Realistic Packaging Prototypes Boost Sales at Sugakiya
Sugakiya | Aichi, Japan
Sugakiya Foods Co., Ltd. is one of the top packaged food manufacturers in Japan. Headquartered in Aichi prefecture in Central Japan with an affiliate in China, Sugakiya produces instant, precooked and raw noodles as well as noodle soups.
“We develop one or two new products every month,” said Mr. M. Chiba, a designer in the firm’s design and packaging material development team. Our product cycle is basically only two to three weeks long - one month at the longest. Due to this very short product development cycle, we are always extremely busy. With the lack of time and budget, it was very hard for us to prepare packaging prototypes for all of our client presentations through an off site printer, even though we knew the samples were very important.”
In one case, a sales person in charge of Sugakiya’s main product line, chilled food, was requesting packaging samples printed on soft packaging films. Mr. Chiba noted that especially when presenting designs to supermarkets or convenience stores, being able to show sample packages that are identical to the final product is key. “If you cannot show realistic prototypes, the negotiation becomes very difficult and the deal itself may be at risk,” said Mr. Chiba.
“Due to this very short product development cycle, we are always extremely busy. With the lack of time and budget, it was very hard for us to prepare packaging prototypes for all of our client presentations through an off site printer, even though we knew the samples were very important.”
Increasing demand from Sugakiya’s sales people for realistic packaging prototypes led the firm to invest in an inkjet printer. Sugakiya chose the Roland VersaUV LEC-300 printer/cutter because it supports a wide variety of media, including films and papers. Backing transparent films with high-opacity Roland ECO-UV white ink yields brilliant and vivid colors, which are ideal for food packaging. In addition, the LEC-300 allows them to produce a wide range of promotional materials in-house on one device. They run posters and banners, POPs, labels, stickers, and other materials for their marketing efforts and tradeshows.
“We also use the LEC-300 for color and design proofing. The machine is running almost all day, every day. It has been only six months, but we are very happy with the LEC-300,” said Mr. Chiba. “Now we can produce as many prototype pieces as we wish. Being able to produce accurate packaging prototypes on the LEC-300 has had a tremendous effect on our ability to close business deals, and has improved our communications with our clients. We also benefit from increased operating effectiveness since the prototypes are exactly the same as the final products, and we can now demonstrate our products in the colors that appeal most to consumers.”