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Marzek Etiketten+Packaging can look back on a successful year and is well prepared for 2023

Resource scarcity, material cost explosion, the war in Ukraine and COVID again and again - the year 2022 presented the economy with a whole range of challenges. Despite these general conditions, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging was once again able to live up to its reputation as a proven and reliable partner for trade and industry in the sales-promoting packaging and labelling sector, closing the 2022 financial year with a 16% increase in turnover.

In the more than 140 years of its existence, the company, founded in 1879, has certainly experienced some turbulent times. Distinctive customer orientation, high quality awareness, professionalism, expertise and quick adaptation to changing market conditions have been the decisive factors for success so far and have also contributed to mastering the diverse challenges in the past year.  

The Ukraine war and its consequences
With a plant in Dnipro, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging was directly affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the very beginning. Thanks to the heroic efforts of the Marzek team on site, labels and packaging have since been produced primarily for system-relevant companies (drinking water, beverages and food) despite regular air raid alerts, interruptions due to power outages and sometimes challenging logistics. "We are incredibly proud of our colleagues, who are highly motivated in their work despite all adversities. Of course, we do everything we can to support them in the best possible way and to secure their jobs in the long term," says Dr. Johannes Michael Wareka, 4th generation of the long-established family business, resolutely.

In view of the general shortage of materials as an indirect consequence of the war, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging was able to score points by building up its stocks in a timely and consistent manner. "While some delivery dates were already several months away and materials were in part allocated below the previous year's quantity, we were able to supply our existing customers as usual and even acquire new customers thanks to our forward-looking stock management," sums up Dr. Wareka. Of course, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging was also confronted with the enormous price increases, which in some cases amounted to over 100% for material procurement and climbed to 50% plus for transport and energy costs. However, by exploiting all potential savings, the unavoidable price adjustments could be kept relatively well within the bounds of customer orientation. 

Market trends 2023
For 2023, Ing. Alexander Schneller-Scharau, 5th generation of the family business, expects an improvement in material supply and thus lower cost increases: "At the end of 2022, we have already seen an easing in the availability of most materials. I think this will improve further in the coming months. Hopefully, this will also bring cost increases back to a normal level, in line with inflation."

A major issue is and remains the implementation of the Packaging Ordinance Amendment 2021, which aims at more effective value creation and use of all raw materials, products and waste. For example, from the middle of 2024, plastic closures and lids of disposable plastic beverage containers must remain attached to the containers for the duration of the product's intended use. Furthermore, from 2030 onwards, only plastic packaging that can either be reused or recycled may be placed on the market. "This poses serious challenges for the economy. Based on our comprehensive expertise, we work together with the producers to develop individual solutions for each product that meet the legal requirements and are also economically justifiable," says Ing. Schneller-Scharau, explaining the role of Marzek Etiketten+Packaging as a competence partner for the industry.      

Ing. Schneller-Scharau sees the trend towards sustainable packaging solutions as unbroken: "In line with the growing environmental awareness of consumers, producers already want to signal the organic quality of their products with the packaging. Accordingly, we have greatly expanded our portfolio of eco-materials and can also offer our customers solutions with grass, stone, wood and grape paper, for example.

In addition, it is becoming clear that producers increasingly want and need to meet consumers' demands for sound information about their products. "As a result, we are seeing increased demand for our multi-layer labels. While here the front view is reserved for product presentation, the fold-out pages offer sufficient space for the description of product details," explains Ing. Schneller-Scharau. He notes a similar interest for booklets, which of course offer just as much space for detailed product information.

Unabated investment activity
With a respectable volume of over € 13 million, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging had invested heavily in the modernisation of its machinery over the last two years. These innovations were continued with the acquisition of further high-performance machines. At Austro Vin Tulln, for example, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging was able to present trade fair visitors with highly finished digital-offset hybrid labels that outperform conventional production methods in all disciplines. "Apart from our extensive investments in our machinery, we are continuously working on optimising the internal and external networking of prepress, production, administration and with customers and agencies," explains Dr. Johannes Michael Wareka, referring proudly to a high-performance packaging management system that transparently maps all processes from design to production, making them traceable in real time at any time.

From highly refined labels to packaging suitable for mass production
State-of-the-art machines and a team of excellent, experienced experts are the basis for Marzek Etiketten+Packaging to score points with industrial companies with labels and packaging suitable for mass production on the one hand, and on the other hand to perfectly present high-quality products with specially finished materials and sophisticated printing processes. "The numerous prizes and awards show that we are also very successful in international comparison. In 2022, for example, we were once again pleased with one group victory, three category victories and three "Highly Commended" awards at the coveted and renowned FINAT International Label Awards. We were thus able to top our previous year's record of three first places and four "Highly Commended" awards," reports Dr. Wareka. 

In any case, Marzek Etiketten+Packaging sees itself well prepared for the new year. "Our company philosophy of leaving the next generation an even more successful company than we found ourselves will guide us well through the coming months and years. The intensive investments in high-performance technology that we have made over the last two years are an excellent basis for this," says Dr Wareka, looking optimistically to the future.