With tangible outcomes for the customer
The Creative team at Alexir were recently briefed by one of their customers to make palpable changes to an advent calendar format, by value engineering from the profile design right through to the printing and packing. The original design of the advent calendar had multiple challenges both in the pack format and in the packing. The fundamental issue with the pack format lay in its large footprint and it used a sizeable amount of folding box board, meaning it would not fit onto one printed sheet. This sometimes can lead to inconsistency of print colour and the graphic designers also struggled to maintain a ‘flow’ of creative artwork across the 3 individual print items.
Consequently, there needed to be a major reduction in the footprint of the new pack format to be able to fit onto one printed sheet. All the materials also needed to be FSC, food-safe and contain no plastic, including over-wrap.
Aside from the outer cover and the two inner packs, there were a further 12 board components that made up the two trays inside the inner packs which held the tea bags. On both the left- and right-hand side of the calendar, and unseen by the consumer, was a complex inner tray design with partitions and dividers to make it fit-for-purpose. This not only increased the amount of board, but it made the packing element a long and costly process. To add to the challenges, the tea bags would often get damaged inside the existing fitment.
In short, the new pack format would have to reduce the complexity of packaging elements and print items, reduce material, and reduce packing time.
The constructional designers firstly created a profile of the outer cover and two inner packs from one piece of folding box board. This ultimately reduced the footprint because the inner packs were no longer having to be stuck to the inside of the cover, making this part ‘two layers’. The one piece of board would then fit onto a single printed sheet, avoiding inconsistencies of print colour and giving the graphic designers one single canvas to work on.
Now that the outside cover had been simplified for the packing teams, it was key to find a solution to replace the 6 elements within each side of the calendar. Having explored various material options, it was decided to develop a bespoke thermoformed pulp tray with 15 cavities each, sized for two tea bags to sit in securely. Essentially the packing teams now only had to pack the tea bags into the two pulp trays, insert these into the main body of the calendar and seal the packs with a tamper-evident sticker. The simplicity of the erection and packing would dramatically increase the speed on the packing lines and would therefore decrease costs.
In conclusion, the design of the new final printed and packed advent calendar has reduced material by 65%, reduced the complexity of the packing with far fewer packaging elements and therefore reducing packing by 25%.
The Alexir Partnership is the only UK business in the food sector that can create, package and pack products from design to delivery within one enterprise. We cover carton design and manufacture, packaging sourcing, contract manufacturing, co-packing and luxury gifting.
Our expertise lies in the project management of complex packaging solutions.