But the seasons can also be risky, forcing breweries to accurately estimate the demand for an untested product several times a year. An inaccurate forecast can be costly, whether in terms of a missed opportunity to meet a popular seasonal demand unexpectedly or in terms of tens of thousands of dollars wasted on outdated packaging for a flavor that fails. to appeal to consumers.
Digital printing solutions from Humming-bird give craft brewers like Eugene, Oregon-based Ninkasi Brewing Company the flexibility to get the most out of a successful seasonal strategy and reduce risk.
“Beer brand loyalty is not what it used to be, so it’s important to be nimble,” says Ryan Halleman, Ninkasi purchasing manager. “Working with Hummingbird ™ has allowed us to do smaller runs and launch brands in ways we couldn’t do before. It’s huge.”
Ninkasi cases run on HP’s Hummingbird PageWide T1100. Hummingbird’s ability to aggregate demand and print multiple packaging designs in a single pass gives Ninkasi greater control over its seasonal packaging inventory. When launching a new beer, the team places a first order between 60 and 70% of the estimated demand. When that inventory is nearly depleted, Ninkasi places a second, short-term order that is printed side by side with one of its packaging designs all year round. The combination of orders keeps costs and obsolescence low, and Hummingbird’s speed of turnaround ensures that Ninkasi always has packaging on hand.
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The icing on the proverbial cake – or maybe the froth on top of the beer – is that Ninkasi saves $ 12,000 or more per year by working with Hummingbird. With the power of digital pre-printing, a change in packaging design is as easy as modifying a computer file – no expensive printing plates are required. This type of savings makes it easier to successfully implement a seasonal strategy and also eliminates some of the risk associated with major packaging changes, key benefits that anyone can raise a glass to.