Does your product need Retail Ready or Shelf Ready Packaging?

by Admin

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 types

Shelf 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 Size

There 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.

Circular Economy Package - What does it mean for the future of Packaging Design?

by Admin

  •   June 13, 2019
  •   News

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 loss.

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 considered.

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 level.

The challenges of e-commerce packaging

by Admin

The challenges of e-commerce packaging

A 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.

Environmental perception

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 job.

Design trends

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.

Postal costs

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 returns.

The benefits of stockholding & our VMI services

by Admin

  •   May 22, 2019
  •   News

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.

Stock Holding

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 Benefits

We 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 facility
Better unit costs due to ordering bulk production runs

Inventory Management

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 Benefits

Less planning and stock monitoring from you
No lengthy lead times
Your stock will always be available for call off

Remote Ordering

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 Benefits

Check 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 delivery

These services benefit many of our clients, so get in touch with us for a packaging quotation and further information.

Food boxes for school children

by Admin

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 Logo.

You can get your quote for custom printed boxes here

The Rise of the Subscription Box

by Admin

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 market.

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.

Sustainable Packaging – How important is this to today’s consumers?

by Admin

  •   April 24, 2019
  •   News

Sustainable Packaging – 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 invested.

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 your packaging?

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.

Building Brand Recognition with Custom Printed Tape

by Admin

Building Brand Recognition with Custom Printed Tape

Do you need a low-cost way to advertise your company and build brand recognition?  There are many ways in which you can do this, but we believe choosing a custom printed tape is one of the most economical and effective ways to achieve this.

Here are our 5 top reasons why you should consider a custom printed tape:

Why use a custom printed tape?

  1. Brand Exposure – Printed tape increases brand exposure.  Your brand is visible from the moment it leaves your premises right up until the point of contact with your consumer.
  2. Professionalism – Printed tape, shows that you have confidence in your products and pay attention to detail.  It will create a good first impression.
  3. Anti-Tamper – Printed tape, reduces the likelihood of your packaging being opened during transit.  If the tape seal is broken or re-sealed it will be easily identifiable.
  4. Traceability – Printed tape can display product information to improve traceability through supplier and batch identification.
  5. Budget – Printed tape on a plain box is a significantly lower cost way to promote your company compared to a printed box.  We have a huge range of stock cartons, which can be purchased in small quantities, giving you further savings on both cost and storage space.

Printed tape options

Tape can be printed from 1 colour up to 4 spot colours on either a clear, white or buff coloured tape. A flood colour can also be printed onto the background with additional colours printed on top.  There are options to print onto a coloured tape and fluorescents can be used.

Tape types explained - Vinyl v Polypropylene

We generally print on one of the following two types of tape, both of which are ideal for sealing boxes and packages.

Vinyl (PVC) tape

  • This type of tape is superior in tack and strength to a polypropylene tape. 
  • Vinyl tape has the benefit of releasing quietly from the roll. 
  • It is strong and can be ripped easily by hand from the roll to the desired length. 
  • This makes it suitable for using with or without a hand-held tape dispenser. 
  • Vinyl tape has a long-lasting adhesion and can be used on all types of paper or cardboard surfaces.
  • If a Vinyl tape is selected, we can offer variants such as heavy duty or low tack tape.

Acrylic (Polypropylene) tape 

  • This is a great budget alternative to a vinyl tape. 
  • It is also a strong and efficient packing tape, although noisier when releasing from the roll. 
  • Polypropylene tape is better used with a hand-held tape dispenser which will cut the tape more efficiently than by hand. 
  • Tape dispensers can be picked up for as little as £5.35 in our online packing shop.

Size & ordering

It’s quick and easy to order your printed tape, simply get in touch with one of our team for a quote on your requirements.

Tape can be printed on either a 50mm or 75mm width (2 inch or 3 inch) and are 66m length.  The minimum order is just 1 box of 72 rolls with discounts on larger order volumes.

Digital Folding Cartons – Branding made easy

by Admin

An Efficient Branding Tool

Packaging has proven, over the years to be a crucial and efficient branding tool as well as a practical way of protecting your product. At the forefront of this is the folding carton market, which is dominant in industries such as food & drink, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Increased growth within the Folding Carton Market

The increased growth that we are seeing in the folding carton market is due in part to the changes in our shopping preferences and eating habits. The rise of digital folding cartons, within this sector, can be attributed to several factors, including; faster turnaround times, greater flexibility for multiple print designs, and the huge technological advancements seen in digital processes over the last decade improving the overall quality. 

The advantages of digitally printed Folding Cartons 

A key factor supporting the growth of the digital packaging market is the elimination of additional set up and origination charges. This is especially useful when producing packaging for promotional and targeted marketing activities, where shorter runs over several versions can now be more cost effective than ever before.

Digital printing can also be combined with the additional print features synonymous with litho printing such as embossing, spot UV varnishing and foil blocking.

Due to these many advantages, it’s expected that digitally printed folding cartons will continue to increase in volume and maintain a progressive gain in their share of carton the board packaging market.

What are folding cartons?

Folding cartons, also referred to as folding box board packaging (FBB) are made from cellulose fibres that are produced either from wood pulp (from sustainable managed forests) or by using recovered fibre and waste paper.  The top layer is often bleached with an optional pigment coating added.  In appearance the board is usually a creamy-white with a grey backing.  It’s a low-density material with good rigidity, great print-ability and it can be structurally designed into a range of shapes and configurations.

Folding cartons can also be made from a Kraftpak board which is a brown, unbleached, un-coated, high density, high strength board.  Kraftpak also maintains excellent strength properties when wet, making it more suitable for food and beverage packaging.

What are the environmental credentials of folding cartons?

Nearly all the material used to make our carton board packaging is PEFC or FSC accredited, meaning it has been made from a sustainable resource.  All carton board can be recycled and is completely biodegradable.

If you would like to find out if digitally produced folding cartons are the right choice for your product, please get in touch with our experienced team, for a no obligation quotation.


Credits: Future Market Insights

Immediate Media T/A Jewellery Maker - Case Study

by Admin

Jewellery Maker, who are one of the UK’s largest sellers of handmade jewellery supplies through TV advertising, approached Packaging Supplies to provide a packaging solution that needed to meet a particular set of criteria.  The packaging had to be suitable for shipping their online orders, promoting their brand and providing detailed customer information.

The client only wanted small to medium volume at the time and a budget which we had to meet.  This is how we did it:

First, we have a fantastic, broad range of standard postal box sizes, supplied in either Brown Kraft or White Kraft which we hold in stock.  We found two of our sizes fitted their requirements perfectly.  Using boxes from our existing die cut range, meant no tooling costs were necessary, and the unit costs were competitive even on the relatively low numbers required. Combined, this meant costs were saved instantly.

The second challenge we had to overcome was based around the number of product and therefore print variations Jewellery Maker required for each size of box. By offering custom made, digitally printed over sleeves were able to supply 4-5 different print variations for each size of postal box, at no extra cost and with no additional print origination costs.  This also enabled greater flexibility for Jewellery Makers’ future orders. On the next production run, they could alter the individual print run quantities in accordance with their exact requirements and keep the production costs the same without any extra origination required.  If a packaging supplier is limited to just one print method such as lithographic, you may not have such flexibility, which in turn could lead to higher unit and set up costs each time the order is run.

Next our client needed printed booklets, this was relatively straight forward and therefore we produced full colour digitally printed A5 booklets for them, with 16 different print variations to encompass the range of items they were promoting.

Rather than approaching different suppliers for each element of their packaging and printing, Jewellery Maker were able to get a smoother service and continuity on colour and quality by using just Packaging Supplies.  This coupled with the cost savings we were able to apply through our flexible and wide-ranging solutions, meant we were the perfect partnership.

Whatever your packaging requirements are, please get in touch for a comprehensive packaging solution from the one stop packaging supplier.

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We are certified by BRC Global Standards for the storage of food & non-food grade packaging; the storage of stationery items destined for restaurant groups and the contract packing of singular factored ambient-stable food sachets into retail/wholesaler packs.

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