The Finnish mineral water brand Vellamo, bottled in Heinola, southern Finland, has started to use wood-based, transparent labelling material from UPM Raflatac as the first in the world. UPM Raflatac launched the transparent Forest Film labelstock last year.
The bio-based polypropylene material used in Forest Film was developed from UPM BioVerno naphtha, processed from residual waste from pulp manufacturing. ‘Labels made of wood-based material reduce our carbon footprint,’ says Petteri Ahonen, CEO of Ice Age Water, the company behind Vellamo.
The new labelstock was introduced to North Americans at a food and drink festival in Miami and Toronto in February. ‘From the start, we have targeted the North American market. We have completed the statutory audits and applied for the necessary sales licences with that in view,’ Ahonen continues.
The global market for bottled water grows at an annual rate of ten percent. Teemu Oksanen, President, Vellamo North America, says that by 2025, the value of the market will be over 300 thousand million U.S. dollars.
Marketing a top-end bottled water mainly means brand-building. Ahonen believes that the ice-age purity of Vellamo makes an attractive story. The principal customer groups are hotels and restaurants.
UPM Raflatac collaborates with brands and companies representing several branches of industry throughout the world. ‘The food industry is the single largest end user of labelling solutions. Partnerships in the packaging value chain are important for us,’ says Katja Kivelä, Senior Marketing Manager (Films) at UPM Raflatac.
In North America, the most rapid growth in labelling is experienced in the food sector. Its share of labelling is 21 percent, while the European figure is 27 percent and that in South America even higher. Other important branches include pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and hygiene products, online and traditional retailing, health care and transport.
The labels in Vellamo bottles are also smart. They include the RafSmart feature by Raflatac, thanks to which consumers, using their mobile devices, can access real-time data on the product’s life cycle and carbon footprint.
Each label has an individual, cloud-managed code. It provides information on the origin and authenticity of the product and on the brand story. Thanks to the codes, Vellamo is also able to track the movements of its products.