Belgian printing company Verstraete says that the humanization of pets has led to success in IML packaging for petfood manufacturers.
IML, or "in mold labeling," is a technique in which a preprinted polypropylene label is placed in a mold that is shaped like the end product. The molten polypropylene is added to the mold, where it is fused to the label, and the packaging and label become one.
The US National Pet Owner Survey revealed that female animal owners, in particular, see themselves as the "mother" of their pets. With IML, Verstraete says packaging can have an impact on this kind of emotional purchasing. The quality of the photograph as well as the various look and feel possibilities offered by IML ensure that all product information is communicated to the consumer in an attractive way. The company says that petfood manufacturers may find IML packaging to be an effective way to distinguish themselves from competitors.