The ever-expanding and increasingly personalised men’s grooming market has been posting double-digit growth rates in many European countries in recent years, on the back of the typical millennial male who is not ashamed to spend more time and money on his personal care routine.
Trends such as the beard have led to vast explosion in the number of products that are available on the market, many of which have carefully curated packaging designs that have been painstakingly developed to convey the right image.
Barcodes remain a very important part of any product’s packaging, and in the in the male grooming category, brands are demanding that this element of the design serves to add to the brand’s appeal, not detract from it.
Barcodes are vital for distribution and security
But primarily, the purpose of the barcode is there to provide crucial data, ensure smooth distribution and to provide security.
“Typically, barcodes contain production information such as lot and batch numbers, times and dates, and often anti-counterfeiting data that enables retailers to distinguish products as genuine,” said Mike McCormick, Global Marketing Manager at Videojet Technologies.
“Products in the cosmetics industry can be prone to counterfeiting and diversion, therefore the ability to track items throughout the supply chain is invaluable and can be accomplished via information embedded in a barcode.”
Barcodes can look good, too
However, in the men’s grooming category, image is also of crucial importance, and as the category has evolved, there has been a distinct trend towards more traditional packaging materials such as aluminium or glass, for example, means tailored barcode solutions are important.
And although the company does have solutions for all types of packaging materials, McCormick stresses that the right solution has to be specifically tailored in an effort to make sure the barcode is effective.
“We are able to perform a wide range of tests on a customer’s packaging to determine the optimum combination for their product,” said McCormick.
“It could be that a laser system is the best option, in which case our experts will recommend the correct power output and wavelength, for example. Or for continuous inkjet (CIJ) and thermal inkjet (TIJ) we have a wide range of inks available to suit all relevant applications in this sector.”#
Tailor-made barcode solutions
But it is not just a question of getting the right type of ink for the right packaging material, as previously mentioned, it is also important to ensure that the barcode falls in line with the brand identity and packaging design.
“It might not be ideal, for example, to have a black barcode present where your design is grey and blue, so Videojet will work closely with its customers to ensure any codes printed are as seamlessly integrated as they can be,” McCormick said.
“Again, our ink specialists can provide a wide variety of colours in order to make codes appear as though they were part of the design itself. In addition, if a laser is deemed to be the best solution, we can go as far as to suggest additives to packaging materials that will enable a certain colour to be achieved when codes are created.”