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November 18, 2022
The green labels that fix craftsmanship on glass

Atiu, an innovative SME from Verona, has patented a transfer technology based on organic inks that are deposited directly on the bottle, without films.

Packaging is becoming a key element in the sale of products and an increasing concern for brands around the world, as sustainability today is also and above all measured in terms of the type of packaging, along with the materials and processes needed to make it and then recycle it. Atiu, a small company in Verona, responds to this need with a sort of total label, optimising product presentability through proprietary eco-friendly technology.

Founded 15 years ago under the name Xolid, based on a concept by Tito Trevisan, a mechanical engineer who embarked on the adventure of sustainable decoration on glass, it became a start-up only three years ago, after meeting Alessandro Volpato, a business manager with solid experience in overseas business consultancy, now the company’s CEO. “We developed the technology required to industrialise this solution,” says Volpato. “We achieve this through transfer technology, using organic inks on glass, applied directly to the bottles. This type of transfer can avoid the shrink sleeve film that many manufacturers, both in cosmetics and beverages, use to identify their affiliation and illustrate their brand’. Volpato continued: “They are not wrapped in plastic film, but in a wraparound label. It is one hundred percent recyclable, without sacrificing the beauty and brand representation that are key levers for successful sales.”

Atiu, which is now an innovative SME, began production for the high-end spirits and perfumery market in 2021 and already exports to several countries, not only in Europe but in the Caribbean and Japan as well. With a production capacity of three to five thousand units per day, it currently receives orders in excess of its production capacity, but the company aims to achieve  a minimum short-term target of quintupling this capacity. In the process, the Atiu team works in close synergy with the marketing teams, creative designers and branding agencies of major international luxury groups, from Lvmh to Pernod Ricard. Once the proposals are received, the company proceeds with printing on glass and sampling. “We support the brands and accompany them in the development and adaptation of the decoration,” specifies Volpato.

Looking at the containers made by Atiu for liquor or cosmetics companies, what comes to mind is exclusive craftsmanship, or art, rather than industrial mass production. “The Romans decorated their amphorae. Embellishing utensils, even everyday tools, with graphics has always been a human need. “What we accomplish today with the aid of technology,” emphasises the CEO, “could only be done by hand until recently. Our goal is to continue producing premium decorations, while increasingly providing environmentally friendly solutions that even allow us to eliminate boxes, without sacrificing the product’s ability to communicate. In this sense, glass is like a canvas for us, or a blank page on which to tell a story together with the customer”.

New investors and capital thanks to the biggest crowdfunding project of 2022

Although there are plenty of international players on the market for decoration of glass packaging, the unique, simple solution industrialised by Atiu has convinced a new group of investors, who became industrial partners a few months ago. The 5 million Euro capital increase reserved for the entry of a number of new shareholders last July, which included the participation of managers with international experience from leading Italian family-run businesses joining the current shareholders, came with the most important platform crowdfunding campaign of 2022. “The investors’ approach was concrete and effective,” Volpato confirms. “With the new funds we will be able to grow further, achieve new results faster, and expand our pool.” An all-new production line and the creation of a new factory are currently in the pipeline.

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