Belgian brewery prints on PET bottles and adds augmented reality to support popular TV Show

Augmented Reality and Versioned Labels Provide a Unique Experience for beer drinkers

Augmented Reality and Versioned Labels Provide a Unique Experience for beer drinkers

The Martens brewery in Bocholt (Belgium) is the second biggest brewery in Belgium and an extremely experienced filler of beer in PET bottles. Now in its eighth generation, the company's own house brands constitute approximately 15% of its output, with the remaining 85% attributable to private labels, which are distributed in European countries as well as in China, Japan, Hong Kong and others.

For the most popular TV show on Belgian television, Martens Beer decided to fully exploit the newest technologies available to promote a special flavor of the beer with a story.

"This interactive promotion campaign could be achieved thanks to innovative changes in the brewery manufacturing site, introducing technologies from different world leading suppliers," explains Danny Dresselaerts from the Martens brewery. "Bottling beer in PET bottles and printing images of TV show characters directly on the bottle are unique projects as such. And we added augmented reality which enables the characters in the images to talk to the consumer via their smart phones or tablets."

Beer in PET bottles is becoming increasingly popular for various reasons:

Dresselaerts continues: "PET Bottles are 100% recyclable, much lighter to transport and the beer tastes exactly the same as beer in a glass bottle. The direct print technology was developed by the German company KHS implementing low-migration inks from Agfa. We will add extra TV characters along the promotion campaign so the consumers will experience new stories along the line. This combination of marketing and technology is unique and may well change the way we will package food and drinks in the future. We expect the bottles to be a collectors’ item soon, whether empty or full."

For Martens brewery PET bottle decoration, NMP Systems, a subsidiary of KHS, combines dedicated low migration UV-curable inks from Agfa Graphics with the first industrial scale Direct Print Powered by KHS™ technology. The system prints color images (1080 dpi – 4 Colors + White) at PET line speeds, creating unprecedented speed-to-market and variable image decoration capability. In 2014, Agfa Graphics' low-migration (LM) UV-curable inkjet inks were honored by essenscia, the Belgian Federation for Chemistry and Life Sciences Industries, with the prestigious bi-annual Innovation Award. They are based on specific chemical formulations, compliant with European guidelines on food package printing. Designed primarily for printing directly on packaging and on labels, blister foils, lids etc. for food and pharma applications. Agfa Graphics' LM inks deliver durable solutions and can be customized for specific packaging materials.