The journey of Chromatic Technologies Inc (CTI) in the food and beverage packaging industry centers on innovation rather than just providing ink. Since its inception, the company’s intent has been to improve brand performance and people’s lives. The industry celebrates CTI’s value and ingenuity as the company that turned the Coors Light mountains blue, referring to the aluminum can where mountains printed on it turn blue when the beer reaches optimal drinking temperature. Having earned a special place in specialty packaging on diverse substrates—such as cans, plastic, shrink, paper, and film, among others—CTI today caters to thousands of companies across 55 countries. The company offers thermochromic, photochromic, glow-in-the-dark, and security inks in unique ways. Driven to solve the toughest problems, CTI sees itself as a collaborative partner, integrating its technology with the packaging and designs of brands, converters, and printers to develop packaging solutions the world has never seen.
Unlike other ink manufacturing companies, CTI sees ink as a means to an end. With such belief, the company has expanded its portfolio of functional, flexible packaging solutions for tamper freeze, tamper heat, security, and thaw alert, and specialty applications for high pressure pasteurized (HPP) indicators. CTI develops a variety of inks in-house by leveraging its team of Chemists who have expertise in encapsulation, thermochromic, photochromic, and other technologies, and their commercial applications. In fact, the company has to its name many industry-firsts, robust solvent thermochromic flexographic and gravure inks, for example.
“For clients, the best part of working with our solutions is that they don’t need to buy specialized equipment or sacrifice press efficiency to run our inks,” affirms Barry McCann, CTI’s Product Director. “We support and guide them to understand best practices and commercialize the innovation with the expertise and resources they already have.”
For instance, CTI developed a never-before-seen photochromic chip bag for a well-known brand in Mexico. CTI not only innovated an ink that provided the needed lamination bond strengths but also ensured its optimum usage to keep the tabs on the cost. “In most of the interactions with converters and brands, we encourage them to look beyond profitability and package efficiency and dive into innovation for new breakthroughs in package design. Profitability comes with scale.”
With such an inquisitive mindset, CTI has made it a point to employ a consultative strategy in its client engagements to help them drive brand performance and delight consumers. At the outset, CTI carries out a discovery process where it tries to understand the problem the client is trying to solve. McCann says, “We design solutions to be visually appealing and conduct a print trial to ensure we’ve met requirements and optimized for full-scale production.” Through its inks, patented technologies, and comprehensive assistance and support throughout the R&D process, CTI enables its clients to commercialize their innovative packaging faster.
In recent times, CTI has focused on developing food safety and medical indicators, providing visually smart labeling for cold chain verification, anti-tampering, and even inks that show when insulin is warm enough for injection without pain.