Guest post by Claire Virazels, Marketing Manager Production Color & Packaging Technology, Xerox Europe

Where to find growth will be a question under discussion at the Xerox Digital Packaging Live event on October 19. More than 75 commercial printers, converters, brand owners and design agencies come together from Europe and beyond in their search for opportunities to innovate within the growing digital packaging marketplace. They’ll catch up on the latest advancements in digital printing, new business opportunities and innovation.

There’s no doubt opportunities exist. Of the 50 trillion pages printed worldwide, only 2% are digital. There’s clearly room to grow, and an area already seeing double-digit growth is fold-able cartons. Digital color folding cartons are expecting 40% annual growth.

According to Smithers-Pira, packaging will make up half of retail print by 2018. Quality matters for both brand owners and consumers in the physical retail and e-tail worlds. When people shop online, part of the experience is the package they receive. It’s fundamentally a growth market because however people buy, they like their purchases to come in cool, sustainable packaging.

Digital Printing: The Total Package

Digital printing for folding cartons takes center stage at the conference, with good reason. Packaging is big, and for brand owners and managers, digital print makes packaging fast, affordable, versatile and targeted.

Brand owners embrace digital printing for: 

  • Improving time to market
  • Just-in-time delivery that reduces warehousing and obsolescence costs
  • Developing prototypes cost-effectively in small quantities
  • Adding value with variable data printing
  • Short runs, versioning and serialized packages i.e. for pharma and food industries


Short-run, digital packaging in particular represents a huge opportunity, due to the nature of marketing today. Brand owners seek an edge with multiple product variations to serve every preference. This results in more distinct products for sale—and shorter print runs produced cost-effectively on digital presses. Variable data printing can support:

 An Answer for Double Digit Growth

Digital Packaging Live showcases innovation like the new e-commerce print-on-demand solution for folding cartons from event co-host Alexir Partnership. This UK carton-converter leads the way in digital folding cartons, working closely with customers to engage directly with end-users. Alexir combines their e-commerce offering with their other printing lines as a Xerox Automated Packaging Solution. “XAPS” is the first and only fully integrated line on the carton converting market with a Xerox iGen Press running in-line with a Tresu Pinta Coater and a Kama Die Cutter DC76.

There are growing numbers of such installations across Europe, including 2 complete lines at Qualvis Print and Packaging Ltd (UK) where one Xerox iGen 4 digital press runs side-by-side with another Xerox iGen 5, along with two inline Tresu Pinta coating units and a Kama DC 76 cut and crease line.

Marketing Service Providers (MSPs) that are achieving double-digit growth derive more than 25% of their revenue from value-added services. Is it time to think about offering high-value packaging applications to grow your print business?

Contact me if you’d like to explore the topic of digital print and packaging. It’s one of my favorites.