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Digital printing personalization coming to Tetra Pak packaging

Digital printing personalization coming to Tetra Pak packaging
Digital printing can dramatically increase consumer engagement in the drinkable cartons market.

Investment taps the personalization power of digital on-package printing to offer custom new design possibilities for brands that’s a first for food and beverage cartons.

 Personalization through digital printing and other nimble customization technologies has drawn the attention of one of the world’s major packaging suppliers: Tetra Pak,which plans to be the first food and beverage carton supplier to offer full-color digital printing by collaborating with Koenig & Bauer, a leader in this market.

The digital printing technology will simplify the complexity of design handling, reducing design-to-print time and open up new opportunities in order placement flexibility and customization. Brands can take advantage of added benefits like dynamic on-package printing and the ability to include a variety of designs within the same order.

The full-width digital printer being built by Koenig & Bauer and will be installed at Tetra Pak’s converting plant at Denton, TX. Field testing for North American customers of the new, digitally-printed carton packages is expected to begin in early 2020.

Charles Brand, executive vice president, product management & commercial operations at Tetra Pak says, “we are committed to helping our customers explore new avenues with a truly ‘smart’ package, supporting their need for product customization, smaller batch sizes, greater traceability and the ability to interact with the consumer. Our investment in this digital printer demonstrates our commitment to support customers with future-proof technologies as the digital revolution transforms the way we all do business.”

Says Christoph Müller, board member of Koenig & Bauer, “we are absolutely delighted that Tetra Pak has decided in favor of our digital printer. I am sure that, together, we will significantly change the market for the benefit of Tetra Pak customers.”

Adapting to a changing market

“Brands continue to look for opportunities to deliver greater customization and personalization of their products,” adds Carmen Becker, president and CEO of Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada. “We’re thrilled to offer our customers new and innovative ways to engage with consumers, all while increasing flexibility in the design and order process.”

The commitment to the technology grew out of changing consumer desires, Pedro Gonçalves, vp marketing United States and Canada, Tetra Pak, tells Packaging Digest.

“The market for food and beverage is evolving with many innovations and diversification of product being released constantly with a focus on health, sustainability, convenience and more,” he explains. “To attend to this new consumer, consumer packaged goods companies have to deliver personalized and connected experiences—in this sense, the flexibility and personalization ability from digital printing is an unmatched technology offering infinite possibilities of design and connectivity. Offering this breakthrough to our customers connects with our commitment in helping brands to be profitable, sustainable and to address consumer needs.”

Rendering of Tetra Pak's forthcoming digital printing system at Denton, TX, facility.

And while digital printing will also enable small orders that can give innovative companies the possibility to explore new segments of the consumer spectrum, it also represents an improvement in print quality.

“The printing quality of the method we use today has achieved a great level of quality delivering appealing design with a high productivity, but we foresee more color fidelity with digital printer as it works with a CMYK color system,” Gonçalves says.

The technology will be used for all current and future package formats delivered to Denton that can be run on the digital printer. “The list of packages is in constant review to make sure we will attend the market’s needs,” Gonçalves adds.

Traceability that was referenced is enabled by leveraging the technology to print Quick Response codes.

“Today we offer 2D Data Matrix codes, but the digital system will enable printing of high-definition QR codes that can be integrated with applications or a website,” Gonçalves points out. “The  information associated with the QR codes can be changed quickly, bringing dynamic content to campaigns and management data.”


There’s a world of packaging options awaiting at PackEx Toronto June 4-6, 2019, where you can find innovative ideas in containers and design, check the latest machinery and automation solutions and attend free education at Centre Stage. For more information, visit PackEx Toronto. ___________________________________________________________________________________

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