Hebron, Kentucky, USA

Zumbiel Packaging

Zumbiel uses Kodak inkjet technology to help an iconic American pet brand create new marketing buzz


Family-owned for four generations since 1843, paperboard packaging print across a range of industries


Find a fast, cost-effective way to create personalized packaging for a high-volume, high-profile consumer product

Kodak Solution

PROSPER 6000 Press

"Our solution based on Kodak technology has proven that digital print is a great option for brands that want to harness the power of personalization."
Ed Zumbiel, President, Zumbiel Packaging
Ed Zumbiel, President of Zumbiel Packaging utilizes the KODAK PROSPER 6000S Press to print Milkbone customized dog biscuit boxes.


As a paperboard print specialist, Zumbiel Packaging has helped many top brands with complex packaging needs. When the J.M. Smucker Co. wanted to offer consumer personalization for their popular Milk-Bone dog treat boxes, Zumbiel rose to the challenge with a smart, lightning-fast, cost-effective digital print solution from Kodak.

The Business Need

The J.M. Smucker Co. owns one of the world's most iconic pet products: Milk-Bone dog treats. When the brand's marketing team came up with the idea of letting pet owners create personalized Milk-Bone boxes featuring family dogs, they knew they had a printing and logistics challenge on their hands. The Smucker team reached out to Zumbiel Packaging—established experts in this kind of paperboard design and execution—to explore digital print technologies and workflows that could execute such a complex variable data job. Adding to the complexity was the scale: the popular Milk-Bones sell nationally and would require exceptionally high print volumes even for smaller-scale promotional production. The solution would need high throughput to meet Smucker's expected demand and run economically and without compromising the brand's print quality standards. Zumbiel had their work cut out for them.

The Kodak Solution

Together, Zumbiel and Smucker tested numerous digital technologies and devices, and a clear winner emerged: the KODAK PROSPER 6000 Press. Powered by KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology, it produces digital print quality indistinguishable from the standard Milk-Bone lithographic cartons, cost-effectively, with a remarkable productivity of 600 feet per minute. And the water-based, food-safe PROSPER Inks were ideal for a pet food product. With the press selected, Zumbiel and Kodak then spent several months collaborating with Smucker marketing and technical teams to establish the workflow of taking images and text submitted online by pet owners and transforming them into a unique custom carton. Variable data software was used to map the carton's variable elements—brand background, pet photo and name, plus barcode—for printing. Kodak configured Zumbiel's PROSPER 6000 Press specifically for the job with inline substrate priming, digital printing, and high-speed die-cutting, connected directly to a dedicated folder-gluer.

The Outcome

With their KODAK PROSPER solution to the Milk-Bone challenge, Zumbiel has demonstrated their ingenuity and customer dedication. Their highly automated process takes less than 20 minutes to transfer, assemble, and RIP files and can output roughly 17-18,0000 personalized boxes per hour—including printing, die-cutting, and gluing. The total average cycle time from receipt of files to shipment of finished cartons is an impressive two hours. The Milk-Bone custom box program has been a huge success for Smucker, driving traffic to their website, getting featured on NBC's Today Show, and creating instant marketing buzz as consumers and celebrities post photos on social media of beloved pets with their personalized treats.

"We helped the Smucker team run trials on every known digital technology from toner to inkjet…but most came up short in terms of cost effectiveness and productivity…The KODAK PROSPER was the first digital device that 'checked all the boxes.'"
Ed Zumbiel, President, Zumbiel Packaging

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