Nampak Flexible, Africa's flexible packaging leader, and Kraft Foods SA have secured a fifth place for South Africa in the worldwide race to launch the Value-Added Flow Packaging (VAFP) technology for the resealability of Cadbury Dairy Milk slabs.
With Oliver Wight's best practice product management processes driving the initiative, specifically in terms of launching new packaging lines across the supply chain, Nampak Flexible and Kraft Foods SA were able to secure a place in the history books! At the same time, they delivered the world's fastest implementation to date.
Since the VAFP is Kraft Foods' IP and a patented technology, Nampak Flexible had to undergo a stringent pre-audit to determine its capability in terms of delivering the necessary levels of functionality and security. A confidentiality agreement is in place.
Globally, the VAFP technology involves printing, laminating and cold-sealing, all applied in a single pass, inline. However, due to the configuration of Nampak Flexible's lines, the flow was re-engineered slightly. While the printing is done separately, the functionality of the packaging is aligned with global specifications.
For Nampak Flexible's technical director, Gerald Chotu, the resealable cold seal is a brand new technology that involved getting the business up to speed very quickly. "Although we have been delivering cold-seals for over a decade, the uniqueness of this resealability feature involved a steep learning curve for everyone concerned. In keeping with Nampak Flexible's promise of More, our machine operators and management team embraced the opportunity with energy and enthusiasm."
"With the support of various technical specialists from home and abroad, processing parameters were trialled and tested in record time, with Kraft Foods SA becoming the second business outside of Europe to implement the technology," says Kraft Foods' packaging scientist, Gavin Davies.
The launch of Cadbury Dairy Milk's resealable packaging is a £6-million project, which is aimed at improving the visibility of the brand, as well as consumer convenience. The easy-open, easy-close packaging allows consumers to keep the chocolate longer by means of resealing the wrapper.
According to Greg Banach, Kraft Foods' category leader: Chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk is proud to announce the launch of the first resealable chocolate packaging in South Africa. "This innovation is in line with current trends in the local market, which show that consumers are constantly seeking new experiences beyond the product. Now, they can tuck away their favourite treat and enjoy it for longer."
Nampak Flexible says key learnings include new means of analysis, specifically in the areas of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and testing. "They're going to provide valuable benchmarks for our business moving forward," adds Gerald.
"Through investments in equipment and training, Nampak Flexible has produced sustainable results for multiple Cadbury Dairy Milk SKUs. The whole company is very proud of what has been achieved in a relatively short space of time and everyone is really looking forward to growing this incredible opportunity with Kraft Foods in the future."