A force to be reckoned with
Working at the forefront of technological innovation, AR Metallizing has become the world leader in the production of metallised papers, boards and films for flexible packaging and labels
Afull subsidiary of the Japanese listed multinational Nissha, AR Metallizing has had a highly fruitful past decade, rapidly moving up the value chain in that time. “From an industrial manufacturer of metallised papers, primarily active in the European market, we have transformed into a global leader offering customised packaging and labelling solutions,” explains AR Metallizing Chief Executive Officer, Bart Devos.
Today a world leader in the field of specialty technical coatings for metallised applications, the company has forged a reputation for its innovative papers, boards and films that are used in the consumer packaged goods sector and ensure brands benefit from a sophisticated look to their labels and packaging. From its manufacturing sites in Belgium, Italy, the United States and Brazil, it is able to guarantee lean product lead times to an array of clients that includes printers, laminators and converters, as well as top tier end users in a number of markets, such as personal care, entertainment, and food and beverages.
In a concerted effort to take its activities to another level, AR Metallizing recently expanded its product portfolio to include a special metallised paperboard for folding boxes called SilberBoard™. This unique product enables premium brands to get rid of plastics, while still offering consumers glossy and aesthetically appealing packaging. In total, five different types of SilberBoard™ have been developed to answer various food and beverage industry requirements.
“Consumers’ buying behaviour shows that packaging needs to look great, reflect brand values and remain functional,” Bart states. “This often leads to brands using plastics in their packaging, putting environmental considerations to one side.” SilberBoard™ enables premium brands to maintain, or even improve, their trusted look and feel, without the use of plastics. “Brands that have already tried out SilberBoard™ have reported positive sales results and consumer feedback, and many of these brands have as a result completely switched to it permanently.”
The development of SilberBoard™ follows years of extensive research and development, and investments in people and technology. “In order to ensure that our company can continue to grow and stay ahead of the competition, we continue to invest heavily in new product development,” Bart continues. “We have also further strengthened our global research capabilities, working with scouts in several major countries to identify local trends. As a result of this, we have transformed ourselves into a global customer-focused market leader offering customised, environmentally friendly packaging and labelling solutions, actively involved in B2B and B2C supply chains.”
Although only recently introduced to the market, SilberBoard™ has already been rewarded with several accolades. The most recent of these came at the European Business Awards, where AR Metallizing was selected as one of ten Ruben d’Honneur recipients in the Environmental and Corporate Sustainability category, out of more than 33,000 businesses that initially entered the competition. In addition, the company was also recently awarded the title of Sustainability Leader of the Year by The New Economy Magazine.
“It is our aim to make sure that all brands, wherever they operate, have the opportunity to reduce their ecological footprint, which is why we have worked hard to make SilberBoard™ available worldwide,” Bart adds. “Interestingly, we see more interest today for this product in the United States than in the European Union. Although it is oftentimes believed that in Europe people are more environmentally conscious than in the US, we are experiencing quite the opposite. In the US, brands are eager to switch to sustainable packaging and fortunately we quite like a challenge here at AR Metallizing, and for those reasons we will continue to further expand our export opportunities to service demand for products like SilberBoard™.”
AR Metallizing expects to grow organically via an ever-increasingproduct portfolio and possibly through future acquisitions. The company seesa growing demand for customised labelling and packaging solutions, and its research and development team is working closely with its sales and marketing team to quickly translate trends and innovative ideas into products that meet, and indeed exceed, customers’ expectations.
“Today, our research and development team is actively investigating the possibilities to develop an ecological food packaging solution, which will be of particular interest for fast foodrestaurants,” Bart says. “We aim to launch a packaging solution that replaces aluminium foil with metallised paper. We believe customers will benefit greatly from being able to enjoy the technical benefits of using a metallized paper. For one, its thermal qualities can keep food warm. Its superior aesthetical aspects provide excellent printability, as well as the fact that it is free of plastics and foils making it an environmentally friendly alternative.”
Looking forward, the company also sees a growing demand for special limited edition food packaging requirements, which have proven to be hugely popular and appreciated by customers around the world. One such example comes from the work AR Metallizing proudly carries out with label specialists Engelhardt Etikett, producing an in mold labeling technology to create Starbucks’ festive season Red Cups, a partnership that is now in its second year.
Another exciting recent announcement by the company revealed that it is the proud supplier of limited-edition Campbell’s Star Wars soup cans. The new products from the iconic soup company have been launched to celebrate the release of Lucasfilm’s latest edition to the blockbuster sci-fi saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The new labels of Campbell’s soups feature characters from the film, designed and printed on AR Metallizing’s paper following successful collaboration with Hammer Packaging.
The cans, which are now available in US grocery stores nationwide, are just the latest sign that the force is indeed strong with AR Metallizing.