End consumer packaging perceptions

tapigroup 22 October 2020 0

In this article we’ll find out which packaging elements can have a positive influence on the perception of packaging

The packaging design world has changed frequently and radically since the 1960s, because various producers have continued to manoeuvre themselves into a defined position, with genuine brand recognition and loyalty from their customer base. So, in this context, it has become essential to understand how end consumers perceive and respond to trends, changes and developments in the sector.

Packaging perception

Packaging – and everything that conveys perception level – plays a critical role in consumer models. When perceptions do not align with expectations, disappointment and dissatisfaction take control. And they can have an immediate and negative impact on the positioning and sales of a product, as well as long-term damage related to a particular brand’s trustworthiness.

This means that perceived value is very important in packaging design, communicated by the combination of emotive and intangible elements.  In the branding and packaging sector, these fundamental factors provide customers with new ways to approach and consume products as well as developing loyalty in terms of values and emotional response.

Let’s look more closely at some of the elements to focus on during the creation of packaging solutions and how they are linked to brand perception and the product itself.

Brand positioning

Packaging helps to develop brand loyalty in consumers. The creation of product lines with unique packaging elements allows customers to recognise the brand regardless of sales channel. Differentiation has evolved into a fundamental principle in the modern era. 

When making a purchase, the customer will pay a great deal of attention to the quality, design, creativity, colours and materials. When these various parts are used to good effect within packaging development and are consistent over time, the product will become immediately recognisable, creating a sense of appeal in the mind of the consumer. This gives the brand a competitive advantage.

Packaging design and quality

Quality is an interesting discussion area and is an essential concept when it comes to packaging design. This element must be on a par with the goods provided so it can spotlight the product’s features in the eyes of the end consumer.

In the premium and super-premium spirits sector, packaging nearly always reflects the product it contains. Each element must be designed in the utmost detail to ensure the final result is appealing to the consumer, mirrors the brand’s values and fulfils the storytelling aspects that leverage emotional responses – all without forgetting quality.

Perceived value

Now, let’s return to the topic of perceived value. There are a number of ways a brand can align itself to improve or develop its position in the market. This is where rebranding comes in. It will have an effect not only on products but also on values such as the company’s vision and mission, which are essential in attracting new types of target market and where packaging plays a fundamental role

Another good example of this the limited edition product, which has a high conversion rate as it leverages the sense of urgency and rarity in the end consumer. In this situation, the message conveyed is that if you don’t act now, you’ll miss the opportunity to buy a unique product – and have access to something that most other people do not.

Perceived value can also be influenced by the characteristics and overall appeal of the packaging. Well-designed packaging can stimulate sales and generate positive buzz.

The beverage world is a perfect example of this. Let’s take OryGin, an amber-coloured gin distilled in France which has gold as its predominant feature. Sophisticated packaging was selected for this product to highlight the values it draws inspiration from. A simple bottle, but with a sought-after look, has been sealed with a TapìT-Wood closure personalised with the Color Filling technique. A luxurious product whose packaging is used as a marketing lever to reaffirm the highest level of value perception for the end consumer.

And finally

Your packaging design needs to be flawless. With this in mind, we recommend that you put your trust in an expert adviser who understands both consumer psychology as well as the production process and customer needs. Over the years, we have become specialists in designing closures that enhance and complement product packaging, by creating a range of products and personalised designs tailored to our customers’ needs.

Get in touch to find out what we can do for you

Closures for wine – how to choose the right one and trends to note

tapigroup 14 October 2020 0

Selecting the right seal for your wine is really important, as it needs to preserve the product inside the bottle

In the world of wine, not only is it important to assess the product itself, but also how it is to be sealed and packaged. Today, an array of wine closures is available, giving you a choice that’s much broader than in the past, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and materials used.

The host of options on the market poses a number of challenges for wine producers and the selection process cannot ignore considerations such as overall advantages, current trends, cost effectiveness and obviously, the type of product to be sealed.

Take a step back

Wine is a drink with ancient origins that date back as far as prehistoric times. It’s so old that wine’s history fuses perfectly with that of humanity. Between legend, religion and history, this particular world has always been characterised by a wide variety of aromatic nuances, derived from different types of vine, areas of cultivation and climate, all tempered by each other.

So far, it has proved almost impossible to find two identical products, and for this reason the preservation of each one’s distinctiveness has become critical.

Tapì’s range of closures for the wine sector offers high-tech, cutting edge solutions that ensure excellent performance with reliability and effectiveness in preserving and protecting the sensory properties of complex products like those in high-quality wine.

Find out more about wine closures from the Tapì brand.

What do wine producers currently use to seal their bottles?

Every wine company approaches the selection of the correct closure in their own unique way, by considering the cost-benefit relationship, overall advantages and latest trends. Some maintain their preference for cork closures, amongst the most popular in the past, and others opt for micro-agglomerate closures in synthetic or alternative types of material developed over the years.

With our many years of experience in the closure sector of the wine market, we support our customers in making the best choice on an aesthetic and a performance level, while keeping a close eye on contemporary and keenly felt views of end consumers, such as environmental impact.

Closures for still wines

Traditional closures for still wines can take the form of a simple cylindrical or T shape.

As these products have a larger diameter than the neck of the bottle, they are compressed during the capping process for easy insertion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Their subsequent expansion ensures the closure’s hermetic seal, completely fulfilling its purpose – avoiding the evaporation and oxidisation of the wine.

Sealing sparkling wines

Mechanisms for capping sparkling wines must be able to ensure an effective barrier against the high internal pressure as well as being a hermetic seal. 

To achieve this outcome, the cap needs to have specific characteristics such as elasticity, so it can provide optimum hold at the bottom of the closure. This then prevents any carbon dioxide escape which can spoil the distinctiveness and flavour of the product.

Wine closures – trends to be reckoned with

Trends in the closures market evolve over time, but it’s useful to know what the emerging tendencies are and understand how the sector is changing.

Certainly, one to take into consideration is sustainability – an increasingly common theme with producers, businesses and end consumers. 

Devin, the new closure for the wine market

Over recent years, our attention has turned towards the environment and the actions that individuals and companies can take to lessen our impact to the minimum. Devin was created out of this ideal – an innovative closure, made by us at Tapì. The closure’s designed to have a reduced carbon footprint for the wine market.

To manufacture Devin, we exclusively use plant-based polymers blended with grape pomace generated in the wine-making process, which otherwise would go to landfill. A closure with a green soul but equally effective, offering a mechanical performance and an oxygen barrier that make it a safe, advanced seal, designed for all wine qualities – including biodynamic and SO2-free.

Mekano, design and innovation

Another trend in the wine world is the use of closures outside the traditional design, creating striking packaging, without losing any technical or mechanical performance.

Mekano is well positioned within this context. It’s a closure with a typically Made in Italy design that can be used successfully in the wine market.

High technical performance makes it the perfect closure for companies operating in the wine sector that require maximum safety from a seal with an effective gas barrier. A remarkable and versatile product with infinite customisation potential, Mekano is ideal for any brand looking to stand out within its own market niche.

Mekano is a reusable closure. Usually, once a bottle of wine is opened, the closure has to be replaced by another kind of cap to keep it fresh. Whereas, with Mekano, you can reseal the bottle after every use. When the product has been consumed, the bottle can be reused, by refilling it with any type of liquid, storing it in perfect condition.

A final note

The recommendations made here are suggestions based on our experience. However, we do advise an assessment is carried out of all the elements and factors involved – bottle, product type, fill level and the packaging as a whole.

Contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our area managers.

Roberto Casini, Group CEO, gives us some insights on Les Bouchages Delage entry in Tapì

tapigroup 28 September 2020 0

Here’s the current status and a look towards the future

After more than a year of meetings in France and Italy, we are pleased to announce the incorporation of Les Bouchages Delage into the Tapì Group.

Recognised as the leader in closure production for premium alcoholic drinks, and partner to the biggest producers of Cognac and other spirits globally, there were many interested parties including some large multinational groups that operate in the closure sector. For this reason, we can say that we are not only pleased to have chosen them as our partner, but we’re also pleased that they chose us, considering the other compelling potential collaborators.

Uniting Tapì and Delage into one Group we will strengthen our business

The French-Italian pairing has been received with great enthusiasm on both sides. And because of this, I view the Tapì-Delage Group as the combination of common values from their respective skill sets, rather than as an actual acquisition. For me, it’s a source of pride to see there’s already strong engagement and willingness to share synergies and competences between people in both organisations.

Les Bouchages Delage is an organisation with great skills and know-how in our reference market. We both sell high-quality products with complementary commercial offerings and product ranges that integrate well.

The specialist know-how about plastic and aluminium materials along with the supply and production of wood from Tapì is being integrated with Delage’s production phases for metallised plastics and metalworking, as well as their in-depth knowledge of cork.

So, today we have become the Group with the most complete portfolio available in the closure market that’s focussed on premium and super-premium spirits.

Both brands – Tapì and Les Bouchages Delage – have always been associated with cutting-edge technology and in-depth design research. And they can expect to achieve an excellent position in the market, both in terms of reputation and brand strength, internationally.

More specifically, the Tapì brand has always been recognised for its design and innovation, while the Delage brand occupies a traditional position, with a clear focus on the development of top-quality products.

I’m certain that in uniting Tapì and Delage into one Group we will strengthen our business and market objectives. On one hand, it drives the consolidation of both brands in the markets where they operate. And on the other, we can win new markets by converging the meeting point between demand and offering in the most holistic and effective way.

This article appears in our printed magazine, TapInk.

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NEOS, the new Tapì technology to reduce a product’s carbon footprint

tapigroup 24 September 2020 0

NEOS is Tapì’s innovative technology capable of reducing a product’s carbon footprint, in this case, specifically relating to closures for use in the drinks industry, by adopting polymers from renewable sources.

At the root of NEOS lies continuous research into new materials that can completely eliminate the use of oil sources, making way for raw materials from eco-sustainable sources, with comparable features and food sustainability.

Thanks to the use of NEOS technology, the features and appearance of all of Tapì’s creations remain unaltered, encouraging the use of raw materials generated from renewable sources and intervening on their origin without undermining their technical features in any way.

NEOS technology is an integral part of the Tapì project known as “LEI – Low Environmental Impact“, an acronym that defines Tapì’s corporate mission: contributing to lowering environmental impact, while looking after the Planet.

For years, sustainability has been the core of Tapì’s values and strategy and with NEOS, we are committed, on a daily basis, to creating closure systems that are environmentally friendly, reduce waste and improve efficiency.

Download the press release 

Packaging design to prevent rubbish, waste, and emissions.

tapigroup 17 September 2020 0

Today the entire packaging industry has a huge responsibility in helping to safeguard the planet from an excess of plastic and waste. Here’s what’s changing.

Despite the Covid-19 health crisis slowing the over-exploitation of natural resources, 22 August 2020 still marked Earth Overshoot Day – the day, more than three weeks later than in 2019, on which the earth’s natural resources for the year were exhausted. At the current rate, we would in effect require 1.6 planets to satisfy our needs.

Many consumers are increasingly concerned about our negative impact on the planet. Excessive carbon emissions, climate change, and the huge quantity of plastic polluting our seas and oceans are the main (but not the only) issues that humankind has been grappling with in recent years.

A lot of these problems arise from the consumer and capitalist culture we are accustomed to, which feeds our obsession for buying goods that are not always environmentally friendly.

Fast fashion and electronics are two particularly guilty industries. Consumers in the United Kingdom, for example, buy more new clothes than anywhere else in Europe, with an estimated 23 million items going to landfill in 2017.

Although the beverage world has not been one of the industries in the firing line, for years it has been searching for more sustainable solutions. And at Tapì, we also try to make our own contribution. We invest in research and trial new technologies and production processes, which help us to optimize workflows and reduce waste. It also helps us create sustainable closures from plant-based raw materials or from reusing waste material. We wanted to give a name to our corporate best practices and activities linked to sustainability, all of which form part of Tapì’s DNA: we called it LEI – Low Environmental Impact.

The role of the consumer in the sustainability era

When sustainability became an element of added value for consumers, a number of companies decided to follow the trend by moving to green packaging. Environmentally friendly packaging is now no longer merely a trend – it’s a necessity for humankind and the planet.

Moreover, recent research shows that sustainable packaging is one of the main factors influencing buying decisions. Around 80% of consumers – and millennials above all – say they are happy to spend more money buying products from companies that respect ethical and sustainable principles.

How can packaging design help combat climate change and waste?

The entire packaging industry has been through significant change over the past 20 years as focus has shifted towards ease of use for the end consumer, design, and practicality.

Previously, branding and style were the only challenges facing packaging designers. Now, other factors such as efficiency and greenness have come into play. We therefore feel confident stating that there is a shared consciousness throughout the beverage supply chain – from producers to designers, right up to the client/consumer.

For companies specializing in packaging production, this means greater innovation and a move away from one-size-fits-all solutions towards custom packaging designed with – and for – clients on an individual basis. It also means greater potential for special products, which buyers could be prepared to pay more for.

But how exactly can packaging designers help combat climate change and an excess of plastic waste? Let’s find out.

Consider the packaging design “Rs”

Until recently, packaging was mainly made from largely unsustainable elements. In recent years, however, the sustainable Rs model has gained ground. This green concept sums up our three constantly evolving basic principles: Reduce, Reuse e Recycle, the aim of which is to raise awareness, prevent waste, and conserve natural resources.

At Tapì over the past few years we have combined this philosophy with improvements to our production processes and the design of new sustainable closures, helping the brands that use them to best express their values.

Analyze the real lifecycle of packaging materials

Analyzing the packaging lifecycle is a genuine issue as different forms of packaging can make it difficult to assess the real environmental impact.

As an example, let’s take an aluminium can and compare it with a glass bottle. Aluminium consumes more energy when it is produced but is very efficient to recycle. At the same time, glass requires less energy to produce but has to be melted in order for it to be recycled. However, simply washing and reusing the bottle results in greater energy efficiency than recycling the can.

Focus on regulatory drivers

Regulation remains supportive and some countries are promoting, or have implemented, guidelines that will have a direct or indirect impact on packaging choices – from recycling to reducing carbon footprints.

These incentives all aim to achieve greater progress in reducing waste, and improving products’ longevity and the end consumer’s experience. In short, less waste means fewer costs for producers and the environment.

In Conclusion

Overall, the packaging industry is undergoing significant positive change and designers are trialling increasingly innovative measures to satisfy the demands of a constantly evolving market (and world).

At Tapì too, we are always seeking out new sustainable solutions for the premium and super-premium beverage market. For more information, visit the sustainability section of our website.

We take a trip around the world with Claire Duacheux to discover trends in the beverage sector

tapigroup 10 September 2020 0

The global beverage market has changed a great deal in recent years. Products have changed – for example, vodka used to be very successful in the past but is now experiencing a slow down. At the same time, there are products that are undergoing an exponential growth curve in sales. Examples of these include gin and tequila, and some other products that have reached record sales while threatened by huge taxes, just as Cognac with the Trump administration.

Whisky and Bourbon are going very well. Some experts have declared the latter could be the spirit to see a major up turn in the coming year.

All these statistics are directly affected by millennials’ preference for craft distilleries and for their type of consumption in general.

So far, you could say that there’s a global desire to consume alcohol and spirits in a different way than in the past, particularly for western consumers. They prefer well-made products, with good-quality raw materials and made in a traditional or pseudo-traditional way.

Today, craft distilleries have managed to profit from market-share that until now was occupied by the giants of the beverage world. This trend has forced everyone, big and small, to rethink not only their products, but also and more importantly, their packaging.

Now more than ever, packaging needs to be able to communicate a product’s quality and authenticity.In the spirits market, especially, there has been an ever more marked focus on the choice of closure. This has moved from being an almost unnoticed feature to becoming a genuine decorative accessory, an integral part of packaging and increasingly faithful to the brand’s values.

The use of packaging – and closures – as a genuine communication tool is a trend that’s more or less consistent across the globe. And to meet this new demand, we, at Tapì, are moving forwards on a number of fronts.

For example, Mexico and the United States are highly strategic markets for us. Tequila has experienced huge growth in recent years and there’s great potential in the mezcal world as well.

The US is strategic for different reasons. One of these is the success of Bourbon and craft distilleries, as mentioned earlier, since it’s important to be promptwith deliveries and reactive with local services when supplying this type of business.

France remains a key country for our business, due to Cognac, which is a highly significant product for us, considering the Group’s revenue and its positioning towards this specific niche market. However, we can also rely on some excellent results from other products, such as French whisky, gin, rum, vodka and other spirits, but also from products in the perfume, cosmetic, condiments and soon artisan beer industries.

Another strategic market for the Group is Scotland, of course. It offers enormous development potential for the whole company. Alongside this we continue to work with some traditional markets, such as Italy, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, as well as Central and South America, where we are attentively watching the possible boom on premium and super premium cachaça.

In recent years, we have noticed that East Asia and India are seeing growth in terms of spirits production, which explains our push to find potential new customers in this territory.

Think globally, act locally.

This is what our customers are increasingly demanding of us and the slogan could be used to encapsulate my role as Global Strategic Account Manager.

Being global and offering a robust contingency plan is required, but at the same time a local service is also necessary, suited to the various details of the different markets.

My work implies a certain ability to negotiate with contacts worldwide without overlooking or “offending” local contacts who are key both as purchasers and in packaging development. This entails diplomacy in my relationships with customers and adopting different ways of working.

For example, I would say I need to work across time zones, considering where my customers live and, I need to travel often. It’s useful to know how to communicate in various languages, other than in my native language, French. Obviously English and also Italian are useful for internal communications and with some key customers, as well as Spanish for the same reasons. And no less important is the need to know how to work in a team and the ability to meet round a table in different company departments, such as General Management, Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, R&D, Production, Quality, Administrationand so on.

You can’t bring in a deal for 80 million closures without working as a team. It’s impossible. And it’s perhaps the most interesting part of this new role.

I’m lucky to work with fantastic colleagues, who have incredible skills. I’m convinced that great success is even more enjoyable when it’s done through teamwork.

This article appears in our printed magazine, TapInk.

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Tapì’s sustainable spirit now has a name: LEI

tapigroup 8 September 2020 0

LEI – Low Environmental Impact – is the acronym that provides a simple definition of Tapì’s corporate mission: to contribute to reducing its environmental impact and, as a result, caring for the Planet.

LEI, is understood as being the personification of Mother Earth, she who looks after the world and teaches us to respect the environment in which we live.

LEI was devised to give a clear identity to company projects, product ranges, technologies, production processes and best practices that we can define as sustainable, or rather, designed and developed to have as little impact as possible on the environment.

Green design, transparency, customer satisfaction and sustainability: these are the values at the heart of Tapì’s vision for the present and future.

For the last 20 years, we have been committed to guaranteeing production methods, supply chains and machining processes for materials that are as sustainable as possible, adopting alternative and renewable energy sources and continually investing in research and innovation. Nowadays, we design and manufacture sustainable closures with a low environmental impact in line with the green-design demands from our markets.

One of these is NEOS, an innovative technology capable of reducing the carbon footprint of products by using bioplastics from renewable sources, which allow us to produce eco-sustainable closures while the technical performance remains unaltered.

Another one is Abor: the innovative production process used to manufacture closures for the spirits industry by using the distillation waste from our own customers, re-using raw materials that would otherwise by disposed of and creating a packaging element capable of telling the story of the product it is sealing.

Still with the concept of recycling, we also launched T-Cask, a process to recover wood from the barrels used to age products that have reached the end of their life cycle. This gives us the opportunity to produce craft closures with a green spirit.

We also devised a correct recycling for components with Duo, a closure with head and stem that can be manually dismantled. This laid the foundations for a hybrid closure solution known as Pure, an alternative to the everyday solutions in plastic or cork, and made up of a combination of bioplastics generated from renewable sources – NEOS – and sterilised micro granules of natural cork, held together without the use of polyurethane glues.

This, and much more, is LEI, a kind of return to one’s roots, where respect for the natural and environmental elements was at the base of any action carried out by humankind. Similarly inspired, we too at Tapì are today working towards a more sustainable company organisation, with constant focus on the demands and requirements of our employees, co-workers and customers, with a view to proposing product and service solutions capable of satisfying our market, while protecting our Planet.

Download the press relase

Wood and closures – Wood designs by Tapì

tapigroup 27 August 2020 0

Wood is a noble material, prized in the creation of stylish, elegant closures. An insight into Wood by Tapì designs.

Tapì was established 20 years ago to make closures a key element in packaging.

Although, at least in the beginning, our business was focussed more on the production of innovative closures in synthetic materials. But as the years passed, our Research & Development team questioned whether these often-overlooked objects couldn’t be made even more unique and customisable.

From this, and our focus on the changing trends in the packaging world, a few designs were created in various wood finishes. They were made to pre-empt market demand which was to follow a few years later.

The opening of our Mexican site in 2014 was a cornerstone that allowed us to perfect our skills in this area. This factory specialises in making wooden closures and has offered the Group the possibility of radically changing its vision, by shifting its focus to the study of potential uses for wood in various market segments.

With all of these concurrent factors, we can now state that even five years ago we were the pioneers in wooden closures. And today our leadership position is still well-established due to our deep knowledge and control of the whole supply chain – from the forest to the finished product.

These days, we only work with wood whose supply chain we can ensure and manage ourselves. This allows us to avoid complex procedures and create ad hoc designs for our needs and the requirements of our customers.

Overseeing the whole supply chain brings us greater flexibility in terms of the ever-fluctuating market demands and has allowed us to develop from both a strategic and production viewpoint, and particularly for the needs of Europe and the Americas.

There is currently high demand for wooden closures in the spirits sector of the market. At Tapì, as pioneers in the sector, we can supply closures in various shapes and sizes, as well as offering customisations and many different finishes and wood varieties.

Over the years, we have created a range of products from our experience in using wood. These include T-Wood, Speakeasy and Signature Wood Inspiration.

T-Wood

T-Wood is a bar-top range of closures with wooden heads, available in various finishes, and with legs in synthetic materials. These closures are also available in the renewable source version – NEOS – micro agglomerate or in cork. T-Wood was created to enhance a basic design by changing the look of a natural material, such as wood, to give functionality and technical performance.

The development of the T-Wood range has also included the technical assembly of its components. In fact, we were among the first to offer co-injection – a technique that allows the bonding of head and leg without the need for adhesive. This technology ensures a perfect hold between the head and leg components and avoids the risk of breakage, by protecting the product’s functionality and the quality of the sealed distillate.

Speakeasy

For this design, we decided to evoke the secret yet slightly elite atmosphere of the speakeasy – stylish clubs that sold illegal alcoholic drinks in the 1920s Prohibition era in the United States. The range includes three different closure collections to mix and match with various bottle types.

Products with an alchemy feel that echo the old apothecary bottles in a refined, contemporary way. Each collection is presented in its own presentation box, containing a number of versions of the closure. Each of them is a blend of raw materials and a sophisticated design to enhance the specific qualities of the bottle it seals.

All the Speakeasy closures are customisable – from the choice of head, type of leg and material, right up to logo customisation and laser engraving.

Signature Wood Inspiration

The T and screw closures in the Wood Inspiration range were conceived and made as worked wooden sculptures, with high-quality customised inserts. This range is part of the Signature collection, the premium range by Tapì for the more ambitious distillate, condiment and cosmetic brands. It’s a combination of artisanal perfection, a technological and aesthetic celebration that conveys the expressive nature of wood through its natural veining and by playing with the elegance of its shape, finish and details.

Wood is a prized, noble material that’s the leading light of the whole Wood Inspiration collection, and which now has two new finishes – Exotic Woods and Craft Effect. The first has been made from rare, exotic wood varieties with a far-flung, mysterious feel that’s perfect to enhance any spirit or condiment with its unconventional, distinctive notes that spotlight the whole supply chain. The second, Craft Effect, was created as the meeting point between untreated wood and genuine leather. The result is distinctive and enhances the craftsmanship quality of every single product and packaging that it seals.

These are not just any closure; they are communication elements that express the values of the products that they are intrinsically connected with. Wood conveys Signature’s style evoking its age-old values and beauty that stands the test of time. It has a finesse that recalls the essential feeling of warmth both to the touch and look.

This article appears in our printed magazine, TapInk.

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What it’s like being a HR manager during a crisis: a one on one interview with Giacomo Dall’Ava, HR Manager of Tapì S.p.A.

tapigroup 27 August 2020 0

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a number of changes, more or less radical, in the normal procedures governing work activities. We decided to interview Giacomo Dall’Ava, HR Manager, to learn how Tapì has reacted and dealt promptly with the crisis.

Giacomo Dall’Ava has been the HR Manager of Tapì S.p.A. since February 2019. He graduated in Philosophy, specialising in Cognitive Sciences and Decision-Making Processes, and in 2017 he completed a Master’s Degree in People Management and Human Resources at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice.

He combines classic management of Human Resources with more innovative projects promoting employee well-being and cultivation of talents: both aspects that are becoming increasingly necessary within a company.

In particular he told us about how Tapì managed to carry on with their work activities while protecting the health of employees and collaborators.

Italy is going through a very unusual period, with repercussions in many different sectors: how is Tapì dealing with the management of its employees and the organisation of work?

Tapì was designated as providing essential services in the food supply chain during the lockdown period enforced by the government. This meant that we were able to keep our business going, even if at a slower pace compared to our normal production rate due to the ongoing restructuring of the entire market.

However, if on the one hand we were fortunate enough to continue operations without interruption, on the other hand we needed to focus all our efforts on ensuring the health and safety of our employees in the shortest time possible, following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the instructions provided by the Veneto Region.

To minimise risks as far as possible, my team and I were constantly searching for official information that would enable us to do more and to go beyond the minimum criteria, by implementing more safety measures than those that the government was recommending. Unfortunately, between the end of February and the first few days of March we were quite unaware of just how serious the situation was. Many companies were trying to deal with information coming in dribs and drabs, week by week, and the need to make quick decisions to protect the health and safety of their employees. From the outset we decided to act preventively by adopting safety measures such as, for example, minimum 2 metre distancing between people, screens to separate work stations and smart working.

Implementing a working from home policy, in such a short time, for a company like Tapì was far from easy. In fact, we are a production company and we were suddenly faced with the need to quickly organise smart working for a large number of employees, while taking into consideration the requirements of the various corporate functions related to the production processes.

Obviously, nothing is impossible and we decided to prioritise workers with the greatest needs (the fragile workers, those with health issues or with family members requiring care), then we moved on to the large group consisting of white-collar workers.

As for the production team, the workers used up any accrued vacation days during the peak period of the pandemic. And we have done all of this, to this day, without taking advantage of the redundancy fund made available by the Italian Government to cover this extraordinary emergency situation.

Currently we still have several employees working from home since we decided to maintain limited access to our offices. We have reduced the flow of people going out to lunch by bringing packaged single serve meals to the workplace in order to avoid crowding of employees and contact with places outside the company confines.

Although the situation is now under control, we cannot say that the crisis is completely over and this is not the time to compromise all the efforts made by the State, the companies and by the citizens themselves.

In just a few days Tapì, like most of Italy’s companies, was faced with changes that, under normal circumstances, would have required years to happen. What did this situation involve and what rules did you give to your employees?

As soon as the first hotspots started, the one in Codogno and the one in Vo’ Euganeo, we started informing our employees and collaborators every week via emails by outlining the new rules, internal and external, as well as  the ministerial and regional guidelines.

From the start we decided to instruct all our employees directly on the correct use of masks, hand sanitisers and all the changes introduced within the company to improve work flows and avoiding direct contact between people. This was the case for both our factories in Italy: in Rossano Veneto and in Massanzago.

As I said earlier, all the rules that were put in place are still active because this is not the time to lower our guard. It is also a sign of awareness for our employees of what happens outside the confines of the company.

We have become disseminators of what is happening, also because the pandemic crisis has provoked an unprecedented and difficult to manage infodemic, exposing people to very dangerous fake news (for example the one about gargling with a solution of water and bleach to disinfect the body). In times such as these, marked by fear of the unknown, we are more exposed to errors which is why we wanted to open such a large dialogue window with all the people that work alongside us.

What paths has Tapì taken as a result of this crisis to further bolster the innovation that has always distinguished it?

Certainly remote working is one of the innovations, not just seen as simply working from home, but as a way of facilitating work-life balance. In fact, one of the negative aspects of remote working is always being connected and, with Tapì factories spread around the globe, communications may arrive at any time of day.

Considering this aspect, the risk could be that people never take their minds off work which would have a negative effect on their health and well-being.

So once again the task force team became a group of disseminators facing the state of emergency by developing clear remote working guidelines, including the need for regular breaks and clocking off at scheduled times. Our objective was to meet with each employee separately, to gain a clear understanding of each person’s requirements and to find appropriate work-life balance solutions.

At a time of great difficulty like the one we have experienced (and are still experiencing) we decided to strengthen our corporate team even further and on this occasion we received great support especially from our employees, who adapted to all the rules without any problem whatsoever and who helped us throughout the entire information and awareness process.

Has the role of HR changed in this period? If so, how?

From what has emerged so far it is obvious just how much the role of HR has changed. Communication with employees has intensified and interest in the well-being, health and safety of the people who are part of this company has increased significantly.

A great deal of attention has been devoted to training and information, even relating to personal issues.

The crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world of work with many challenges but, at the same time, has offered new opportunities for developing a more ‘smart’ management of the various corporate functions. From your experience, do you think Italy is ready for a more widespread smart working practice?

I feel confident in stating that Italy is definitely ready, but there are a few issues we need to address. We often think that the brakes are due to the low digitization of the country, but the crisis has shown us that in many cases we already have the right tools for working remotely.

I think, however, what we need to focus on is the individual training of employees, managers and entrepreneurs, a step towards a change of mentality that is vital for all of us. Two main ingredients are necessary if smart working is going to continue post-pandemic: trust on the part of entrepreneurs and responsibility on the part of employees.

Today we cannot actually measure if there are or are not the conditions for moving forward with this approach, because in fact there has never been one. We cannot talk about real smart working, because we all simply rolled up our sleeves so that we could continue working while protecting the health of workers and collaborators.

When this virus will have become just a memory we will be able to think about a training course for management and workers, to teach the real value of our company mission and to transmit the real value of our corporate concept: not just a physical place that we turn up to every morning, but a holistic body of knowledge. Not people working as individuals, but an ecosystem created from everyone’s work. Not focussing on one’s own specific technical duties, focussing more on one’s role within the company network.

If all of this works, then I am firmly convinced that a real upgrade is possible.

Packaging design and Covid-19 – what’s changing

tapigroup 16 July 2020 0

The recent pandemic has changed the megatrends in packaging design, with significant implications for the short and long term

The global pandemic has had a dramatic impact on people’s lives, and this has had repercussions on consumers’ perceptions of packaging. Until a few months ago, newspaper and internet headlines were dominated by worries about the invasion of plastic on our seas, by environmental compromises and the difficulties of managing recycling. All of this created consumer awareness about more sustainable lifestyle choices and habits. Then the pandemic took over and packaging, particularly single-use plastic packaging, has become the key element in ensuring health and safety.

So, it’s clear that today the value of good packaging is well understood, yet our concerns related to environmental sustainability have all but disappeared.

This is why now more than ever the whole packaging industry should evolve and move in the direction that can offer the best protection for the environment and the society we live in, by taking on a key role in this change.

There are a few considerations that ensue from this, such as how we can change the world of packaging after Covid-19 and how we can prepare ourselves to contribute to the creation of a more solid future that’s eco-friendly.

Greater interest in sustainable packaging

At the height of the pandemic, the media’s attention focussed on the value of packaging in supplying and delivering products to homes to ensure the health and safety of consumers. The consequence has been an increase in the use of single-use plastic, due to the general need to reduce the risk of transmission of a virus that is little understood.

Packaging is now recognised as one of the key tools in safeguarding products and consumers yet, at the same time, the increased use of plastics is raising awareness further about current consumer behaviour patterns and waste management.

As time passes, this will demonstrate a raised awareness of the true environmental impact of single-use plastics and it is likely that there will be a tendency towards the choice of products wrapped in packaging that can be partially or entirely recycled.  According to some research, even now consumers are already more likely to purchase products wrapped in eco-friendly packaging and, within the year, it’s expected that this will become an increasingly common requirement around the world.

A new vision of recycling

The current definition of recycling should be broadened and standardised. During lockdown, that has touched the whole world at various points in time, even consumers who don’t normally purchase online have used e-commerce services or apps for meal deliveries to their home. These numbers have reached unprecedented levels.

In the post-Covid-19 world, where it’s expected that home deliveries and online buying will remain high, emerging recovery technologies will be invaluable. It’s often difficult to recycle packaging. For this reason, it’s going to be all the more necessary to continue to protect products with functional and aesthetically pleasing packaging, as currently happens but with the added courage to create new components that can be completely recycled.

Discover Duo, the closure from the Collection range that can be separated and recycled

In the short term, the whole packaging industry will need to deal with a growth curve, characterised by research and development into more efficient ways of collecting, sorting and reusing materials and existing technology to tackle future consumer trends.

As forecasts predict that e-commerce and takeaway food services will continue to grow, ways of sorting multi-material packaging or identifying new ways of collecting pre-existing packaging need to be established.

We’ll need to set objectives and take effective action, but also introduce legislation and standards to widen the concept of recycling. Alongside this, we need an alignment between States and international organisations to include more collection types, promote innovation and help to support investment.

Reusable packaging will continue its growth, but in a different way

To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, a growing number of restaurants have suspended the use of reusable containers and in some countries, they have temporarily revoked the ban on using plastic bags. These changes have led many experts to ask themselves what the future of reusable packaging will be.

Realistically, aside from the initial unease, we can say that there’s nothing to fear and that reusable materials will be a growth opportunity. It will be sufficient to change approach and offer cleanliness and sanitation guarantees before being made available for reuse, with the potential for the creation of new business within this field.

This type of approach would reduce the risk of relying on consumer cleaning practices, by reducing the potential transmission through handling and by introducing a new development to the world of packaging.

Reinvention and action

While we look to the future of a post-pandemic world, we have the opportunity to assess and reinvent the environment we live in, by identifying structural weaknesses and committing ourselves to researching new solutions. To get started, we need to begin to look at packaging as a system and explore the impact of change to the supply chain. By doing this, we can bring together interested parties within the value chain to continue to create a shared vision of the near future.

Creating a joined-up strategy that recognises the value of packaging, but also emphasises how to deal with its weaknesses, could lead to economic growth for the whole industry. It won’t be easy but if we can align everyone around a strategy that’s based on principles that protect the environment and people’s health, it will be possible to increase efficiencies for the reciprocal advantage of society, the environment and the economy.

The concept of sustainable packaging goes far beyond just design. It demands innovative thinking, inquisitiveness, and the desire to move the circular economy forwards so that it can meet the changing demands of consumers and protect the world we live in.

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