Reflecting Brand Identity Through Packaging
When you have a product that is truly natural and made with
healthy non-toxic ingredients, there’s a high chance that natural products and sustainability
are also important to your clients, perhaps even one of the reasons they were
drawn towards you in the first place.
When working with Flora & Curl, it was clear their
packaging needed to reflect not only the vibrancy of their brand but also their
eco-friendly ethos. They believe in the
importance of sustainability and wanted eco-friendly packaging that was
minimalistic, biodegradable, recyclable or reusable.
Choosing a corrugated cardboard postal box, was the perfect
option. Its circular by nature due to
the recycled content, recyclability and biodegradable properties. The addition of water based, non-toxic inks,
coloured with vegetable pigments ensured no part of the packaging was harmful
to the environment.
The box design chosen by our client has an unassuming and
minimalistic appearance on the outside. Through printing on the inside, they
have cleverly managed to make the brand connection and enhance the customer
When the package is opened the customer is immediately
greeted with a burst of colour, instantly recognisable as the Flora & Curl
brand. Additional messages printed
underneath the products, are used to communicate further; a ‘thank you &
enjoy’ and a reminder the packaging is recyclable/biodegradable - underpinning
that all so important eco-friendly ethos.
Using print this way helps to strengthen brand identity and
the emotional connection made with customers.
If you’re in the food business and looking to deliver fresh
or packaged food directly to your customers, at the very least, you will be
looking for a strong and reliable solution that will cushion your food items,
protect them from damage, dirt or sunlight and be resistant to moisture.
Of course, corrugated can do all of this, but above all, you
will need packaging that is hygienic! Did you know that each time a new
corrugated box is manufactured, the process involves high temperatures that
reach at least 100°C? Temperature
testing shows that the corrugated board itself will reach these
temperatures at least 3 times during the manufacturing process and this will
eliminate all microbes and bacteria from the corrugated board.
led by the University of Bologna has also proven that fruit, vegetables, bread,
eggs and meat products, delivered in corrugated trays, are kept fresher and
safer than food delivered in reusable plastic trays. The washing of plastic
trays between uses does not guarantee all the bacteria and microbes will be removed.
Also, there is a build up over time of these pathogens on the plastic, repeat
use trays. Corrugated packaging is used
once and then recycled so no residues remain.
Now you know why corrugated is the perfect partner is to
deliver your food products safely and hygienically.
Although cardboard packaging is both recyclable and one of
the most sustainable packaging materials available, wouldn’t it be good if we
could design more packaging that could be re-used several times, before it’
goes off to be recycled?
This year we worked with Blade & Butler who wanted to
create multi trip packaging for their knife sharpening service, that would do
The packaging was designed, with printed instructions, to be
able to make a maximum of 3 journeys from Blade & Butler to the client and
back again. The box is sent to the
client containing knife protection sleeves and a returns label. The client simply opens the box via the
indicated tear strip, pack their knives and then return the same box back to
Blade & Butler. Blade & Butler can
open the box via the next tear strip to retrieve the knives, keeping the box
intact and ready for its final journey back to the client, complete with
freshly sharpened knives.
This is a simple and practical way of reducing cardboard
packaging waste and it could be tweaked to suit the needs of many online
retailers, particularly where client returns are prevalent, such as within the
Another quite different example of reusable packaging is
H&M’s shopping bag that transforms into a clothes hanger. H&M’s packaging concept uses a paper bag,
that is already produced from recycled material, then, afterwards it can be
folded into a coat hanger and used many times over by the customer for their
It’s a smart idea that not only reuses the original
packaging but transforms it into a completely new and practical product,
lengthening the life span of the shopping bag and reducing waste.
If you have a reusable cardboard packaging idea that you
would like to bring to life, please get in touch.
Does your product need Retail Ready or Shelf Ready Packaging?If you are looking to source Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) or
Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP), Packaging Supplies have an experience team that
can walk you through the process. Here
you can find out what qualifies as RRP or SRP and what you need to think about
when considering this type of packaging for your retail product.
Retail ready packaging (RRP) or Shelf ready packaging (SRP)
is often the secondary packaging for retail consumer products. It forms the
outer transit/display box containing the products for sale and is placed directly
onto the supermarket or shop shelf. The
aim of RRP and SRP packaging is to ensure the products can be displayed without
the need to fully unpack them and to ensure ease of movement through the supply
chain. The packaging is further
optimised through print, promoting brand recognition and product advertising,
encouraging sales uplift.
To qualify as Shelf Ready Packaging or Retail Ready
Packaging and successfully move your products through the supply chain, the
packaging must adhere to the following:
Easy to identify – Product and brand recognised
quickly via print and graphics
Easy to open – Perforated for clean opening without
damage, clear opening instructions, opening points easy to locate
Easy to replenish – Transferable to the shelf in one
step, no tertiary packaging or secondary handling
Easy to shop – Product description clearly visible,
customer can remove and return products easily,
Easy to dispose of – Easy separation of materials to
allow for maximum recycling, flat pack after use
When designing your SRP or RRP, Packaging Supplies can help
ensure these requirements are met.
Printing Retail Ready & Shelf Ready Packaging
The printing of an SRP or RRP is used to identify the
product and promote or advertise the brand to both the consumer and
retailer. Images, symbols, text, numbers
and barcodes can all be shown.
The branding on an SRP or RRP is particularly important, and
when used effectively, will maximize visual impact to capture the attention of
the shopper and create sales uplift.
Material & board grade
When designing your SRP or RRP, it is essential to ensure
that the packaging is “fit for purpose” and effectively protects the stock
whilst in transit from damage, it should also be stable when being transferred
to the retail shelf. Any defects with
the packaging can cause costly delays within the supply chain.
Special considerations should be given if the SRP is going
through an automated supply chain and if the temperature conditions required
for the product are for it to be chilled or frozen.
Retail Ready Packaging and Shelf Ready Packaging can be made
from different packaging materials, including both corrugated and carton
board. The material choices will depend
on the product, its size, weight and the graphics required.
Packaging Supplies have an experienced team that will be
able to advise on the correct materials for your SRP or RRP. Samples will
always be supplied prior to the manufactured production run, for you to test
fully through the supply chain network.
Shelf Ready & Retail Ready Packaging typesShelf Ready Packaging and Retail Ready Packaging can take
several structural forms, depending upon your product. Designs includes trays with cardboard lids,
trays that are shrink wrapped and perforated tear off lid cartons.
Shelf Ready & Retail Ready Packaging SizeThere is no standardisation with regards to size, which can
cause problems with the speed of re-stocking and how the on-shelf space is
utilised. It will be important to check
with the intended retailer of any restrictions in pack height, width and depth
they may have. Some even have a standard structural design format also. With
all this information, we can then design your SRP to fit your products,
maximise both the shipping and storage, comply with any specific sizing
requirements and make sure your product stands out in their retail environment.
In 2018 the EU Action Plan for the Circular
Economy Package was established, to make the transition to a more
sustainable economy by closing material and product cycles for packaging. It includes provisions for enhancing circular
approaches to raw materials at a European level and aims to substantially
increase recycling rates of all packaging materials.
Circular Packaging Design
The University of Applied Sciences Vienna (FH Campus Wein),
together with Packforce Austria, (the Austrian member of World Packaging
Organisation WPO) and Circular
Analytics, have developed and issued the Circular
Packaging Design Guideline, which is essentially design recommendations for
sustainable, recyclable packaging. It
covers the entire supply chain of the packaging industry and focuses on sustainable
packaging design, as well as the recyclable design of packaging systems for all
contributors along the chain. It’s a
document that will evolve and update in accordance with future sorting and
recycling technologies and packaging material developments.
Future challenges for product & packaging design
Because of the circular economy and this holistic approach
to the packaging process, new challenges are presented for product design and
packaging conception. Considerations not
only for the main materials used but also the use of printing inks, adhesives,
labels, films and additional small parts such as openers or closures are all
covered in the Circular Packaging Design Guideline. Packaging will need to meet multifarious requirements
including the balance of maximum functionality and protection of goods with
minimal ecological impacts.
Below are extracts from the guidelines as to how these
fundamentals are to be achieved:
Effective - Packaging needs to be fit for purpose and add as much
value as possible with regards to both the consumer and the product (e.g.
retain shelf life). In order to asses
effectiveness, detailed knowledge about the properties of the packaged goods is
required. The packaging must provide
adequate protection against adverse environmental influences such as mechanical
stress, oxygen, humidity or light. In
addition, the packaging must ensure easy handling by the final consumer to the
greatest possible extent. Finally, it
can be empirically established that the packaging has an influence on product
Efficient - The use of raw materials, emissions, energy, and the
generation of waste need to be minimised throughout the entire life cycle. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is the standard
instrument for assessing the efficiency and thus the ecological sustainability
of packaging. It takes into account the
environmental impact of the packaging over its entire life cycle. The life cycles start with raw material
extraction and end with the full disposal of the packaging. The amount of CO2 equivalents that are
emitted throughout the entire life cycle is a well-known parameter for
assessing the ecological impact of the packaging.
Safe - Safe packaging is designed to minimize health and safety risks to human
beings and ecosystems throughout its life cycle. Regarding admissibility for food contact, the
applicable legal requirements need to be met, and additional aspects such as
consumer safety, environmental protection and tamper evidence need to be
Cyclic - Cyclic packaging is designed to maximise the
recovery of materials used. This is
aimed at longevity of the life cycle, full substitution for virgin materials of
the same type (closed-loop recycling) or use of renewable materials. Circular packaging design refers to the
principle of cyclic approaches. Products
should be designed and produced in a way which, after the period of use, permits
the recovery, to a high degree, of the raw materials to be employed as
secondary raw materials, the reuse of the packaging, or the manufacture of the
packaging from renewable raw materials.
International Development of Packaging
Packforce will target the European market first, with
special issues of the guidelines developed for Northern Europe, Central Eastern
Europe and Western Europe. The
recyclability of a packaging system will depend greatly on the technical
capabilities of a given country, therefore Packforce are looking for
cooperation partners in the respective countries, that will be able to
contribute to a first step information regarding the collections systems and
recycling infrastructures available.
For International consumer goods companies and retailers,
additional information will be required on the recycling infrastructure on a Global
The challenges of e-commerce packagingA few months ago, we blogged about the massive growth within
the e-commerce sector and while this has brought many opportunities to
businesses both new and existing, this growth has generated new challenges for packaging
buyers, so we thought we would explore some of these.
The more popular ecommerce becomes, the more brands are
having to try harder to stand out from the competition and be remembered. This has resulted in more personalised
packaging with well thought out and eye-catching artwork. Bland or non-personalised packaging can give
the impression of a brand being too generic or even cheap.
We know that more consumers are looking to purchase
sustainable products supplied in sustainable packaging. As a result of this, e-commerce packaging is
constantly coming under more and more scrutiny from the public. The biggest challenge here is making sure you
have enough packaging to protect the product to negate damage in transit,
whilst avoiding excessive or "over” packaging your product. As an experienced packaging supplier, we will
be able to advise on just the right amount and type of packaging required to do
The needs and desires of the consumer are always changing,
and the packaging design must reflect these.
No-one wants out-dated or dull packaging and keeping on top of current
market trends is important. Producing the right artwork for your packaging can
also be a challenge, getting a good marketing agency on board early on can
really help with promoting your product to the audience it’s intended for.
Using the right sized postal packaging for your product not
only alleviates any negative customer responses to excess packaging, but also
helps to keep your shipping and distribution costs to a minimum. The challenge here is not to be tempted to
cut back too much. Quite often internal
protective packaging is scaled back to reduce the overall size of the package
to be posted. Unfortunately, this can
often be a false economy with damaged product creating an increase in customer
The benefits of stockholding & our VMI services
When looking for a new packaging supplier, there’s more to
consider than just the unit cost of the packaging product itself. At Packaging Supplies, we offer many other
services that can benefit your business, saving you both time and cash flow.
We have a dedicated warehouse operation on Oxfordshire,
where we offer localised stock holding for clients based in the South of
England, London and right up to (and including) the Manchester area.
The BenefitsWe only invoice you for stock
once it’s delivered, giving a huge improvement to your cash flow
Next day delivery on custom made
packaging (once in stock), not just standard shop items
Save space in your warehouse
Better unit costs due to ordering
bulk production runs
Hand in hand with our stock holding, is our Vendor Managed
Inventory Services. We monitor your
stock movement and levels, and with your consent, we will keep stock above a
threshold that both parties agree on.
The BenefitsLess planning and stock
monitoring from you
No lengthy lead times
Your stock will always be
available for call off
If you like to keep track of your stock, regardless of
whether it’s in your warehouse or ours, you can do that through our remote
ordering and stock checking portal. You
can view current stock levels, place call off orders and also see what’s in the
production process to come back into stock.
The BenefitsCheck stock levels
Monitor which stock has been
called off for delivery
Check the status of stock waiting
to be replenished
Call off stock for next day
These services benefit many of our clients, so get in touch
with us for a packaging quotation and further information.
We have recently worked with St Marks Meals who are in
partnership with Foodbank MK, to produce a very special food delivery box for
children and their families.
St Marks Meals started life in 2015 working with schools and
children’s centres throughout Milton Keynes, to provide lunches during the
school holidays to children and their families that struggle to eat during half
term. With 1 in 4 children living in
poverty across the county, their new mission is to work directly with schools
to not only provide food boxes during the holidays, but also to children that
need it every day.
Packaging Supplies were able to keep costs low
for St Marks by printing one of our standard sized takeaway food boxes. This meant that set up costs were kept to a
minimum because there was no need for a new cutting tool to be made. The boxes were then branded with the Meals MK
You can get your quote for custom printed boxes here https://www.pack-supplies.co.uk/contact/
The Rise of the Subscription Box
Over the last few years, the rise of the subscription box
market has given birth to a corner of the market place for many brands that
have now become household names.
Combining convenience with great branding and social media advertising, means
subscription boxes are perfectly pitched at today’s 25-35-year olds consumer
Approximately a quarter of UK customers have already signed
up to a subscription box service, with 40% of consumers having allegedly said they
will join more subscription schemes in the future. Royal mail has even forecast the subscription
box market will grow exponentially by 2022.
Packaging Supplies have produced many subscription and
delivery boxes for our clients, one such range of subscription boxes were for
The No. 1 Shave Club.
The size and design of these subscription boxes make them
neat and compact which allows them to slide easily through a letterbox. This is great news for not only the consumer,
but it also keeps postage costs to a minimum for the retailer.
No. 1 Shave Club’s mailing boxes are all simply branded on
the outside lid and have a 1 colour print to the inside fitting, this all
contributes to making them stand out a little more than plain packaging and
adding to that all-important “unboxing” experience.
– How important is this to today’s consumers?
Looking at a recent report by Coleman Parkes Research, which
was undertaken on behalf of the packaging industry body Pro Carton, it’s
evident that there is still a growing demand for sustainable packaging. The survey asked more than 7000 shoppers,
from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Turkey, what their views
were on topics from on-pack recycling information to tax breaks for packaging
manufactures directly related to the recycled content in their products.
The survey highlights how much consumers will consider the
product packaging before buying and how this could influence their actual
purchasing decisions. As a nation, we
are calling out for more transparency in relation to the sustainability of
product packaging and we are switching brands if the product packaging does not
appear sufficiently environmentally friendly or recyclable.
What UK consumers want from their packaging
88% of UK’s consumers want
on-pack information relating to packaging sustainability
9 out of 10 shoppers in the UK
want all packaging to be classed as recyclable
8 out of 10 Britons think there
should be a tax on packaging manufacturers who use less than 30% recycled
content in their products.
68% of UK consumers say the
environmental impact of a product’s packaging will affect their purchasing
choice. This rises to 77% amongst German
consumers and 81% for Spanish consumers
92% of Europeans would choose the
plastic free option for a product when offered a choice between cardboard based
or plastic-based packaging for the same item.
With these stats in mind, updating your product packaging
has never been more important and without doubt this will have an impact on
product purchases now and in the future.
We have seen many bold moves from larger corporations paving the way for
more plastic free packaging. There are many cardboard packaging options already
available, making it easy for all businesses, regardless of size to become
In 2018 Sainsbury’s developed a sustainable and airtight
cardboard container for some of their food packaging. This claimed to reduce
plastic content by 85% compared with other widely used alternatives. It was created for meat and poultry distribution,
the carton facilitates the removal of oxygen from inside the pack, thereby
extending the product shelf life and maintaining food freshness. It does still contain a laminated film which
is applied to the cardboard, but significantly reduces the amount of plastic
material used. It can also go straight into the recycling after use.
How can you update
There are many ways in which you can update your packaging,
the most obvious and visible to the consumer is removing any plastic and opting
for cardboard instead. With so many
cardboard materials and strengths available today, cardboard packaging is more
versatile than ever. Cardboard can be
used to house almost any product and is used as a container for distribution as
well as for primary retail packaging.
Complex and innovative designs can produce strong, long lasting
packaging solutions that can hold their own in many different markets.
Cardboard packaging can be minimal and raw in its appearance
or, with the advancements of water-based inks and vegetable-based ink pigments,
can be printed upon to produce a different look and feel, whilst keeping all of
the recycling credentials intact.
Many general packaging consumables can also be swapped for a
more environmentally sound product. Paper nuts in place of polystyrene packing
peanuts, Kraft food trays in place of plastic takeaway packaging containers,
Bio-plastics, cardboard food trays etc. . . the list is extensive.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your new recyclable
packaging solution and receive a no obligation re-design and quotation.