Lecta is a leading manufacturer and distributor of speciality papers for labels and flexible packaging. João Cabral, flexible packaging director at Lecta, explains how the company meets the requirements of diverse beverage packaging manufacturers with its range of carefully developed products.
Lecta has a manufacturing capacity close to two million tons, but it is quality, not quantity, that is accountable for its customer base extending to over 130 countries on all five continents. Many factors are at play to help the company stand out from its competitors.
What are the key challenges beverage manufacturers and their packaging partners face when it comes to labelling products?
João Cabral: Nowadays, the relationship between consumer and product is established on a set of values that have to be transmitted and understood. The label is a key part of this, because it stays with the consumer even after the product is consumed. It is the greeting between consumer and brand. Whether communicating innovative values or traditional ones, brand-owners need to have a label that impacts the consumer, so quality paper and printing are crucial. At Lecta, we are confident that our product range for labels meets and exceeds these requirements.
In attracting the consumer in this way, what advantages does metallised paper bring?
Metallised papers are visually appealing and sophisticated. They make beverage labels look brighter, and help products and consumer goods stand out against competitors. The glossy and metallic look attracts consumers' attention, making it the best choice for premium and high-quality brands. Lecta's Metalvac is a 100% recyclable high-vacuum metallised paper suitable for premium-quality labels and flexible packaging, and has excellent printing results. Metalvac is designed for wet-glue labels for beer and other beverages, pressure-sensitive labels and inner liners for cigarette packets among other applications.
What particular challenges do refillable bottles present, and how can your speciality papers help?
We focus our production processes on the life cycle of the label, from printing to the 'washable' phase applicable on refillable bottles. As paper manufacturers, we provide consistent products respecting the required specifications, and continuously adapt our papers to our partners' needs. The continuous development of our range of wet-strength papers is the real proof of this.
Your Creaset range is made of wood-free pulp. What benefits do such qualities provide?
Being wood-free, Creaset presents strong whiteness and more mechanical resistance, and does not yellow over time. The range also offers excellent punching and cutting abilities, and good adaptation to the bottle or container without wrinkles. Besides this, the one-side coated range is 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. The Creaset line is ideal for beer labels, thanks to its high wet-strength (HWS) grades and HWS linen. For single-use bottles, for waters and soft drinks, Creaset low wet-strength (LWS) is ideal.
What other speciality papers can you provide for the beverage packaging industry?
Our Eurokote range offers high-gloss cast-coated papers with high whiteness, smooth surface and high image definition. The Eurokote range prints at high speed due to its rigidity and fast ink penetration, and gives maximum labelling performance to the bottler in terms of consumption and speed glue application.
This range is ideal for premium wine, cava, spirits and water labels.
We also have our Labels to Celebrate, which is a range of self-adhesive laminates for wine, beer, spirits and gourmet products. With different combinations of face stocks, adhesives and liners in continuous development, the range helps our clients to dress new brands and products to the market. The range sums up our approach to the beverage labelling industry: we want to celebrate with our customers today the bright tomorrow that we share. Most of the Labels to Celebrate paper face-stocks and liners are produced by Lecta, and all of its water-based acrylic adhesives are own-formulated.
How can you help customers meet sustainability requirements such as environmental management and energy efficiency?
Lecta is committed to sustainability, and we view our business activity as part of an attitude respectful of the environment and society. Paper products, by their very nature, are sustainable; paper is obtained from natural and renewable raw material and contributes in its own way to improving people's quality of life.
Lecta has invested over €120 million in environmental projects since 2006. This has enabled all our mills to obtain ISO 9001 quality certification, ISO 14001 and EMAS environmental management certifications, ISO 50001 energy management certification, and OHSAS 18001 health and safety certification. Furthermore, Lecta is able to guarantee the sustainable origin of the wood used to manufacture its products, in strict compliance with new EU Timber Regulation and PEFC and FSC Chain of Custody standards.