Gulfstream Mooncake Box_header

Fly Me to the Moon

Gulfstream Mooncake Box_header

Fly Me to the Moon

There’s often a story behind luxury packaging…and sometimes a little magic. That’s certainly what we felt in producing Gulfstream Aerospace’s custom mooncake boxes, a packaging solution celebrating The Chinese Moon Festival and the magical legends that surround it.

But first, some context: The Chinese Moon Festival, also known as the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn Festival, brings families together to celebrate the autumn harvest under a full moon. One of the most common practices of this annual festival is the eating of mooncakes – dense, sweet pastries that are baked or steamed and typically enjoyed with tea. Mooncakes are presented to relatives and friends to wish them a long and happy life.

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Gulfstream, one of the best known names in business aviation and a world leader in the manufacture of private aircraft, tasked IPL with producing a striking gift set, comprising four packages housed in a luxurious box to be sent to customers and prospects in celebration of the festival.​​​​​​​ The gift pack was successfully delivered last year, and led to a repeat order for 2022.

Gulfstream Mooncake Box-Image 2

The 2021 pack is comprised of a rigid board outer box wrapped in pre-dyed paper with copper-toned foil stamping and an inner rigid board frame wrapped in a Metpol (foil) paper to provide a striking offset to the deep blue outer-box.

Inside the box sit four mooncake 400gsm softcard boxes, each portraying a simple, rich image (by means of foil stamping and including anti-scratch gloss lamination) and introducing a warmth, richness and holiday spirit of fun to the pack.

Gulfstream Mooncake Box-Image 1

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedInFacebookYouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


IPL Perspectives - Preview - Karen Groenewald - Patrick Leclezio

IPL Perspectives | Karen Groenewald & Patrick Leclezio

IPL Perspectives - Banner - Karen Groenewald - Patrick Leclezio

IPL Perspectives:

Karen Groenewald & Patrick Leclezio

In our most recent IPL Perspectives feature, we spoke with Karen Groenewald and Patrick Leclezio.

Karen works within our design department as a Senior Packaging Designer, while Pat heads up the Product Development and Innovation for IPL Packaging in the UK.

This month’s feature focused on the various challenges when it comes to aspirations and implementations – something our design and NPD teams need to work closely together on to ensure seamless execution. We asked Karen and Pat to share their unique perspectives on the below question, relating to their job role:

What are some of the challenges you face in ‘matching’ a client’s design aspirations to practical implementation?

Read their responses below.

Karen Groenewald | Senior Packaging Designer

The design of luxury packaging needs to pay homage to the prestige of the contents, with painstaking attention to detail and refined elements – the visual hallmarks of luxury. The challenge for myself and others, as packaging designers, is therefore to ensure that the final product successfully upholds and enhances the brand messaging and identity, creating desire, portraying quality and prestige and ensuring continuity and cohesion in brand messaging. Functionality should also be considered, down to the ease and elegance of handling or opening of each package.

A further consideration is that, with the exponential growth in social media and e-commerce activity, we’ve seen an increased focus on the ‘unboxing experience’ of luxury goods. For many brands, consumers expect a sensory feast that engages their senses and ‘closes the gap’ between online shopping and the tactile enjoyment associated with the physical or in-store experience. In these instances, where excellent packaging is memorable, worthy of special gifts, and tempting to share on an individual’s social networks, one of our main challenges will always be to create an experience of anticipation and discovery, a ‘unique personal journey’ as each feature is revealed.

A significant challenge we face as designers is marrying the above objectives with the strong push to environmentally friendly packaging. Sustainable practices and materials are also no longer optional. Eco-conscious shoppers expect the reduction or eradication of extraneous materials and the use of more environmentally sound materials, in conjunction with high style and attention to detail.

This is an exciting and challenging area for us in packaging design especially as new materials and eco-innovations are unveiled, and as our knowledge and understanding of new materials and supplier capabilities are expanded.

In some instances, sustainable packaging alternatives are not yet as cost-efficient as the more traditional materials and production practices and in other areas it is difficult to achieve the same luxury cues whilst being completely sustainable. Really understanding the client’s brief and objectives becomes critical. Most times it is not an ‘all or nothing’ scenario but rather understanding finding the ‘sweet spot’ that will deliver the best outcome for the client.

In some instances, the challenge is actually not only to reduce the amount of packaging (and therefore waste), but also to make what you do use as luxurious and reusable as possible. This often entails looking at other ways that the packaging can have a secondary life, not simply as a vessel to carry the products or to display the product. Our aim as designers must be to try to minimise any costs through clever design and material usage, production efficiency and the utilisation of improved supply chain solutions.

Patrick Leclezio | Head of Product Development and Innovation

I find that these challenges for the most part fall into one of three categories:

Firstly, a client’s packaging aspirations may have been inspired by designs with inherent manufacturing problems, which would then need to be overcome, worst case at the expense of an element dear to the client. Ideally we would be given the opportunity to guide and influence the design process, as we would do when working with our own Design Team, to mitigate against such problems arising, but this is not consistently likely.

Secondly, and often related to the first point, the design or materials specified are not feasible at the budget available to the client, or within their time-frame. This would typically require “value-engineering” solutions, or other workable alternatives, to be developed and proposed to resolve the impasse. The best result would be to arrive at a satisfactory outcome without compromising on any critical elements, but typically a sacrifice of some sort has to be considered.

Thirdly, a ‘value-add’ is expected, which in recent times has been mostly focused on making a design more eco-friendly and enabling clients to progress their sustainability goals. This challenge at its core requires solutions that maintain the same performance standards without adding material cost.

In each case the set of skills that we, as an NPD team, look to bring is to surmount these challenges without detracting from the spirit of the design, or by improving on the design.

GET INTO

THE MIND OF...


Each month we ask our “Perspectives” features a few questions to provide you with a little more context and insight into their job roles as well as themselves.

KAREN GROENEWALD

I look to understand our clients’ brand DNA and their unique packaging design requirements. This requires in-depth research, ideation, conceptual design and development. Once a particular direction has been established, every fine detail of the design is placed under the lens. The final step is the creation of the final artwork for production.

In addition to this, I always look to share interesting packaging, design & innovation news and insights with the marketing and sales teams in a bid to inspire creativity and encourage innovation.

First, I check that the snooze function on my phone is still working 😉 Coffee helps me get going with the rest!

I prefer working from home. I find it easier to focus and creatively ‘zone in’ when I’m in my own space.

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Karen B&W2
Pat B&W

PATRICK LECLEZIO

I am the Head of Product Development and Innovations, in addition, I manage with Neil Macaulay, our UK Director, the day-to-day operations of our European business, my focus being the supply side of things.

I dedicate the first portion of my day to engaging with our team in China. At 8am in Cape Town it’s 2pm in Guangzhou, so there’s a limited window of time to deal with pressing matters.

I have no real preference. I’ve become accustomed, over time, to working from a laptop from a variety of locations – from airports, aircraft, hotel rooms, cars during the long commutes to factories, from various offices, and from home. The transition to working remotely, and then to a blended format during the pandemic, has been fairly seamless for me as I’ve been doing this, in one way or another, for many years.

To play an instrument or to learn to dance well, neither of which I have any great aptitude for. I guess this will make it even more satisfying if I get there!

Connect on LinkedIn

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Header Image

Sustainability that Beats the Boring

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Header Image

Sustainability that Beats the Boring

Ongoing research, combined with testing and trialling initiatives, are enabling packaging suppliers at the forefront of environmental trends to supply a wide variety of materials and components designed to exceed client expectations and, ultimately, achieve their sustainability objectives, whilst also ‘beating the bland’.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Sustainability Sample Set 3

As part of our desire to fulfil our clients’ eco-objectives, we developed a Sustainable Material Sample Set showcasing a variety of tried-and-tested, practical and, naturally, environmentally conscious packaging alternatives.

The result is a ‘snapshot’ of different green options amid ongoing efforts to test sustainable packaging approaches and materials.

To us, it’s a brief glimpse into what the future of packaging holds.
…Stay tuned for more!

Solutions for tomorrow. Already available today.

Designed as a series of eight wrist watch boxes, each outer pack boasts a series of striking designs, printed using soy and water-based inks, and finished with emboss, deboss and biodegradable foil detailing.

Utilising rigid board as the base material, each element of the packaging was tested, trialled and selected with a commitment to quality and efficiency at every step.

All paper-wraps are sustainable and reflect options such as stone paper (a type of paper made from calcium carbonate 80% (limestone) and bio-polyethylene resin 20% (HDPE)), wood-free paper (created exclusively from chemical pulp rather than mechanical), and bamboo paper, with no lamination.

Each box has a different inner fitment showcasing different sustainable options.
The variety of inner fitments showcase:

Soft card, cork, PET felt, IXPE Foam, wood, moulded pulp and biofoam.

1. Stone paper wrap, emboss & deboss, soy-based ink.

Moulded pulp inner fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Stone paper wrap, emboss & deboss, soy-based ink

2. Wood-free paper wrap, emboss & deboss, soy-based ink.

Biofoam inner fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Wood-free paper wrap, emboss & deboss, soy-based ink

3. Wood-free paper wrap, emboss & PU-free foil, soy-based ink.

Recycled PET felt inner fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Wood-free paper wrap, emboss & PU-free foil, soy-based ink

4. Bamboo paper wrap, emboss detailing, soy-based ink.

IXPE foam fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Bamboo paper wrap, emboss detailing, soy-based ink

5. Stone paper wrap, PU-free foiling, soy-based ink.

Two-part soft card inner fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Stone paper wrap, PU-free foiling, soy-based ink

6. Textured bamboo paper wrap, deboss, soy-based ink.

Two-part wrapped rigid board inner fitment (FSC greyboard).

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Textured bamboo paper wrap, deboss, soy-based ink

7. Bamboo paper wrap, emboss, soy-based ink.

Solid wood inner fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Bamboo paper wrap, emboss, soy-based ink

8. Wood-free paper wrap, textured soy-based ink print.

Cork fitment.

Sustainability that Beats the Boring - Wood-free paper wrap, textured soy-based ink print

The scope of opportunity and innovation for sustainable packaging has multiple dimensions and, though valuable in reflecting the options available, the Sustainable Sample Pack places emphasis only on the relevance of packaging materials in the sustainable packaging development.

Renewable, recyclable and biodegradable materials are not the only option for a better carbon footprint for your product and it’s imperative that we view this as a holistic process that will hopefully continue indefinitely as brands and suppliers work together to reinvent and simplify sustainable packaging approaches across the packaging supply chain.


IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedInFacebookYouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


IPL Perspectives - Lindsay Bonner and Jason Roberts - Feature Image

IPL Perspectives | Lindsay Bonner & Jason Roberts

IPL Perspectives - Lindsay Bonner and Jason Roberts - Banner Image

IPL Perspectives:

Lindsay Bonner & Jason Roberts

This month we spoke with Jason Roberts and Lindsay Bonner in our latest edition of IPL Perspectives.

Jason is a Business Development Director at IPL Packaging in the UK and Lindsay is the Head of Client Services for IPL Packaging in the USA.

To gain a better insight and understand Jason and Lindsay’s perspectives relating to their specific roles within the company, we asked them the question:

Which issues do you perceive brands and packaging suppliers are having to tackle differently in the post-pandemic reality?

Read their responses below.

Jason Roberts | Business Development Director

I’ve witnessed two major shifts to emerge from ‘the COVID years.’

The first has been a near collapse of the traditional retail space as we knew it. Lockdowns and self-imposed isolations have resulted in buyers becoming increasingly used to shopping online. The ease that now comes with being able to easily return items has enabled customers to speculate far more when it comes with their buying choices.

With e-commerce now arguably the B2C mainstay, brands are having to adapt in order to recreate the magic of the retail buying experience digitally and within a customer’s personal space. Packaging, with its ability for multi-faceted, layered reveals and unboxing experiences can offer that and more…adding real value to the brand and potentially, engendering loyalty too.

The second shift has been in sourcing and procurement and a shift away from the more traditional supply routes to more responsive, agile and adaptable systems, vital for packaging suppliers operating in today’s disrupted global economy.

Whether because of supply chain issues, timeline constraints (brands wanting things faster, quicker!), risk factors or even moral or ethical considerations, a lot of our clients want to manufacture closer to home so we’ve had to offer solutions catering to these requirements.

Fortunately, we anticipated those needs prior to the pandemic, enabling us to be ‘ahead the curve’ when it comes to refining and personalising our offerings for our clients and delivering workable solutions.

Whilst our Asian manufacturing operations and supply base (with their deep-rooted expertise) remain key to our ability to produce quality products on time and on budget; having a network of strategically positioned suppliers is something we’re constantly exploring in order to improve efficiency and enhance our responsiveness to our clients.

We have therefore established a solid and reliable base of manufacturing partners in Eastern Europe and the more we work with them, the more they, in turn, are incentivised to invest in and modernise their infrastructure to increase their capacities. This has helped to both improve production quality and make them more price-effective for our clients. It’s definitely a ‘win-win’ situation and we look forward to continuing developments on this front.

Lindsay Bonner | Head of Client Services USA

Firstly, and undoubtedly, the pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities and fragilities in global supply chains across most, if not all, sectors and industries. As a result of this, I perceive one of the biggest issues brands are now challenged with is the task of strengthening their supply risk management.

There’s therefore been increased emphasis on accelerating or driving greater agility into supply chains to better manage rapidly evolving situations.

Perhaps the most resilient course of all may be teaming up with supply chain partners to establish a coordinated crisis-support system. In such situations, partners will likely rise or fall together. Sharing information, ideas, and response strategies in that climate will be highly valuable. Communication will be key to the success of this.

This brings me to my second point, brand-consumer communication. It is fair to say that COVID hit every state, zip code and business differently and that there is now no one way to communicate to consumers post COVID. Therefore, not only challenged with supply downfalls, brands are also grappling with how to market to the post-pandemic consumer.

Essentially what consumers are buying and how they are shopping has changed dramatically as a result of the pandemic, and these new habits are continuing. In many cases, consumers have used this life pause to reflect on their own consumption. They are striving to shop locally, mindfully and cost-consciously.

These consumers have adopted new shopping behaviours that now place emphasis on convenience, best value which creates a major shift in brand loyalty. Brand communications therefore need to look to become increasingly personalised and based on specific consumer circumstances.

As a global packaging supplier we are tackling these very issues ourselves. We’re constantly seeking ways in which to offer new, improved, sustainable and smarter solutions and alternatives to our pre-pandemic ways of working.

It’s important that we offer future-proof packaging solutions that mitigate risk, relieve long lead times and potentially offer manufacturing options closer to source markets, in some instances.

We also strongly believe in creating genuine partnerships with the clients we work so closely with and will continue to pursue this collaborative approach going forward. It’s also important that we invest in working on multi-source options, take on a more strategic approach to inventory management and continue to be a partner that can offer multiple solutions (design, material, logistical etc), to support and mitigate risk for brand owners.

GET INTO

THE MIND OF...


Each month we ask our “Perspectives” features a few questions to provide you with a little more context and insight into their job roles as well as themselves.

JASON ROBERTS

I was brought into IPL to open up new sectors of the luxury market for the company. That remains my main focus…establishing new relationships with clients in industries such as watches & jewellery, fragrance, fashion & footwear, etc. I also look after IPL’s numismatics portfolio and, being fluent in French, work with many of our clients in Europe.

Oh, within IPL, I am arguably the CRM geek – so the ‘go-to’ guy for the rest of the sales team!

Typically, I wake up earlier than the rest of the house so I usually take that moment of quiet time to answer any critical, overnight work emails that require my immediate attention.

Then, like most parents of teenage children, it’s the daily challenge of getting them up, dressed, fed and out the door, off to school on time. Finally, a cup of coffee and a quick catch up on the day’s news headlines, before heading over to the office to continue my day.

The office. It’s my sanctuary, allowing for 100% focus and productivity. That said, having the flexibility to work from home can be an invaluable benefit. Sometimes, with a change of scenery, the odd day here or there can breathe new life into my positive thinking and boost the energy required to go after a load of potential new clients.

Playing the guitar. I’ve picked one up a few times, but only ever learned a few chords. I never seem to have the time to devote enough attention to it. Maybe when I’m old and grey, I can be the cool grandad sitting on the porch, murdering a few tunes while serenading my long-suffering, darling wife!

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Jason Roberts Profile
Lindsay Bonner Profile

LINDSAY BONNER

I oversee US Operations and Client Management. Essentially, I have a hand in every aspect of the US business workflow and operation management.

I wake around 5:45, make my kids breakfast and have a big cup of coffee! I then take the dog for a walk and then head to the gym. After all my ‘me time’ boxes are checked, I head to the office and start my work day!

Definitely the office! I enjoy getting to see my co-workers and I’m a lot more productive surrounded by people and activity.

To speak a second language – specifically Spanish.

Connect on LinkedIn

1. The Whole Truth - A Holistic View of Sustainable Packaging

The Whole Truth – A Holistic view of Sustainable Packaging

1. The Whole Truth - A Holistic View of Sustainable Packaging

The Whole Truth – A Holistic view of Sustainable Packaging

Whilst the awareness of sustainable packaging is increasing, from many a brand’s perspective it is not often viewed as an integrative or holistic concept. Mostly, perceptions of sustainable packaging solutions are strongly limited to the choice of more sustainable, eco-friendly or biodegradable materials.

Whilst the use of these materials is, of course, increasingly important – what other factors play a role in the production of environmentally friendly packaging besides material choice?

Sustainable Design

Designing products and packaging that reduce consumption across their entire life is really one of the first steps in the cradle-to-grave (or creation to disposal) approach to packaging.

The design stage typically has the greatest influence on a packaging’s life cycle and environmental impact. That is why environmental stewardship must be an integral part of the design and development process, on a par with cost, quality, and manufacturing.

“Implementing design features and functionality such as flat-packable packaging (slimming down the pack to eliminate extra weight and allowing it to be condensed for shipping) or creating products that encourage secondary use, sends a clear message to consumers,” says LB Odendaal, Head of Design at IPL Packaging. “That message is that the brand is thinking of them and their needs, and is going the extra mile to reduce wastage and negative environmental effects.”

However, those involved in the design process, should (as part of the holistic process) also look beyond the features and functionality of a product to consider its raw materials, manufacturing process and transportation efficiencies in order to identify sustainable opportunities in all of these areas.

Sustainable Manufacturing and Processing

There are many financial investors around the world who claim bitcoin/blockchain technology to be the future of money and investment. This may be the case, but often the massive energy requirements to mine bitcoin are overlooked by these pundits as regards to possible impacts on the environment.

Considering sustainable packaging material choices should be no different when analysing the pluses and minuses of different proposed solutions. And, indeed, the way in which different suppliers create their own manufacturing processes may oftentimes have more of an impact on the environment than the end product itself.

Pulp as a substrate for packaging is gaining much more attention, for example. The process to manufacture pulp, however, uses significant amounts of water and energy. Those suppliers using alternative energy sources and who have invested in water recycling systems will impact the environment a lot less than those who haven’t yet made these investments.

Replacing plastic parts and packaging fitments with metal is another example of providing a more ‘sustainable’ packaging solution but also one should consider what the finishing treatment of the metal parts entails: anodizing, spray-painting, electroplating? What do these finishes generate in terms of wastewater and energy? This should be weighed against the fact that the end product is highly recyclable.

Much work is being done by material manufacturers to develop substrates that are completely recyclable/biodegradable and alternatives to leather, a popular substrate for luxury products. A few examples are:

  • Pinatex – “pineapple leather” made from pineapple leaf fibre (and taking the fashion world by storm).
  • Mushroom leather (Muskin) and coconut leather. But each of these requires farmers to re-allocate resources to these crops instead of others, with a consequent impact on the environment.

“Unfortunately, changing material packaging to what is believed to be a more sustainable material can sometimes be short-sighted,” says Mark Castro, IPL’s Head of NPD for the USA “‘Plant-based plastic’ that can replace PET sounds, on the surface, like an ideal solution. However, if no proper recycling is available, packages made from plant-based materials can contaminate the very systems that recycle PET packaging.”

“As a bio-based material, paper products are also a vital alternative. However, to deliver sustainable paper packaging solutions, it’s necessary to ensure the wood is sourced responsibly from well-managed forests. This requires forest certification, a high level of transparency and incorruptible tracking systems.“ he states

“In making luxury brand packaging more sustainable, one should first check to see whether it is possible to use recycled or biodegradable materials. If this is not possible, consider options for using sustainably produced materials.” says Castro.

“Many large brands are working on incorporating these and other sustainable materials and fitments into their product packaging, however in many instances, as long as fossil-based plastics and other substrates are cheaper than recycled or bio-based materials, they’ll primarily continue to choose the more cost-effective solution. Changing this dynamic is commercially difficult, but important too.”

Transportation and Shipping

It appears it will always be possible to make greener choices across the packaging supply chain. This includes shipping, storage, delivery and final product distribution. Streamlined and more efficient logistics and transportation solutions can significantly reduce waste and emission – ideal for brands that hope to shrink their carbon footprint.

However, whilst turning a traditional supply chain green doesn’t happen overnight, it all starts with analysing how to make more environmentally friendly choices at every step. It goes without saying that streamlined logistics practices can significantly minimise environmental harm and enhance a product’s overall sustainable credentials.

That could mean anything from packing trucks or shipping containers more efficiently to achieving optimal fuel efficiency during ground transportation. Lighter shipments of sustainable packaging not only reduce transportation costs, but also reduce the amount of fuel during transportation.

In some instances, one of the most impactful ways to reduce transportation emissions is to align with packaging suppliers who have factory partners situated closer to clients or at high points of demand.

A Lifecycle Mindset - a granular approach

5. A Lifecycle Mindset

© Unpri.org

Simply put, every activity a packaging supplier performs bears a social, economic, and environmental impact. However, often these impacts are not unearthed until the complete lifecycle of a particular packaging solution is examined.

“This involves looking at the bigger picture – analysing manufacturing processed vs. materials, designing with a sustainable mindset and looking to optimise supply chain logistics. Ultimately, what happens at the end of the packaging’s life, is so crucial to understand,” states Castro.

“Brands must understand, at a granular level, how their consumers buy and use the products in their given category and how consumers dispose of the packaging,” he says. “These insights can serve as a starting point for an analysis of which kinds of sustainable packaging fit a given value chain and the range of improvement levers available.”

Conclusion

Whilst global packaging suppliers continually test and trial sustainable material alternatives, we’re still a big step away from a world completely free of packaging waste. Perhaps because many brands are too intent on considering a part of the problem (materials) and not the whole (incl. systems and processes).

There are also solutions in the area of packaging today that function in good, streamlined processes and systems and therefore demonstrate truly sustainable properties. This is an exciting and ongoing process, one that is likely to continue indefinitely as brands and suppliers work together to reinvent and simplify sustainable packaging approaches that combine material testing and trialing machine learning, materials and solid client-supplier and supplier-manufacturer partnerships to scale sustainable change across the packaging supply chain.


IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedInFacebookYouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


Article Contributors:

LB Odendaal | IPL Head of Design | Connect on LinkedIn

Mark Castro | IPL Head of NPD USA | Connect on LinkedIn

Kirsten Hill | IPL Content & Insights | Connect on LinkedIn


2022 Trends - 1

7 Trends Shaping a New Future for the Packaging Industry in 2022

The packaging industry has proven to be largely robust and resilient through the Covid-19 pandemic, but changes are inevitable. As we find ourselves on the cusp of this post pandemic world, how have things shifted from both a positive and negative perspective - and how many of these shifting trends and changes will remain permanent?

1. Unstoppable e-Commerce

Will in-person retail continue to transition to online sales and what does this mean for packaging?

“The pandemic has seen demand for e-commerce skyrocket,” says Glen Broomberg, IPL’s Head of Global Business Development. “This will remain the case even as the pandemic subsides, as in-store shopping rebounds and as a larger share of consumer spending returns to those services such as travel and live entertainment.”

“In many cases, e-commerce has simply become the ultimate in convenience and increasing numbers of consumers have become comfortable buying online,” he says. “Whilst brick-and-mortar stores will certainly gain more foot traffic as we emerge from the pandemic, the omni-channel approach will continue to thrive.”

2022 – Navigating a New Future in Packaging - Unstoppable Ecommerce

“The online retail focus is now on getting products safely to consumers first time – and so the importance of packaging that offers the protection of goods through robust applications has never been more crucial,” says Broomberg. “Retailers want to minimise the risk of product loss or damage through delivery and to reduce the potential of financial losses and returns. This emphasis will continue for the foreseeable future. Of course, the unboxing experience also remains an important consideration for online product exposure.”

“With less market share than before, brick and mortar retailers will seek to distinguish themselves from the online experience. We foresee increased pressure on traditional retailers to justify and enhance the shopping experience. Some of the onus may lie in packaging differentiation. Brands will need to fight harder in-store to win shelf space from retailers, spaces where packaging needs to appeal not only to the eye but also to the touch.”

2. The Sustainability Super-Surge

Are we more aware of our fragile planet than ever - or will there be less emphasis on sustainable solutions?

“The answer seems obvious and in truth packaging solutions constructed from recycled or biodegradable materials are now more in demand than ever,” says LB Odendaal, IPL’s Head of Design. “As such, more and more luxury brands will continue to look at how to further innovate to ensure their product packaging is as luxuriously differentiated as it is ecologically sustainable.”

“The pandemic-accelerated shift to e-commerce has also driven changes in packaging size, consumer perception of packaging and waste, and the demand for more return-friendly packaging. Shoppers are rediscovering the power of community and therefore are looking for companies that are in line with their values (like sustainable sourcing, organic, giving back, low-plastic, etc.),” he says.

2022 – Navigating a New Future in Packaging - Sustainability Tsunami© Delta Community

“Brands (in conjunction with packaging designers) will be required to continue to introduce well-targeted design tweaks, more sustainable material and fitment choices - and implement simple changes to help ‘design out’ waste and produce products that are circular,” states Odendaal. “This will help them build brand capital, fulfil customer demand and stay on the right side of current and future regulations aimed at minimising waste and environmental damage.”

“Consumer awareness of the impact of single-use packaging and the negative impact it has on our environment has led to rapid legislative changes in many countries where, in some instances, we now see single-use plastics being banned. A global awareness of the need for more sustainable packaging is driving not only material innovation, but also pushing designers to radically rethink the way we interact with and potentially reuse and rework packaging, incorporating secondary use into packaging items, creating more value through longevity.”

“The future will see less frivolous and unnecessarily wasteful use of materials, designs geared to single stream recycling, and the use of less environmentally harmful materials,” he states. “We are more invested in researching and developing new and innovative materials and processes to insure we produce sustainable packaging, offering a more engaging experience at less cost to the consumer and the environment.”

3. Expanding Innovation

How has the global slowdown impacted new product development and innovation?

“In many ways the slowdown of business has actually provided well-positioned, forward-looking brands and packaging suppliers with a unique opportunity to use time to maximise efficiencies, examine options for innovation, and emerge stronger than ever,“ says Christiana Delahaye, Senior Purchasing Manager, Europe for IPL. “That’s certainly one of the positives to come from these uncertain times.”

“Whilst many suffered during the slowdown, well-managed and resourced companies and suppliers used their slow times on equipment upgrades, new lines, plant improvements, testing of new products and packaging materials and introducing new innovations and improvements to make them more efficient as better days inevitably return,” explains Delahaye.

2022 – Navigating a New Future in Packaging - Innovation© Rockwell Automation

“This has been particularly noticeable in several Eastern European countries that have taken the infrastructure, trade and investment gap provided by the recent shipping crisis that strained competitive China,” she states. “At the end of 2021 our EE suppliers were very busy in all sectors; glass, rigid board, wooden boxes, etc.”

“What this indicates, amongst other things, is that fitment and component technology innovations and new material developments are set to continue in certain geographies as competition between different factory floors increases and the world slowly returns to a ‘new kind of normal’.”

4. Packaging Automation vs Labour

What are the long-term impacts of ‘working from home’ and labour shortages on manufacturing and procurement?

“Even prior to the pandemic, packaging manufacturers and factories were experiencing a shortage of qualified workers. That shortage was compounded by a world uncertain of how to navigate a global health crisis and still maintain their operations,” says Faizal Kassim, Operations Director at IPL.

“Some companies are having trouble getting their employees back to work. Others are finding it hard to maintain social distancing on packaging lines. Still others are seeing demand skyrocket but not able to fill the positions needed to keep up with this demand.”

“We’re bound to see increased strides in packaging automation that will help to reduce reliance on the uncertainties of human labour and be ever more important during a global health crisis,” says Kassim.

“Several processes, particularly in the more luxury categories, however, will remain more dependent on labour and technical expertise. In auditing and developing supplier relationships in these sectors, there will therefore be increased emphasis in understanding how the supplier can maintain a stable workforce.”

2022 – Navigating a New Future in Packaging - Automation© Boris Bobrov

“At the end of the day, there is no guarantee that digital technologies will destroy jobs, nor any certainty that these technologies will lead to more and better jobs. Suppliers face vital choices over what technology they develop and how it is used,” he states. “As packaging suppliers, we need to make sure we’re choosing the very best solutions for our client’s varied requirements, ensuring we’re hitting that ‘sweet spot’ that balances improved technologies with human creativity and craftsmanship – such vital components of the luxury market.”

5. Supply Chain Impact

Massive logistics challenges have forced brands to look at ‘nearshore’ procurement. Is this trend likely to continue or will we see a return to primarily Asian supply?

“Packaging companies, like all others, will continue to deal with the shifting landscape of the global pandemic and we shouldn’t expect a swift end to the supply chain crisis in 2022,” says Kassim. “The omicron variant is leading to more staff shortages as people take time off sick and suppliers navigate new restrictions. China’s zero-COVID strategy is likely to continue to disrupt both production and transportation of goods, possibly for the entire year.”

2022 – Navigating a New Future in Packaging - Supply Chain© Jaggaer

“This is forcing packaging companies to look for contingency plans and to better understand their supply chains and their vulnerabilities. This could accelerate existing trends such as “China Plus One” in the US, as companies seek to reduce reliance on any one country,” says Kassim.

“It may also mean a preference for domestic suppliers in some instances and in other instances it may require digital technology to build new supply chain capabilities,” he explains. “But, whilst these advances are growing more prevalent in the global supply chain, they’re still a long way off from becoming the standard.”

“The truth is, some materials are difficult to produce outside of China,” agrees Delahaye. “Ultimately, however, those packaging partners who have alternative supply sources closer to home (or options for dual source manufacturing) or with better transport options can also help close the gap of the unknown. This will help avoid the exact kind of production pitfalls we saw during the pandemic, such as natural disasters, port closures, scheduling issues or material shortages.”

6. Delivery Cost Pressure

Pre and post-Covid freight rates are acutely different today, where are they heading?

“It’s difficult to predict this. We know that before the pandemic, retailers and FMCG producers were already facing intense cost constraints that were squeezing margins. This was also impacting packaging design, with changes being implemented to try and optimise volume and efficiency - along with smaller packaging that was ready made for shelves and e-commerce,” states Odendaal.

"Near-term uncertainties that pose risks to business growth are likely to exacerbate these cost pressures. Pricing for materials and shipping may well still fluctuate weekly with the probability of sudden changes in market conditions and supply chain delays. The good news is that, with supply chain issues affecting many a brand’s balance sheet, senior brand management are now typically more engaged with these issues than ever before,” adds Kassim.

“This elevated level of interest can – and should – remain,” he states. “The pressures will be significant, however, as supply chain strategies will shift from 'just-in-time' (with an emphasis on cost and freight rate reduction), to forging more resilient supply chains able to withstand shocks and balance inventory costs.”

“Those who are agile will enjoy the greatest benefits in 2022. From suppliers to manufacturers to logistics and store managers, everyone in the supply chain must be connected and transparent in order to fully understand usage and inventory projection,” says Kassim. “This will assist brands and packaging suppliers in placing accurate orders well in advance and jumping on good pricing when the time is right.”

7. Design of the Times

Has the demand for luxury products waned post-pandemic - and are we looking at more minimised and discrete packaging as a result of this?

“Luxury brands have faced two years of tremendous shifts. However, we believe the industry is emerging from this crisis with more purpose and more dynamism than ever before,” comments Odendaal.

“The pandemic essentially gave luxury brands a new code of conduct that places renewed value on discretion and minimalism and values time and tradition in design,” he says.

2022 – Navigating a New Future in Packaging - Design of the Times© Luxury Watches USA

In 2020 the personal luxury goods industry – spanning anything from jewelry to high-end watches and expansive bags and accessories – was in a shambles. However, over recent months, consumers have staged a remarkable comeback in terms of spending. Despite the many hardships caused by the pandemic, it seems that the luxury sector will continue to remain strong and the consumer will still want to perceive that the extra cost spent on a luxury brand will be represented by a higher level of quality and/or craftsmanship. Secondary packaging will remain an essential part of the luxury cues even if the emphasis might change for some brands.

The luxury consumer mentality has certainly shifted though. In the new luxury landscape homes have become luxurious work and play sanctuaries - positioning tech brands and luxury home products for event great success. Consumers are also seeking more longevity in their purchases; they're buying less fast fashion and looking more towards luxury and luxury that’s made locally.

“Throughout the pandemic there has been widespread emphasis on supporting local businesses and communities. The public also has a new appetite for uplifting stories, bolstered by our shared need for human connection,” says Odendaal. “Highlighting the 'human side' of a brand has never been more vital.  Therefore putting a face on our products and packaging - literally and figuratively - is an extremely effective way to connect with consumers.”

“With time now considered more valuable than before, the focus will now be on creating ‘micro-engagement moments. Emphasis will be on more personal packaging and unboxing experiences and curated content that delivers the extreme value clients expect from a luxury brand,” he says. “Packaging design also, of course, needs to have a strong sustainability narrative built into its core.”

Conclusion

Saying COVID-19 has changed the way brands and their suppliers do business is more than an understatement. The true impact of COVID-19 on day-to-day operations will take a long time to tally, both financially and emotionally, regardless of the industry.

For the packaging industry, this impact will reveal itself in both the short-term and long-term. Shifting trends will be multi-faceted, but the most seismic changes in packaging will likely be seen in e-commerce, sustainability and supply chain shifts – and as consumer attitudes continue to shift on a scale never seen before. 

The future does indeed look different, but the challenges have brought forth many positives. Success will lie in our ability to adapt and show resilience, mitigate supply chain inefficiencies, identify potential risks early and forge stronger relationships with clients and suppliers. 

 

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


High on Design Header Image

High on Design

As the global cannabis market continues to expand in fiscal value, geographic availability, and wide-ranging product offerings, a distinct niche has arisen for luxury cannabis products.

“The cannabis industry has grown so significantly in the past few years that luxury brands within the cannabis market are quickly paving the way for new ideas in packaging,” says LB Odendaal, Head of Design at IPL Packaging.

However, as more and more producers come onto the market, it becomes more saturated, making distinction at the packaging level paramount. By opting for luxe packaging, high-end hemp, CBD or cannabis products are taking steps toward differentiating their product from the influx of others on the market.

So, how can brands achieve a luxury distinction with cannabis product packaging?

“We find that, like anything, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Odendaal, “Whilst there are certainly trends and ‘wins’ terms of ‘luxury’ cannabis packaging design, it’s also worthwhile noting that the only real design trends really worth embracing are the trends that will actively support your brand.”

Cannabis goes Luxe

“From a luxury packaging perspective the ones that seem to ‘get it right’ are the ones that also evoke the lifestyle of cannabis, - one which is relaxed yet sophisticated, using clear crisp colors perhaps splashes of gold or silver and a calming color palette.”

“Subtlety is all. It’s the aesthetic the industry is going for now,” he says. “Design elements like embossed lettering (rather than printed text), and stamped gold foil communicate quality. Why not let potential customers know that your product is of the highest caliber before they even try it?”

Take a Recess Sparkling Water

© Recess

In terms of luxury packaging for cannabis there are a few trends that we believe will be around for some time:

Leafy imagery

“While the marijuana leaf can be clichéd in many applications, it’s the fastest way to make cannabis products identifiable,” says Odendaal.

“Many successful cannabis logos and package graphics incorporate the iconic leaf in new and modern ways. The cannabis leaf is so highly recognizable, you can even change its color while still maintaining its effectiveness.”“Those luxury brands that want to stand out and also future-proof their branding and packaging can take a more subtle approach,” he says. “By letting the pointed, triangular shape influence but not dominate their branding, they separate themselves from the masses while keeping subtle overtones of the green leaf.”

“In several of our NPD CBD oil packaging designs we incorporated the leaf element into an oil droplet shape in order to effectively and subtly communicate the nature of the product.”

© iplpackaging

Eco-friendly packaging

Whether it's hemp, cannabis, weed or CBD, it all comes from a natural, sustainable source. “Leveraging on this, brands in this industry are able to bring sustainability and environmental conservation through their core brand values. “In this case too, sustainable packaging and recyclability are just as important as the product’s raw ingredients' sources' certifications,” says Odendaal.

“Plus a commitment to sustainability attracts a very important market segment: Millennials. According to the market research firm Nielsen Global, an astounding 73% of Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products.”

“Ideally, luxury cannabis packaging shouldn’t just be sustainable, it should look sustainable, too. Muted shades of natural colors in the packaging can help communicate how natural your products are. Materials such as textured kraft paper and solid woods, cork, metal details, and formed paper fitments, whilst still communicating a premium experience.”

Eco-Friendly Cannabis Packaging 1

© iplpackaging

Eco Friendly Cannabis Packaging 2

Building Trust

Medical marijuana patients have health issues to address. They want reassurance that a particular product can deliver a trusted solution. “

“In many instances it’s often a good idea to emphasize the medicinal properties of cannabis and cannabis-infused products by modeling cannabis packaging after traditional medical or pharmaceutical packaging, similar to the way in which IPL Design created packaging for CBD oil tincture gift sets and ‘gummies’. This includes using clear copy and packaging design with ample white space, yet still keeping it relevant to your unique brand.”

Less is More

“If you feel we’re being beaten over the head with suggestions to embrace minimalist packaging and design, I think it’s a good idea to get used to it. Minimalist design is enjoying a renaissance that shows no sign of waning - and the adage ‘less is more,’ couldn’t be more true – especially in the cannabis industry,” says Odendaal. “A minimalist approach to your packaging design ensures a contemporary (read: desirable!) effect.”

A Bit of Fun

“Forget, for a moment, everything you know about steering clear of stereotypes,” says Odendaal. “The cannabis industry has some fun, historic culture that creates opportunities for clever marketing and design,” he says. “While this trend is used more heavily in the recreational cannabis realm, there can be a place for it in the medical arena when done tastefully,” he states. “Consider a play on words, or the reference cannabis in a playful way in the design, to help your packaging ‘pop!’ After all, great packaging design always elevates a product and tells a story about who you are as a company.”

 

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


Let the season begin advent calendar

Countdown to Christmas

As the holiday season gets underway it’s evident that advent calendars continue to resonate as a hot packaging trend across categories. As the ultimate luxurious, festive gifting items they enable lucky recipients to discover everything from high-end  skincare products to chocolates,  candles , fragrances, socks, dog toys and even diamonds.. behind their doors.

Things have come a long way since the German Lutehrans invented the advent calendar concept in the late 19th Century. Recent years have seen these calendars grow from a ‘nice-but-niche’ treat to a truly mammoth category, with brand stalwarts such as Tiffany & Co., Dior, Jo Malone, Godiva, Harrods, Lancôme, Net-a-Porter and hundreds more all creating their own offerings.

SPREADING CHEER

Beauty Advent Calendar

Jo Malone Advent Calendar Tiffany & Co Advent Calendar

“Today, multiple global brands and retailers offer advent calendars for the holiday shopping season,” says Karen Groenewald, Senior Packaging Designer at IPL Packaging. “As a festive packaging solution, it speaks to a wide variety of market segments, customer preferences and price-points, allowing brands to introduce new products as well as entrench tried and tested bestsellers.”

The appeal for the holiday season shopper or gift-giver is just as apparent. Experts say consumers love this festive concept that delivers joy in the unboxing experience and allows them to sample a wide range of products. “An engaging packaging and unboxing experience always delivers a positive impression of the brand and this is an innovative way to enable consumers to sample a wealth of both newly launched and iconic classics, without having to invest in the cost of full-size products,” says Groenewald. “To make sure they stand out in the crowd, it all comes down to how they look just as much as what is inside.”

FOR ALL SEASONS

“It goes without saying that incorporating seasonal elements into the design of advent calendars elicit a positive response from customers,” she comments. “Colours associated with the holidays - red, green, blue, and white are definite go-to's. So too is holiday imagery – Christmas trees, ornaments, snowflakes and gifts along with gold or silver foil details.”

“However, holiday-themed advent calendars should reflect more than just traditional Christmas design elements to effectively resonate with a brand’s customers,” she says. “Whilst it’s good to incorporate seasonal elements into the packaging design, you also don’t want to stray too far from the product branding.”

UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM

For funky, small batch spiced rum brand, Dead Man’s Fingers (part of the Halewood Artisanal Spirits portfolio) IPL Packaging produced a somewhat unconventional pack that offers up a tantalising selection of twelve flavoured rums housed in separate, removable drawers.

Dead Man's Finger Rum Advent Calendar
©iplpackaging.com

“Since its inception, Dead Man’s Fingers (DMF) has been all about breathing new life into the rum category, challenging perceptions, and experimenting with the latest flavour trends,” explains Groenewald. “This same vibrant attitude was translated into the packaging design.”

“Finding the perfect balance of seasonal packaging and consistent branding, the 2021 DMF advent calendar incorporates seasonal colours and imagery reminiscent of falling snowflakes, whilst also introducing the distinctive DMF ‘skull’ branding and bold colour palette, that like the brand itself, kicks convention to the curb!”

UNBOXING DAYS

Constructed in a similar style, IPL also produced similar packaging solutions for Halewood’s gin brands (including Whitley Neill, Berkshire Gin and JJ Whitley). These calendars were also designed as book-style rigid boxes that open from the centre. Once opened, the structures reveal separate pull-out boxes in which you won’t find ‘a partridge in a pear tree’ but rather a singular unboxing experience for each individual, award-winning gin.

Let the season begin advent calendar
@iplpackaging.com

“Options for luxury advent calendars are really only limited by imagination,” says Groenewald. “People love a little bit extra - whether it’s a clever opening mechanism, secret compartment, decorative features, metalwork, boxes that slot together to create an impressive style and encourage second use - or materials such as tin or wood which can elevate the brand and create an amazing, memorable reveal to really impress consumers. The sky is the limit!”

Gin advent calendar
©iplpackaging.com

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


Glengoyne Header

Made For Generations

Glengoyne Header

The Russell Family Cask is a Glengoyne Single Cask, a remarkable 36 Year Old whisky, personally selected by the 3 generations of Russells – Peter, Leonard and Tom, with secondary packaging produced by IPL Packaging in collaboration with Taxi Design and D8.

Following a Sunday lunch at Peter Russell’s house, Tom Russell produced several Glengoyne Single Cask samples for the family to try. The specific cask number 1549 stood out as being of absolute remarkable quality – the only cask three generations of Russell’s then unanimously chose to bottle in celebration of their working together in the business.

Glengoyne 1984 36 Year Old The Russel Cask_2

©Glengoyne

And so, the extremely rare 36 Year Old Single Cask whisky was born, requiring a packaging solution that would continue a series of packaging solutions that actively promote reuse. “Previously produced by IPL, these were awarded a coveted ‘Green Packaging’ award, and symbolise Glengoyne’s commitment to excellent craftsmanship, along with the brand’s duty-of-care and sense of responsibility towards the environment - values with which we are proud to be associated!” says Este van der Merwe, Senior Designer at IPL Packaging. “The 36 Year Old was required to reflect the similarities of the previous packs, for brand continuity purposes and, of course, incorporate the all-important second use function,” explains Esté.

“The pack is therefore constructed of oak with a dark wood stained oak veneer and matte finish and features a die-cut, gold-coloured aluminium hour hand inlaid into the side of the box,” she explains. “Time, of course, plays a vital role in the distilling process and so this is reflected through a swivel-and-pin closure mechanism designed to resemble a clock’s minute hand.”

Glengoyne 1984 36 Year Old The Russel Cask_3

“A branded aluminium plaque, complete with gold finish, is located on the door of the box. This is removable and able to be replaced with a separate, unbranded plaque, situated in a side pocket located on the inner door. To remove and secure the plaques a unique thumb screw (shaped like a watch crown) has been employed, which further emphasises the reference to time,” explains Esté.

“The recognisable Glengoyne goose feather pattern is, once again, subtly introduced through a textured emboss in the velvet fabric to further represent the rich and delightful brand heritage. Laser-engraved brand detailing also features on the top of the pack,” she says.

“Inside, the EVA bottle fitment is covered in more of the velvet fabric. A paper-label appliqué on the inner fitment tells of the Glengoyne brand ethos and story,” comments Esté. “The consumer has the ability to remove these inner fitments, engrave their own design on the blank front plaque provided, and then to reuse the pack as they see fit.”

Glengoyne 1984 36 Year Old The Russel Cask_1

©Glengoyne

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.


Pulp Header Image

Pulp Fact not Fiction

Pulp Header Image

Traditionally associated with egg boxes and cup-holders, the emergence of molded pulp as a suitable medium for luxury packaging can be attributed to improved molding technologies and processes, as well as the increased need for high-end, sustainable packaging.

“Nowadays, with the technological improvements of molded fibre and pulp manufacturing, pulp can be viewed as a strong, durable and highly customisable solution able to be adapted to a variety of sophisticated packaging formats,” says Skye King, Senior Industrial Designer at IPL Packaging.

“Constructed from renewable and biodegradable resources such as recycled paper and cardboard, pulp is economical, has excellent cushioning properties, remains unaffected by extreme temperatures and can be moisture-resistant,” she says. “With recent advancements in technology we also now have a multitude of options when it comes to colour, texture and finish.”

“Thermoforming ‘wet press’ technology, for example, offers a refined ‘plastic smooth’ type finish – a style well-suited to secondary packaging for the likes of cosmetics, confectionery and fragrances, amongst others. It provides strength and rigidity.”

“With these benefits in mind we embarked on an NPD project that explored various packaging solutions, utilising pulp as a primary medium and primarily looking to test various design and printing options.”

Muller Fine Swiss Chocolate (Outer)

“For several chocolate and confectionery options we're continuing to test foiling details, believing that foiling is particularly effective on monochromatic packaging – lending a metallic, sophisticated feel to the overall aesthetic.”

Muller Fine Swiss Chocolate (Inner)

“For yet other packaging options we continue to test options such as spot UV varnish, juxtapositioned with bright, vivid colours. Whilst for other solutions, such as the pen packaging design (pictured below), we're able now able to bring colour through to a product with a curved, or molded shape rather than simply a flat surface,” says King.

“We also utliising embossing and deboss processes in order to determine how to maximise and make our packaging designs 'pop' in every way.“

Pen Packaging Design (Open)“Ultimately, our investigations have, and continue to provide great insight into pulp’s versatility,” she says. “Molded pulp is a superbly formable material providing endless design possibilities."

“Because molded pulp is made by blending water with recycled paper or natural fibres, the different stages of pressing and drying can create different (rougher or smoother) finishes. Molded pulp can be colour-matched to any Pantone shade, ensuring your packaging aligns perfectly with your branding and product.”

“What’s more, we are able to add a variety of embellishments and design finishes to your molded pulp product, including emboss/deboss and various colour and shape options” explains King. “The final finish can range from natural – unbleached grey or brown – through to a thermo-pressed coating that looks and feels smooth and luxurious. The options and opportunities are infinite.”

IPL Packaging is a global luxury packaging supplier with offices in the USA, Europe, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Approved manufacturing is available in several Asian countries, as well as sites in Eastern Europe. We create bespoke, tailored and exclusive packaging for any premium or luxury brand and lead the entire process, from conceptualisation and design to production and delivery.

For more information on packaging solutions or to gain insight into our latest packaging trends, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest. Keep an eye on our news section for insightful articles and innovative ideas around packaging materials, product development and design.