It's in the shape! Shaped tubes are a unique packaging format for brands looking for a premium image and to differentiate themselves on shelf through shape. They are utilised extensively by leading brands in distilled spirits, wine & Champagne, cosmetics and the confectionery industries. McLaren Packaging combine market leading conversion technologies and advanced print and finishing techniques to produce award winning results for the brands that we work with. Here are a few extracts, on the latest trends we see in the shaped tubes sector for whisky, from our feature article in the April-June Edition of Packaging Scotland: https://packagingscotland.com/2017/04/things-are-shaping-up-well-for-mclaren/
"Less is more"
What we’re seeing is brands moving toward simplified, bold designs. Traditionally, whisky – particularly malt whisky – has prioritised communicating product credentials and the elements of the brand story over branding. This has resulted in packs that contain a lot of information which can, if not executed carefully, lead to a cluttered, often confusing message for the consumer, particularly consumers shopping the category for the first time. Brands are using their secondary packaging to deliver the key elements of their brand identity, visually with real impact.
Materials and Colour
Another part of the ‘less is more’ trend is in the use of materials and colour. In recent years, whisky packaging often featured high graphic printed images of the distillery, the surroundings where the whisky was produced, items used in production. etc. These elements are still relevant today. However, they are being featured more creatively through clever use of different colour foils and embossing/debossing techniques. Instead we are seeing the use of plain or textured substrates either using their natural colour or overprinted with solid colours. The colours range from more natural in tone through to ‘non traditional’ colours, for the malt category, which stand out as brands look to entice in new drinkers.
Within the last 10 years, the business made the strategic decision to focus on and develop our customer base in premium drinks. This has proven to be a very successful move by McLaren Packaging with the company now supplying some of the drinks industries leading Global brands and companies. In order to supply these leading companies we have to meet their quality and compliance standards. To allow us to achieve this we have invested in and developed core competencies in Quality and Health & Safety. Under the close stewardship of our Quality and Health & Safety department, we now have robust processes and procedures which govern the way McLaren Packaging do business. To illustrate just how far we have come in this area, in our recent audit we scored BRC AA accreditation, across all 3 sites, for the 1st time in the company’s history! (AA is granted when you have less than 5 Non Conformances.) This is something we are very proud about and demonstrates our commitment to maintaining the highest standards possible within our business.
We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring the inaugural Spirits Summit The Spirits Summit will take place in Edinburgh, the heart of the whisky industry, on 24 November 2016, and will feature speakers from industry-leading spirits brand owners including Diageo, The Edrington Group and Bacardi. The Summit will cover a range of topics of key relevance to brand owners, agencies and manufacturers in the spirits sector. Topics to be covered will include: strategies for branding, the shift towards luxury across the industry, the emergence of the craft distillery market, environmental issues, logistics challenges and the opportunities of tech for the spirits packaging sector. We will be at stand 14 showcasing our premium paper based packaging products including the latest in Composite Tubes and Rigid Boxes. Register here: http://www.packagingnewslive.com/spiritssummit2016
Producing great tasting gin is similar in many ways to producing premium packaging; it takes time, experience and a desire to create something truly outstanding. Three ingredients that are at the heart of what we do. To show this, we have put together examples of the type of packs that will give your gin brand a point of difference in one of the hottest spirits categories. If you would like further information then please get in touch.
We are pleased to announce that we will be attending the Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging London. The event brings together the packaging industries leading professionals at the London Olympia on Wednesday 14thand Thursday 15th September. We will be at stand H58 showcasing our premium paper based packaging products including the latest in Composite Tubes and Rigid Boxes. Register here to attend the show: http://bit.ly/2c8Hgw1
We have joined forces with 8 other independent packaging manufacturers to form a “unique partnership” that will aim to help businesses throughout the UK and Ireland to streamline how their packaging is sourced, stored and supplied. The CorrBoard UK Alliance offers three unique benefits to any company facing the twin challenges of complex, ever-evolving requirements and the need to deliver to multiple sites. It will provide an unrivalled range of corrugated and other packaging products, designs and finishes from established independent companies; access to the whole network through a single dedicated contact at the nearest Alliance member company, guaranteeing a responsive service at senior management level; plus locations nationwide to provide storage and delivery options throughout the UK and Ireland. It is the first such formal alliance in the UK corrugated industry and has developed from a partnership of joint investors in a new sheet feeder – CorrBoard based in Scunthorpe. McLaren Packaging are excited to bring the benefits of the CorrBoard UK alliance to existing and new prospective customers. Find out more at: http://www.corrboardukalliance.co.uk/
Good coverage in the Herald Business section this week outlining our ambition for future growth and ongoing investment at McLaren Packaging: http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/14510602.Port_Glasgow_whisky_packaging_firm_targets___20m_turnover_on_back_of_major_investment/ “We feel there’s a real opportunity to grow and our target is to reach £20m turnover in the next three years. Scottish produce has a great reputation globally and we want to support producers as they grow their business all over the world.”
Saturday 16th April marked the Annual Conference for the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) in Glasgow: http://samw.org.uk/ The theme for the 2016 Conference was 'Tomorrows' Challenges'. Appropriate as the Industry faces an uncertain outlook as pressure mounts on Wholesalers' margins as structural change in the UK retail landscape continues at pace and the industry attempts to keep up with a changing consumer, increasingly focused on convenience. Members listened to experts from different parts of the Industry as they shared the latest information on a broad range of topics from Food Safety to Export Sales Forecasts. This is the 1st year that we have supported the Association and were well received by the members and the paper based packaging that we produce. In particular attendees were interested to learn about how we create premium packaging to support premium pricing through the use of materials, prints and finishes. The event concluded with the Annual Dinner & Dance where each guest was treated to a select cut by Michael Malone's of Edinburgh, washed down with a specially created Blended Malt Whisky provided by McLaren Packaging.
The final touches have been added to our solar panel installation at our facilities in Port Glasgow. The 300 panel install is the largest in the Inverclyde area and, at 500kW, it is 150 times the size of an average residential install producing in excess of 400,000 kwh of electricity in a year. (Enough to power 100 homes.) Printing / Die cutting is an energy intensive process. The solar system will help cover our electricity requirements with clean energy during the day and we will return energy to the national grid out of hours and at weekend. The install will prevent over 150 tonnes of carbon from being released into the atmosphere each year and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to produce premium, paper based packaging sustainably.
We are increasingly seeing a trend, similar to what we see in other premium products like Scotch whisky, towards premiumisation of food packaging. Processors are learning that they can boost their brand image through a focus on packaging, particularly on their premium lines. This has resulted in customers placing more emphasis on the design of their artwork, structures and materials employed whilst striving to achieve improved stand out by utilising high quality printing and finishing techniques. Scotch Whisky has done an excellent job supporting higher price points through investing in their shelf packaging. There is a significant opportunity for UK food processors to enhance the aesthetics, quality and format of packaging to achieve price point growth, across their own retail channels.
At McLaren Packaging we have cross-sector experiencing of partnering with brand leaders to create packaging that increases product value whilst making commercial sense.