FLEXcon has designed a new line of products to help deliver value on the shelf. FLEXcon’s SHELF Select product line includes several new products designed to convert browsers into buyers during those crucial few seconds on a crowded shelf.
As part of L&NW Label Insights, we recently spoke with Bekie Berg, Product Manager, Retail and Advertising, FLEXcon, about how converters and brands can benefit from this new product line.
L&NW: What can you tell us about your SHELF Select product line, and how does the line provide value to label converters and their customers?
Berg: FLEXcon’s SHELF Select product line includes standard white and clear vinyl offerings – SHELF Select FWFZR and SHELF Select FCFZR – and has recently been expanded to include a clear polyester product – SHELF Select CPET1FZR. These products are designed to be used to create both shelf labels and shelf markers (unit price labels – UPL) and are designed to work in refrigerator, freezer and dry environments.
SHELF Select products are manufactured in large master rolls at FLEXcon and cut to the width required by the converter. Converters print, die-cut, fan-fold or otherwise finish to retailer’s specifications. Converters print static information, and brands and retailers print key product information and product promotions that help the product stand out on the shelf and increase sales.
Converters serve as a resource for retailers and aid in material selection and design, helping to ensure performance and ease of use in terms of print, shelf application, changeover and target achievement of durability. Vinyl-free shelving solutions, like SHELF Select CPET1FZR Polyester, offer converters a sustainable alternative to vinyl to offer brands and retailers.
Berg: The shelf edge represents a centerpiece of retail real estate to engage with the consumer, promote brand loyalty and increase sales. A UPL is a shelf marker affixed to the shelving channel. He assists the store associate for restocking purposes and communicates item and unit prices to the consumer, along with product information.
A shelf tag is a small advertisement – a mini billboard – usually hung on the shelf, which depicts a product sale or draws attention to an item with colorful, vibrant graphics and typography for promotion of the product. A shelf tag is one of the last places a retailer can advertise or draw consumers’ attention to a specific product or promotion. It can also be used to add product details for a consumer looking for additional information such as product content.
Both components are part of in-store advertising and are key contributors to the first moment of truth (FMOT), when consumers are confronted with the product and, within three to seven seconds, can go from browser to shopper.
Berg: There are both environmental and converter benefits to choosing a vinyl-free product option for shelf labels and shelf labels. Polyester products offer thinner alternatives to vinyl, with 1 mil or 2 mil film options. These thinner films mean less waste in the landfill when the labels are ultimately discarded. An additional benefit for converters is reduced transportation costs due to reduced weight. SHELF Select CPET1FZR polyester is also more sustainably sourced, consisting of up to 30% post-industrial recycled content.
Berg: Converters are thrilled to have a new ‘greener’ product to add to their shelf marking portfolios that delivers the same confident conversion and shelf performance as the vinyl products they’ve depended on for decades. Brands and retailers are more focused than ever on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint, and vinyl-free options like SHELF Select CPET1FZR are popular.
Berg: Since UPLs can go through multiple printing processes, first at the converter and then at the retailer, cross-platform printability is a key feature of the product. Converters must be able to process it via flexo or digital, while retailers’ printing capabilities are usually laser or sometimes thermal transfer. A press applied varnish may be required for laser printability.
Ensuring that the products selected feature adhesives that adhere to a variety of shelf channels but still remove cleanly at the end of a promotion are important criteria. There are a variety of shelf surfaces (powder coat paint, metal, high and low surface energy plastics, glass, etc.) in the retail environment, and having a strong adhesive that adheres to all the different shelf channels. Clean shelf removal is an essential feature of shelf marking products and allows for quick and efficient price or promotion changes and ensures shelves remain clean for the next promotion application.
Flat lay is another key feature for converters and retailers to ensure ease of printing, converting and shelf application. The release liner must provide a good die-cut base for converters to die-cut and/or die-cut the labels, and good lay-flat properties are essential for retailers to process through their own printers to add their variable information.