One of East Anglia’s leading independent designers and manufacturers of corrugated products, cardboard packaging and boxes. Follow us to keep up with blogs, news, packaging tips and guidance from Saxon Packaging.
Whirli, are a London based toy subscription company that allows parents to choose from a huge online selection of children’s toys and have them delivered straight to their door. They give children an opportunity to play with the toys before sending them back to Whirli and replacing them with a completely new selection; saving many parents from the common agonising scenario of “drowning in toy clutter or wasting money on neglected toys”.
Nigel Phan, founder of Whirli, first approached us (Saxon Packaging) back in December of last year. He originally wanted a vibrant and engaging subscription packaging solution that would provide adequate protection for the toys during transit, but equally, he wanted a packaging solution that was in line with their company values and ethos of being as environmentally aware and sustainable as possible.
Kelly, our customer service co-ordinator and our in-house design team, worked very closely with Nigel to replicate an existing flexo printed packaging solution (originally devised by Smurfit Kappa Beacon) for each of their differently (sized) product offerings, from extra small through to large.
Wanting to ensure that all their existing requirements were upheld concerning protection, print quality and sustainability, our design team conducted soak tests on the existing packaging to confirm that we were working with the same materials as before.
One of the challenges that we encountered, was that Whirli already had printed branded material, so it was imperative that the colours printed on the packaging matched as closely as possible to their current brand guidelines.
After reviewing various substrates and colour swatches and achieving a close match, realised that we would need a specialised ink to produce such bright colours onto Kraft substrate. To accomplish this, we sent the artwork directly to our ink manufacturers to specially produce ink that would be a precise match to Whirli’s artwork.
With an initial order of 2000 extra small & 1800 medium boxes, we are pleased to hear that Whirli are delighted with their packaging solution and that the subscription boxes are in use, currently being enjoyed by children all across the nation.
“At Whirli, we needed packaging that conveys our exciting branding and also our mission on sustainability. Saxon Packaging have been brilliant partners for us. They helped with our artwork meticulously even before an order had been commissioned and checked many different substrates, to ensure our brand colours printed vibrantly. The quality of the boxes meant our customers could use the same box to return toys to us, and we could then use it again to send new toys out – sharing packaging in the same way toys are shared in our subscription concept!” – Nigel Phan, Founder & Managing Director
If you are interested in finding out more about Whirli’s fantastic toy subscription service, you can visit their website here: https://whirli.com
On Friday 14th June, some of our staff members from Saxon Packaging re-joined fellow Smurfit Kappa employees from Smurfit Kappa Diss, to compete in this year’s Active Workplaces Business Games, hosted by Active Norfolk.
“The Active Workplaces Business Games is an annual event held in June at the Sportspark, UEA. Teams from Norfolk Business and organisations enter a team of a least 5 people (plus subs) to this fun, competitive day of sport. It is a chance for team-building and networking with other businesses.”
With the standards having already been set from last year’s success of placing 6th, we had high expectations for this year’s competition.
The ten activities this year were; Archery, Back to School Games, Kwik Cricket, Shuffleboard, Spring Centre Challenge, Table Tennis, Team Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball & Wheelchair basketball.
After a modest start in the Wheelchair Basketball event ending in a draw, the team slowly started to pick up some momentum, winning their next two sporting events (Ultimate Frisbee & Shuffleboard). Stakes escalated quickly, in the game of volleyball that ensued, having almost “thrown away” a 7-point lead to fall neck & neck, until the final moments where Ben Watson (Technical & Design Manager) managed to clinch the deciding score.
“There were some very tense moments when the stakes were high, notably the final game of table tennis when, James Hurren (Chief Engineer), had the opportunity to clinch the game for us, only for his match-point winning shot to rebound back from his side of the net. It was such an emotional rollercoaster of a game, but we enjoyed it greatly…,” said James Tough (Finance Graduate).
After a long day, full of enjoyment, teambuilding and networking, the team placed a respectable 14th out of 44 competing teams. Whilst unable to better their placement of the previous year, the team were delighted to have placed in the top third of the table, given the high standards that they experienced this year. The event has made a lasting impression on the team and talk has already commenced in preparation for next year’s games!
Since 2004, Pecksniff’s (a premier independent British Fragrance and Cosmetic House) have been using us (Saxon Packaging) to supply corrugated packaging solutions. During that time we have predominantly supplied transit packaging for their products which are shipped to the US. However, due to the recent environmental concerns of packaging and a revision of their gift packaging solutions we were contacted by Pecksniff’s and asked if we could devise a packaging solution to replace the use of metal caddies.
They wanted to ensure the corrugated packaging version was reflective of the brand and complimented the products it contained. As well as this, they wanted to optimise time on the production line and have a quick and easy to assemble packaging which reduced packing time.
Our Business Development Manager Stuart Haggar began sketching a variety of ideas, different styles of locking tabs, assembly and overall structure. He then explored one particular idea further with our lead packaging designer Ai-Lien Lee who made a few cosmetic tweaks.
To ensure speed was maintained on the production line the packaging style was created with a front support locked in place so once the packs had been made up (prior to filling) they were sturdy and could go across the production line with products simply inputted and the front support closed.
Once the structural design was approved Pecksniff’s supplied the cutter to their designer who then created 5 different design versions for their wide range of products. Due to the print detail, the need for a flood coat inside the packaging, colour consistency and the fact this was a seasonal product we provided Pecksniff’s with a digital print solution other than our usual preferred lithographic print. We also felt digital would give Pecksniff’s more flexibility to alter the design for future packs.
“From the moment we started working with Stuart and Saxon on the brief for our cardboard caddies they have been on board with all our ideas and very reactive to our changes and re-designs. They always provided enough samples to help us run it past our production team and were quick with ideas and samples to bring – Stuart was extremely helpful from start to finish!
Together we managed to create a product that was unique, eye-catching and easy to produce and we love the fact that once the customer has finished with it – it can be recycled!” said Sophie Bourne, Product Development Manager at Pecksniff’s.
This project is also a great example of how versatile corrugated packaging is and that it can provide strength, look great at the same time and be far more environmentally friendly than other packaging materials.
We hope the US market enjoy the new gift packs as much as we do!
If you would like to discuss your very own packaging requirement with our in house experts, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01502 513112.
El Rayo are a tequila brand based in London, priding themselves with producing “beautiful tequila, distilled using a blend of highland and lowland agave” and at the beginning of 2019, were on the search for a range of premium drinks packaging to house sample bottles of their new superior tequila.
Jack Vereker, co-founder of El Rayo, contacted us (Saxon Packaging) after being referred by our existing customer, Seedlip. Previously, their drinks packaging was made from solid board, but Jack found that “the solid board material was not strong enough to protect our glass bottles when sent through the post”. With corrugated cardboard providing high transit & product protection, El Rayo felt that the move to corrugated material would ultimately save on breakages costs with little or no impact to the packaging’s presentation.
Throughout the project, our Customer Service Co-ordinator, Kelly, and our in-house design team worked closely with Jack, to ensure that all his requirements were met. The main challenge was to create a corrugated version of their previous solid board packaging. Ben Watson, our Technical & Design Manager explained:
“Whilst transforming El Rayo’s packaging design into corrugated we found the fittings to be far too thick. We had to tweak the design slightly by adjusting and reducing the dimensions of the internal folds. This then allowed for the fittings to slot nicely inside the pack.”
Upon receiving an initial order of 1000 units of the newly designed El Rayo packaging, Jack Vereker remarked “overall, I am very happy with the quality of the boxes. Kelly and the Saxon team have been amazing in getting to the final product. I would definitely recommend.”
We at Saxon Packaging, really enjoyed working with El Rayo on this project and look forward to seeing their products presented in what we think is a stunning example of lithographic printed, corrugated drinks packaging. El Rayo’s tequila is currently available to purchase online via the Master of Malt website.
For more information on Spirits & Gift Packaging solutions click here or call 01502 513112.
We (Saxon Packaging) have been supplying Southwold based award-winning UK brewer, distiller, hotelier and retailer Adnams since 1998, when Adnams initially contacted their local packaging supplier (us!) in search of some wine packaging. After a decade of supplying wine packaging solutions, they then ordered their very first beer pack.
Since 2009, the range of beer packaging solutions we have provided to Adnams has grown substantially. We now currently supply in the region of 12 different styles of beer packaging including: mail order, gift packs, carry packs, polypin boxes along with specialist seasonal items such as the Adnams Beer Advent calendar.
Across the range of packaging for Adnams we have used various different printing methods, with the majority of boxes being printed using the flexographic printing method, but some more recent & luxurious packaging have been lithographically printed and have also included spot UV varnishes and foil-blocking.
“During the 20 years we have worked with Adnams we have enjoyed seeing their packaging range not only grow but develop in accordance with their ever expanding range.” Said Mike Impson, Sales Director of Saxon.
In 2010, Adnams released their very first gin, made in their Copper House Distillery in Southwold and ordered their first gin pack. Since then, their range of gins has grown substantially as has their gin packaging which includes flexographic die-cut packaging to high-end lithographically printed gift packaging with additional print finishes such as spot UV and foil blocking.
With so many buying decisions happening in store it is important for packaging to stand out, reflect the brand in its quality and appearance, compliment the packaging artwork and be fit for purpose.
Adnams is a well-established and recognised brand with a great reputation, so it is important the packaging reflects this and is easily recognisable as being an Adnams product.
Each time Adnams have a new packaging requirement, Saxon Packaging’s Sales Director Mike Impson meets with Leanne Adams (Marketing Project Manager for Adnams) to discuss the various packaging solutions available.
“We want to help Adnams to continue to grow and it is great to see their drinks category of products going from strength to strength, and for the brand image to become more and more recognised. We look forward to providing them with great packaging solutions to support their growth for another 20 years” Mike added.
If you would like to discuss your very own packaging requirement with our in house experts, email email@example.com or call 01502 513112.
Since our visit from 13 University of Suffolk design students back in March (see original blog here), Suzy Harrold (our Marketing Executive) has been working with the students on devising an infographic relevant for drinks manufacturers highlighting tips for their summer drinks packaging.
Each student provided 3 or 4 designs initially and from these one design was chosen and further developed. The final infographics were presented and Suzy selected three students work as the ones most relevant to the brief provided. These were then finalised, re-presented and a winner was chosen.
The winning infographic came from Laura Ayers. “I chose Laura’s infographic as the colours were vibrant and the flamingo injected a sense of fun & vibrancy. Also the wording was legible and the flow of the infographic worked well. For her first ever infographic I think she did really well understanding the brief and the Saxon Packaging personality. It has been a great experience working with the students and as a company we hope to continue to be able to support the University of Suffolk again in the future.” said Suzy.
Below you can see the infographic created by Laura:
Each year the concern relating to the environmental impact of excessive packaging increases and organisations look at ways in which to reduce the use of materials such as plastics and cellophanes.
While this is extremely important, it is also imperative that the packaging offers protection to the product (reducing breakages during transport) and represent the brand effectively.
Corrugated cardboard packaging is becoming more and more popular. A sustainable material made from recycled paper (and being recyclable itself) it can be the best choice for your packaging requirement.
Many believe corrugated cardboard to be rather bulky and restrictive when it comes to design. This is not the case. There are a wide range of corrugated packaging materials and print finishes available to suit a number of requirements including mail-order transit, gift packaging, shelf-ready packaging and many more.
To ensure the correct material is used for your packaging, speak with your packaging supplier and explain what it is your packaging is being used for. This could help determine the material used. If (like us at Saxon Packaging) they have in house designers you could send in your product and ask them to design the packaging bespoke to fit your product.
A range of printing solutions can be used on corrugated board such as digital, lithographic, silk screen and flexographic all of which result in a good quality print finish. To further help your packaging stand out you can choose from an array of additional print finishes including foil blocking, spot UV, glitter varnish to name but a few.
To summarise, less is not always more and it is important to ensure your packaging is fit for purpose using the most sustainable material as possible. If you would like to discuss your packaging requirement with our in house experts email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01502 513112.
In December of 2018 we (Saxon Packaging) supported local book author Gracie Wright and her series of Silly Eric stories by providing mail-order & transit packaging and sponsorship to enable these books to be enjoyed by children across the East of England.
Silly Eric was born out of Gracie’s personal journey of never giving up after a life altering collision with a car. Everything Gracie knew was taken away from her, in one swoop of the car hitting her. Gracie explains more as to how this experience lead onto injecting happiness to children around the world in book form.
“My experiences have given me a heart for children, for justice and for love to be something that each of us demonstrates to everyone we meet. For some, life is not at all easy and sometimes all we need is to be told that we are loved just the way we are. This is how Silly Eric was born, to share the message of loving others just the way we are. My story has given the opportunity to inspire children to not give up, and remind them, that we are all made to dream big! My experiences have made me realise just how important ‘dreaming BIG’ is and how many of my prayers have been answered.
The books Saxon Packaging kindly funded went to local children throughout the East of England which were distributed by the food bank, as Christmas gifts to children in crisis. There are over 9,000 children that rely on meals from the food bank each year and Saxon played a big role in 2018 of giving the kids a fun, loving Christmas book that may be the only gift they received at Christmas.
In addition to their funded sponsorship they also kindly provided packaging which were designed with a lot of thought that fitted our books perfectly, including very impressive features which prevented damage on travel. We were able to send so many lovely packages out for Christmas, with their help.
I am personally so grateful to everyone at Saxon Packaging and thank them for being such a big part in helping me share my message as well as increase the awareness of the importance of reading. Thank you.” Said Gracie. Pictured below is Gracie with her colleague and the packaged books ready to be distributed.
“As a local company we always strive to help where possible and are overjoyed to know we have been able to help support such a great cause and make a difference to young children across the region. We hope to be able to support again this year” Andy Smith, General Manager at Saxon Packaging.
Earlier this month we (Saxon Packaging) were delighted to welcome thirteen BA Graphic Design and Illustration students from University of Suffolk to our Lowestoft factory and offices for an insight into the world of corrugated packaging design.
“The students are encouraged to gain a deeper understanding of the professional responsibilities of practicing graphic designers and illustrators. As part of their Advanced Practice module, they learn about core processes, production methods, client engagement, roles and responsibilities within a commercial setting” explains Jane Hackett, Lecturer at University of Suffolk.
“This year, with an eye on sustainable packaging, the graphic design course was looking to partner with a local company that had a holistic view of the entire packaging process. Saxon Packaging have supported us and our students in the past and as a leading innovative manufacturer offering many opportunities for the students to learn the benefits of the structural and functional design of packaging I got in touch with Suzy Harrold, Marketing Executive at Saxon Packaging and they agreed to help us again with our students learning.”
Suzy and Ben Watson, Technical and Design Manager of Saxon Packaging met with the students. The group were split into 2 and whilst one group were with Ben learning about the fundamentals and complexities of packaging design, the other group were given an insight into a client and designer relationship by Suzy and a creative brief was given to the students to fulfil.
“The students had a very enjoyable experience and we are looking forward to welcoming Suzy to our premises in April to review the design work the students create following her brief.” said Jane.
In 2018 we saw a 61% increase (compared to 2017) in Saxon Packaging customers requiring packaging solutions for low & non-alcoholic beverages, we also saw a staggering 377% increase (compared to 2017) in the quantity of drinks packaging we have manufactured for use in the low & non-alcoholic beverage market.
Why are we seeing such increases? According to a survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics in 2017 the percentage of people drinking alcohol in the UK is reducing. A few key stats from the survey below:
In 2005 64% of those surveyed stated they had consumed alcohol in the 7 days prior to the survey, this figure dropped to 57% in 2017. This percentage drop equates to approximately 3.6million consumers
65% of people aged 45-64 years stated that they had drank alcohol in the week prior to the survey compared to only 48% of those aged 16-24 years old
20% of respondents stated they did not drink alcohol at all and are ‘teetotal’; 22% of women and 18% of men
We can assume that a big influence on this behaviour is the rise of Generation Z (16-25 year olds), who are a more conscientious generation concerned more about their personal & career advancement, and health & wellbeing than socialising and going to parties. With so much interaction happening on social media platforms, the younger generation are visiting bars, pubs and clubs far less for social purposes.
There is also far less pressure for people to consume alcohol from peers, previously perceived to only be not drinking if you were the designated driver, people are now opting to choose low & non-alcoholic beverages through personal preference.
With this behaviour there is an opportunity for drinks manufacturers to attract this new market by offering healthier, flavoursome and interesting low & non-alcoholic alternatives. Many have predicted that this trend will result in bar tenders creating a wide range of exciting new mocktails. No longer just grenadine and fruit juice!
What does this mean for drinks manufacturers?
As with all product offerings, shoppers need to be made aware of products and have them appeal to them. Especially with on shelf competition further increasing. The need for manufactures to obtain this attention is ever so paramount, and eye catching packaging really helps. Consumers engage with packaging and packaging can trigger an emotion which is memorable to the consumer, the touch of the packaging, the excitement opening the packaging or even just the aesthetics.
At Saxon Packaging we have over 30 years’ experience in delivering packaging solutions, from creatively designed structures to standard box styles but with a wide range of print enhancement which will make even the most standard box really stand out.
Along with great print finish, artwork and exposure other factors to consider are gift packaging and transport protection. Gift packaging is a great way for a consumer to purchase a product for a friend, colleague or family member and give your product ‘gift worthy’ credentials.
Do you run a subscription service? Can people order direct online? If you are sending products via any transport method be sure the products are protected and arrive in packaging that looked just as good as it did when it left.
For the alcoholic market, the decrease in consumers is a scary thought but people are still consuming alcohol just on a smaller scale. Perhaps look to create miniatures of your products, once again explore gift pack options, alcohol free & low alcohol options, and alcohol free complimentary products for your spirits.
It is an exciting time for the drinks market and at Saxon Packaging we are looking forward to further supporting and providing great packaging solutions for all our customers in 2019. Joe Benn, Ugly Drinks Co-Founder and UK General Manager says “We want to create an exciting experience for our Ugly fans and with Saxon, we’ve been able to develop vibrant, high quality packaging that fits with our outgoing brand personality and attitude. Ugly is a flavoured sparkling water containing no sugar, no sweetener and nothing artificial – and we believe choosing a non-alcoholic or healthier option should be just as exciting. Our packaging has a big part to play in this.”
Jack Scott, Co-Founder of Dash Water said “Dash offers a sugar free option for those seeking an alternative to the usual soft drinks available in pubs and restaurants such as lemonade and coke by infusing sparkling water with a variety of flavours. Our packaging reflects its purity and flavour.”