Clondalkin to debut ‘soft to touch’ tactile packaging

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flexible packaging

Picture credit: Clondalkin Flexible Packaging. Tactile features are integrated into products such as yogurt lids.
Picture credit: Clondalkin Flexible Packaging. Tactile features are integrated into products such as yogurt lids.
Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Kirchberg has created tactile packaging for beverage bottles and yogurt lids, debuted at FachPack in Nuremberg, Germany (September 27-29).

The company, which makes shrink sleeves and lidding, has integrated tactile elements such as reliefs and soft to touch features as part of the designs in it sprinting technology, which can be applied partially or across the entire surface of a product. 

Emotional connection with consumers


Sander Kool, sales and marketing director, Clondalkin Kirchberg, told BeverageDaily, packaging has always been used for visual communication, but tactile is now recognized as an important feature for communicating with customers.

"This technology allows brand owners to create a premium experience for the consumer when they handle the product​,” he said.

Brand owners can communicate certain product characteristics to influence the consumer's perception and emotional connection. For example, our soft touch shrink sleeve could be used to sell liquid detergents where softness is an important product characteristic for the end consumer​.”

Kool added tactile packaging is a revolutionary breakthrough for flexible packaging because it creates exciting opportunities for multi-sensory packaging.

In combination with the print, this opens a window of opportunity for point of sale marketing and product differentiation​,” he said.

According to Professor Barry Smith, director of the Center for the Study of the Senses, at University of London’s School of Advanced Study, the conscious parts in packaging design​ and branding tend to emphasize color, graphics and shape as visual phenomena. But focusing on touch, hearing and smell yields some intriguing results.

Companies are waking up to multi-sensory experiences

“Companies are waking up to the multi-sensory nature of the food experience. If information from all the senses is processed by the brain to give an overall ‘rating’ of the experience, then engaging with this multi-sensory aspect becomes even more important. All of these cues are being taken in, but on quite a subtle level,” ​he said.

Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, agrees and added consumers are not always aware of these subtle features, for example, Mars Ice Cream has discovered frozen chocolate and caramel does not have a strong aroma but it has overcome this by encapsulating scents associated with the product inside the seal.

And when it comes to touch, Smith says a smooth or silky pack surface may suggest a similar mouthfeel. “Or a carton for fruit smoothies may be textured with a slightly waxy finish, just like fruit itself is,”​ he says. “That’s a quick way of creating that association.”

Another example of tactile features is embossing on metal, plastic or glass. This is likely to be ‘picked up’ by the eye before it is literally picked up.

One example is Ardagh’s ‘Diamond’ glass bottle for Harrogate Spring Water. Visually, this award-winning pack creates a scintillating embossed surface; but that same effect has a tactile appeal in the act of pouring.


The design was part of a campaign between Ardagh Glass, Harrogate Water Brands and charity water brand Thirsty Planet, to further reinforce its position as a premium British spring water.

The bottle’s ‘diamond effect’ disperses light to create a fresh, sparkling feel and when filled, the features are enhanced as light refracts to bring the bottle to life and create almost a wave-like effect.

Clondalkin Flexible Packaging is exhibiting various products at Fachpack 2016 including SkinTight film to reduce food waste by extending product shelf life; Wentopro high barrier to protect against moisture and mineral oils and FleXtreme, a printing technique comparable to Gravure with high ink and color density.

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