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News Flash; Pulse Packaging Problem Hits The Market

News Flash; Pulse Packaging Problem Hits the Market

Pulse Flexibles had sales of some £65 million equating to probably 10% or so of the UK food market for specialist film printing in flexo and gravure. The forecast we made in May & again in June was that the loss of the Pulse Flexibles print capacity would have serious adverse effects on the supply of printed film in the food sector in the UK. This is now being borne out of events. Not surprisingly many of those companies affected are major UK food brand owners as this was an area where Pulse specialised. Lead times of up to 12 weeks are now being quoted from some packaging film converters particularly those who have taken on large slices of Pulse work. This has had a detrimental effect on both their own customers, as well as those who were ex Pulse.

Whilst historically any film supply constraints could readily be overcome by imports from overseas suppliers, the decline of Sterling against the Euro since January has made printed film imports far less competitive, plus the extra costs of re-origination. As a consequence several large brand owners (& others) are struggling to get printed film delivered to meet their production programmes. There are stories of supermarkets being “shorted” of some well-known food brands. It is a sure sign of shortages of specialist films to fulfil orders when we are approached by competitors for material.

As I highlighted in July National Flexible has a unique business model which ensures we have the flexibility and print capacity to respond quickly to upturns in market demand. We also have most types of specialist films in stock ready, for printing. This again helps us to be able to reduce lead times for print and laminate delivery.

Our message is to any companies out there finding difficulties with extended lead times for printed films, or companies simply looking for another supplier to back up their existing company we can help.

Please contact Mark Thompson our Sales Director or George Slack our Managing Director for further details. Alternatively you can email

Now has to be the right time to find an additional film supplier as this situation can only deteriorate further, as printer workload increases in the final ¼ run up to Christmas.

Any thoughts you have on these views would be welcome along with any additional information


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