrete benefits of significantly reduced waste and set-up time and no need to change inks or anilox rollers. All the printing and converting operations are performed using digital control. The high-level view is this:

  • The press features seven ink colors (CMYK plus green, orange and violet), which when digitally controlled, are claimed to be capable of providing over 90 percent of PMS colors.
  • Decreased anilox inventory
  • Increased uptime
  • When it’s time to change jobs, new plates at each printing station can be automatically rotated into position without stopping the press. The plate previously in use can then be changed so it is ready for the next job. This plate changeover technology—not dissimilar to that used on some offset presses—provides a clear advantage over conventional flexo presses, although the changeover is still no where near as fast as the almost instantaneous changes that can be made on a true digital press.
  • Because the inks and the printing are under computer control, the process is quick and waste between jobs can be measured in about a couple of press lengths.

More information and videos are available at www.revo-digitalflexo.com.

The M5 Revo press is a compelling example of how flexo technology can be adapted and readied to compete with some of the capabilities of digital presses. It is not a true digital press, but it should fit well in the comfort zone of many flexo press owners who need the fast changeover capabilities but want to retain the features of flexographic printing.

RotoMetrics Acquired by Sentinel Capital Partners

EUREKA, MO—November 19, 2014—Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in promising companies, has announced its acquisition of RotoMetrics, a global provider of precision rotary tooling and accessories. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are extremely excited to partner with RotoMetrics, a company with a 57-year history of providing great products and services to a longstanding and loyal customer base,” said Jim Coady, a partner at Sentinel. “Under its current management team, RotoMetrics has undergone a fundamental transformation to a global leader with a strong financial profile, and is superbly positioned for future growth.”

While under the ownership of Morgenthaler Private Equity, RotoMetrics implemented many growth and operational improvement initiatives, including investing in flexible die technology, expanding RotoMetrics’ global manufacturing presence in Europe and Asia, realigning the global organizational structure, and adding to the strength of the management team.

“We are very pleased to have Sentinel as our new partner,” said RotoMetrics CEO Bob Spiller. “Sentinel’s deep experience investing in specialty industrial businesses will support our efforts to expand and strengthen our worldwide market presence.”

Sentinel has broad experience investing in specialty industrial businesses. Current and prior investments include: Alemite (industrial lubrication equipment); Chase Doors (specialty doors); Chromalox (precision heating technology); Colson (casters and wheels); Engineered Controls International (pressure regulators, valves); Fasloc (underground mine roof support systems); IEP Technologies (industrial explosion protection products); LTI Boyd (rubber and plastic sealing systems); and PlayCore (commercial playground and recreation equipment).

Source: RotoMetrics.

Color-Logic and 3D Visualization

WEST CHESTER, OH—November 20, 2014—The Color-Logic file format necessary to print the widely used Process Metallic Color System is now supported by CGS 3D visualization software. Brand managers and their designers using the system can see dramatic special effects and metallic colors on their monitors and visualize package prototypes and other materials as they will appear on the finished product.

IC3D Suite

Taking a package from concept to shelf as quickly and smoothly as possible is vital to staying relevant and profitable. IC3D Suite is the world's first 3D real-time packaging simulation and design application to combine multiple packaging disciplines in one package, reducing the time spent on 3D mockups and prototypes. For more information and to see a IC3D video go to www.cgsusa.com.
 
Developed for brand managers, product managers, corporations and advertising agencies, the Process Metallic Color System provides the ability to differentiate products from the competition. The process simplifies the design and print production process and allows implementation of eye-catching decorative effects into branded products and associated collateral. The system is compatible with offset, inkjet, flexography, digital presses, screen printing, and gravure processes. It is used for packaging, pouches, point-of-purchase materials, labels, shrink sleeves, and more.

Source: Color-Logic.