Page 32 - Food&Drink Business Magazine July-August 2020
P. 32

 Custom branding has lift off
When organic chai and cocoa supplier Chai Me was looking to develop its business, a conversation with digital flexible packaging and labels
producer Luminar opened a whole new product line, and revenue stream, for the company.
BASED in Sydney, Chai Me was founded by Marcus Child in 2009 following a motorcycle odyssey from Australia to Germany through Asia and the Middle East. The business was supplying cafés in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East with its range of organic and vegan-friendly powders and syrups as a base for hot beverages.
Demand was strong. In the ten years since the business started some 10 million café customers have enjoyed a Chai Me drink. Like all successful businesses, however, Chai Me
was beginning to look at new growth opportunities.
Luminar owner Matt Ellis was already working with Chai Me’s neighbouring business on developing pouches for coffee when the coffee roaster introduced him to Child.
Ellis says, “We talked about the Chai Me business and quickly came up with the concept of selling Chai Me product direct to the consumer through the cafés, under each café’s own branding. This would be possible through the capability of Luminar, using our HP Indigo 20000 press, to produce printed flexible pouches in short runs, for multiple SKUs.
“The customer really understood this and ran with it, and now the custom-branded packaging is a thriving part of his business. Our ability to produce high quality graphics on packaging in short runs means that each café owner now has another
part of their own business too, selling own-branded
ABOVE, LEFT & RIGHT: Examples of custom-branded flexible packaging printed by Luminar on its HP Indigo 20000 digital press.
product. So, Chai Me has new revenue, and so does its customers.
“And the more cafés he signs up the more economies of scale he will have. His customers are also helping him drive down the unit price of his pouches. He is winning because he has more buying power with his
has to the market, and the way its implementation of technology can drive new business for its customers.
“What I generally try and do with a new customer or potential customer is understand the challenges and needs. And then try and communicate how digital print can help solve those
 “Sales in flexibles were up by 166 per cent in the year to April. Business overall is up by 44 per cent, it is an exciting time for us.” — Matt Ellis, Luminar
 customers buying more product from him. Also, his customers have been winning because they are able to personalise the products that they’re selling, which in turn will mean more sales for them.
“It is a great story, which highlights the Luminar strategic approach: to add genuine value to businesses. We are not a me-too printer, our aim is to focus on the customer, and think about solutions to help that business grow,” Ellis says.
The Chai Me story exemplifies the approach that Luminar
problems,” says Ellis.
“The HP Indigo hardware and
PrintOS software that we employ gives us tremendous flexibility to work with customers for tangible business growth outcomes.”
Ellis says, “There are many business out there in the FMCG and foods sector – which are the markets we operate in – that don’t yet know what we are capable of, what can be done for them, and how it can help their businesses. Many in the industry are used to a certain way of approaching flexible packaging or labels – ordering huge amounts to get the cost
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