UPM Finesse Leading Brand from a Quality and Environmental Point of View in Opticom's Study

(UPM, Helsinki, November 18, 2009) - UPM Finesse has been recognized in Opticom International Research' “The Brand Tracking Survey - Woodfree Coated Paper 2009”. The study includes information about the most known, bought and appreciated woodfree coated reel and sheet brands in Western Europe, as well as sheet brands in Central & Eastern Europe.

Sappi's Royal was the most well-known reel brand in Europe, while UPM Finesse was number two. Web heat-set printers often refer to their supplier when asked to mention brands spontaneously and UPM as a corporate brand was number ten in terms of spontaneous awareness.

Royal and UPM Finesse have a different set of strengths. Royal takes the lead from a spontaneous awareness and purchased brands point of view and shows a wider geographical coverage. UPM Finesse, on the other hand, is the leading brand from a quality and brand performance point of view and it is also the most frequently mentioned leading brand with respect to environmental issues.

"In line with the actuality of the theme, we wanted to understand how printers view the environmental aspects of woodfree coated paper brands and in particular see if there were any brands perceived to be superior to others in this respect. Results show that among web heat-set printers UPM has taken a lead with its brand Finesse and the corporate brand UPM itself. In the European market for woodfree coated sheets, there is, however, not yet any clearly leading brand.” says Jessica Tommila from Opticom International Research. "This constitutes an opportunity for paper producers and merchants wanting to claim the throne of the most environmentally credible woodfree coated paper brand," she adds.

UPM's brand or paper in top three in all parts of Opticom's researches
Opticom measured both awareness of the brand and quality expectations and performance of the brand in this year’s survey and UPM's paper or product brand was ranked top three in one or both of these brand equity drivers in both target groups (reels and sheets) and in both Western and Central & Eastern Europe.

There is no clear leading environmental woodfree coated sheet brand in Western Europe. Certification is important – having a certificate is the number one reason why some brands are perceived to be superior to others. Sheet printers in Western Europe seemed to be very loyal to current main brand/s.

In Central & Eastern Europe, printers value the same quality criteria as in Western Europe but there is less emphasis on environmental issues and it is even clearer that there is no leading environmental WFC sheet brand.