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food quality certification

Great Northern Oshkosh Earns Safe Quality Food Certification

Great Northern Oshkosh is pleased to announce its renewal of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification. This certification validates that Great Northern has robust food safety control systems effectively implemented in their manufacturing process. SQF is recognized by retailers and food service providers around the world who require a rigorous, credible food safety management system.

When the general manager of Great Northern Oshkosh, Galen Killam, was asked what the significance of this achievement means, he said, “Achieving the renewal of our SQF certification shows our commitment to the time and effort required to provide our customer with a food safe folding carton.” Killam also mentioned, “We work hard all year to operate in a clean and safe manner and this recertification is the outcome of that work.”

To learn more about our packaging solutions, click here.

sustainable forestry certification

Great Northern Oshkosh Earns SFI Sourcing Label Certification

Great Northern Oshkosh is pleased to announce its renewal of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Sourcing Label Certification. This certification verifies that Great Northern Oshkosh’s products come from recycled content or from a certified forest and that all the fiber in our products are acquired from sources that are in compliance with state, provincial or federal laws.

Galen Killam, general manager at Great Northern Oshkosh commented, “The Great Northern Oshkosh team is pleased to have renewed our SFI certification for another five years. This certification is important to our customers that require SFI and shows our non-SFI customers our commitment to always producing a top quality and safe product.”

Killam added, “Having a sustainable product is important, so being able to earn the right to put the SFI Certified Sourcing Label on our product is critical to our customers and shows that Great Northern wants to do its part to support a sustainable future.”

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Packaging Solutions

sku management for many products

Three Benefits of Targeted Packaging

The retail landscape is changing rapidly and a main contributor to this is customer preference. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are more willing to try new buying channels, brands, and product varieties than ever before. An advantage of this trend is that it offers new market opportunities and opens the door for new product variations.

However, this puts more pressure on brands to not only get their products to market faster, but also to make sure they stand out on a crowded shelf. Click on the link at the end of the article to access our Targeted Packaging to Meet Changing Market Needs Webinar for a more in-depth look at this trend.

Quickly Respond to Opportunities in the Market

One advantage of the market changing rapidly and consumers being more willing to try new brands, is the increasing number of new opportunities available. According to Scott Imhoff, Technical Sales Expert at Great Northern Oshkosh, “Brands need to respond to these opportunities with targeted packaging that features a new product mix, adjusted messaging or emphasizing unique value statements.” Tailoring packages with seasonal or holiday messaging, promotions, limited time offerings or special editions can improve customer engagement with your brand.

Streamline Your Workflow and Get to Market Faster

With consumers being more willing to try new brands, the last thing you want is for your product to be out of stock, giving them a reason to shop for another brand. Take advantage of digital proofing/printing technologies to expedite the graphic approval and production process.

Seamless, rapid image changeover with no plate changes makes the digital workflow process faster and shorter. Compared to conventional printing, digital printing eliminates half the steps in the workflow which reduces the processing time by 75%, resulting in your product reaching the market faster.

Customize Your Packaging Orders

The ability to produce smaller quantities, especially for seasonal or regional promotions, as well as test marketing new products is critical in today’s marketplace. With targeted packaging you can customize your order quantity based off product demand and a price point that you want to reach.

Targeted packaging allows you to order package quantities according to demand so you can avoid carrying excess inventory and potential package obsolescence. Also, smaller orders that use the same carton size can be combined to make a larger order and gain a lower overall price point.

Learn more about the benefits of targeted packaging and to access the webinar below.
Targeted Packaging

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frozen food packaging at retail

What to Consider For Your Frozen and Refrigerated Package

When it comes to packaging for frozen and refrigerated products, there are different qualities that need to be taken into account compared to retail packaging. The most important aspect is preserving the quality of the product, and if a package is not strong enough to withstand freezer and refrigeration environments, you risk the product spoiling. You also need to have a package design that separates your brand from others in a crowded cooler. Here are a couple things you should take into consideration when choosing your frozen and refrigerated package supplier.

Strength of Packaging

The last thing anyone wants to see when they get back from grocery shopping is that one of the items they purchased is already spoiled. Proper packaging plays a big role in preserving the state of the product and preventing it from going bad. Moist conditions and condensation challenges are some of the elements that packages have to endure in frozen and refrigerated environments. Make sure your package is optimized to provide superior product protection and keep your products from spoiling.

Food Safety Focus

A supplier with a Safety Quality Food Certification is another important aspect to consider in frozen and refrigerated packaging. Having an SQF certification validates that robust food safety control systems have been effectively implemented in their package manufacturing process. SQF is recognized by retailers and food service providers around the world who require a rigorous, credible food safety management system. This gives you and your customers the assurance that food safety protocols were taken throughout the entire process.

Package Design

Standing out on a crowded shelf and separating your brand from competitors is a continuing challenge. According to Phil Bagdasarian, president of Packwire, “Brands are upscaling their look to appeal to a different demographic – one that appreciates the convenience these foods offer.” Upscale graphics generate better shelf appeal and portray a higher perceived value. Applying metallic inks and specialty coatings and varnishes to your upscale graphics can make your brand stand out from the rest and catch the eye of a customer.

Graphic Flexibility

Have you ever thought about introducing a new product but are too worried about it flopping and you being stuck with the excess inventory? If so, then you need to learn about graphic flexibility. Graphic flexibility gives you the opportunity to test the market with a new promotional offer without having to order excess inventory. This gives you the chance to try out a new flavor and see if it is a hit in the market. Graphic flexibility goes the same for seasonal products. Change up the package design you had back in August when December rolls around. Just another way your product can stand out on the shelf.

Frozen and Refrigerated Packaging

shelf ready packaging for club stores

The Rise of Shelf-Ready Packaging

Shelf-ready packages are used on retail shelves more than ever. Retailers like shelf-ready packaging because it reduces labor costs. CPGs also benefit from this packaging solution because it helps brands stand out on shelf and the packaging displays the product the way it should be displayed, resulting in a better experience for the customer.

What is shelf-ready packaging?

Shelf-ready packaging refers to a product that is delivered to a retailer in optimized packaging for efficient stocking and sale. Great Northern’s StrataGraph® manufacturing process laminates a litho-quality, printed top sheet to a folding boxboard material that is engineered to meet your package strength requirements.

This flexible process delivers shelf-ready packaging that performs well throughout your supply chain with vivid, high-impact graphics for shopper engagement. Having easy-to-open perforation features on the package create a clean look at retail.

Why is shelf-ready packaging important?

The demand for shelf-ready packaging is increasing because big-box retailers want to reduce their operational costs. Shelf-ready packaging cuts down on labor by not having to stock, display, or dispose of leftover packaging. Chet Rutledge, former Director of Packaging Solutions, Private Brands for Walmart said, “Labor is Walmart’s No. 1 cost, so there are operational benefits to making the packaging easier to open and display,” according to John Kalkowski of Packaging Digest.

Benefits of shelf-ready packaging

Reducing labor cost is not the only benefit that shelf-ready packaging has to offer. Shelf-ready packaging can serve as free advertising space for your brand by utilizing every angle of the display to communicate your message to the customer.

Shelf-ready packaging is also designed to be stable, stackable, and easier to open, meaning your product will not look messy on the shelf and there is less of a chance of your product being damaged during the unboxing process. Finally, shelf-ready packaging is more compact, meaning you can fit more product onto one pallet, resulting in fewer deliveries and less warehousing space needed.

Shelf-Ready Packaging

beverage insights

4 Ways to Have Your Seasonal Beverage Breakthrough at Retail

Standing out in a crowded cooler inside the alcohol section of a store is getting tougher to do every year. It seems like every time you turn around there’s a new beverage with new flavors coming out, and seasonal beverages are no different. This is a result of people being more willing to try new flavors now more than ever before. So, in case you’re wondering “How can I get my brand noticed by the customer?”, here are four ways to do just that!

Quality packaging design

The design of your package is more important than you may think. The package design is the first thing the customer sees when they’re in the store, and they already start forming opinions about your brand. Having a strong, structurally sound package conveys to the customer that the product inside is of high-quality.

Another important design feature is easy-to-carry handles. That makes carrying the package easier and more comfortable for the customer. Easy-open perforations is another nice design feature that allows for the customer to easily access the beverage inside with no hassle.

Print speed and variations

Digital print offers your brand multiple benefits when you’re trying to get it to market. Digitally printed packaging uses seamless, rapid image changeover because no plate changes are required, allowing for product variation that improves shelf presence. This not only allows for your seasonal beverage to get to the market faster, but it also gives the customer more options.

Another feature of digital print is having the flexibility to order quantities that meet YOUR specific needs. This means you can reduce inventories with low quantity runs, producing less waste and further decreasing set-up times.

SKU management

Seasonal beverages are just that…SEASONAL. Meaning they’re going to change throughout the year and require flexibility when being produced. SKU management gives your brand the flexibility to test the market with new seasonal beverages without having to order excess inventory.

If you know one of your beverages does better than others, you can order more packaging for that beverage, than you do for others. Another advantage of SKU management is having the ability to combine small and medium order quantities together so you can reach a lower price point per package.

Strong performance

Have you ever bought something and when you opened the box you see that it’s been damaged? You get upset because it looks NOTHING like the picture on the package. Making sure your beverage is protected every step of the way from the moment it’s packaged all the way to the customer first opening it, is critical when it comes to the customers experience with your brand.

High strength engineered paperboard specifically designed for beverage packaging will protect the product during shipping. However, just making sure it survives supply chain isn’t enough. You need to also make sure the package has enough structural integrity to withstand refrigerated environments as well.

benefits of digital printing

How Digital Printing Can Benefit You

Today, the retail landscape is changing faster than ever, making it tougher for brands to standout on the shelf. Being able to customize your package to your exact specifications is crucial, and that’s where digital printing can help! Unlike most traditional printing methods, digital printing provides brands with more benefits and features like customization, flexible quantities, quick turn arounds, and competitive pricing.

Customization
Digital printing can help your brand stand out by offering opportunities for seasonal promotions, theme marketing, localization, versioning, and market segmentation. This capability allows for unlimited demographic possibilities such as sports teams, events, universities, and much more!

Flexible quantities
Digital printing is ideal for brands that want to produce short to medium print quantities compared to other printing methods. This also allows for brands to reduce their inventories, producing less waste and decreasing set-up times.

Quick turns
Our new digital press requires no tooling or plate changes, so images and changeovers are efficient and cost-effective. There are also less steps involved in the printing process, which leads to the final package being delivered quicker.

Competitive prices
Since printing plates are not involved in the process, there is less investment involved in setting up every single job. Great Northern allows smaller orders to be combined to make a larger order to help you gain a lower price point.

For projects that require low quantity, high-quality graphics there is no reason not to use digital printing. For your next integrated campaign, direct marketing, or new product launch, use the dynamic capabilities of digital folding carton printing. Learn more about our digital printing capabilities below:
Digital Capabilities

advantages of bag in box packaging

5 Advantages of Bag-In-Box Packaging

The bag-in-box industry has been trending upwards the last few years, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon. There are many advances in the beverage industry that are influencing this trend whether it’s new technologies in films, taps, or how the bags are made and filled. The BIB industry is here to stay. Here are five advantages to bag-in-box.

1. Better for the environment
Corrugate requires a lot less energy to produce than glass and the outer box and bag are recyclable. It is light weight also makes it easier to transport, so shipments leave less of a carbon footprint in the long run. Also, since BIB wine stays fresher longer, you are not as likely to waste half-finished bottles that have gone bad.

2. Save on transportation and storage costs
Bag-in-box is lighter and easier to transport than the traditional glass bottle which helps in lowering the carbon footprint. Not only are they lighter, but they also take up less space when they are being shipped and stored because they are packaged flat.

3. Extended product shelf life
BIB packaging preserves the quality of the wine better than a bottle does in multiple ways. First, the wine is fully protected by corrugate, meaning no light can come through. Also, the combination of a contracting bag and a tap system make it nearly impossible for oxygen to get in. This results in the color, aromas, and flavors of the wine staying intact.

4. User-friendly dispensing
One of the most beneficial features that BIB packaging offers to the consumer is its ease of dispensing the drink. The package has a perforated cut out where the nozzle comes out, so all you need to do is push it in or take it off and pull out the nozzle. No more do you need to look for a bottle opener or a knife to get that cork off the bottle.

5. Maximum facing for branding
BIB packaging allows companies the opportunity to differentiate their brand from competitors on the shelf in an efficient and creative manner. The entire package can be used for companies to tell their story and portray what they value to the customer without having to pay for any additional advertising.

Learn more about Bag-In-Box Packaging below.
Bag-In-Box Packaging Solutions

Great Northern StrataGraph Earns G7 Targeted Qualification

Great Northern StrataGraph is pleased to announce its requalification as a G7 Master Facility, along with a G7 Targeted designation for its off-set print press. This qualification verifies that Great Northern’s off-set press meets G7 targeted color specifications for grayscale colors, as well as primary and secondary colors (CMYK and RGB). Great Northern’s Twin Cities location is also a G7 Master Facility.

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PPC Awards

Great Northern StrataGraph Wins Two Excellence Awards for Innovative Paperboard Packaging

Each year, the very best paperboard packages across North America are entered in the North American Paperboard Packaging Competition. Great Northern StrataGraph is pleased to announce it has received two Excellence Awards – one in the Digital Application category, and the other in the General packaging category. The winning packages stand out with their high-impact graphics, durable structures, and custom features.

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations is more than a tagline, it is an attitude. At Great Northern, customer challenges are met by an undying spirit to doing what others can’t or won’t. It’s in our DNA. And it is what our customers have come to expect with Great Northern.

How can we exceed your expectations?