Alexir win European Carton Excellence Award

Carton Excellence Award 2018 Entry: Simply Cook Meal Kit

Awards season begins.

The Packaging Awards season 2018 has started well for the Alexir Partnership with the Simply Cook Meal Kit winning a European Carton Excellence Award last week. Our Chairman, Robert Davison, picked up the award at the prestigious awards ceremony in the glamorous setting of the House of the Riga Latvian Society. It was a gathering of the leading heads of the European cartonboard and carton industry to celebrate the most creative ideas the industry had to offer. The innovative Simply Cook Meal Kit won the Dry Foods & Beverages category.

A true collaboration.

The award is special for us in many ways. This amazingly innovative meal kit was the result of a true collaboration between Simply Cook (brand owners), We are Path (creative partners) and ourselves, headed up by the indomitable carton veteran, Chris Fuller.  It was a complex project that had to be delivered within very tight timelines and it touched all the divisions of the Alexir Partnership, from constructional carton design through to manufacture, procurement and co-packing. It was an inordinate mix of talent, age, resources and attitude that culminated in this accolade and is a testament to remarkable team work. It is inspiring to witness the experience of the older generation and the energy of the younger one, all with one mission – to deliver the best product with the best experience. Well done to all the team involved.

The story of the Simply Cook Meal Kit.

The concept of the meal kit allows the consumer to create a restaurant quality meal at home with an easy-to-follow recipe and relevant spices. The concept encourages the consumer to purchase and cook using fresh ingredients and ultimately contributes to the reduction of the black plastic trays containing ready meal options.

Each stage of the user experience has been considered in the design, from positioning the disruptive stands in the fresh food aisles to sit alongside key ingredients, through multi-layered packaging that unfolds like a recipe book.

The design of the pack needed to be vibrant and modern but in keeping with the well-known e-commerce brand. The design challenge was to bring the experience to life through packaging. The structural solution stands upright and confident, delivering shelf impact and a post-purchase experience that takes the consumers on a journey of discovery.

Project timeline: 5 months

It was the first step into the retail sector so for the brand owners the design was fundamental in their growth plans. The pack needed to be highly functional yet different to its competitors. To achieve the desired pack format specialist folding and gluing equipment were required to achieve the book style pack. A major challenge was to combine all of these features with a pack that could be filled before the final closure.

Structurally, the pack gives the consumer the opportunity to reveal an image of the finished dish along with the required ingredients for that recipe. After purchase the tear strip opening illustrates the easy step recipe and the pots containing the spices. The material used for the pack is fully recyclable with a minimal use of plastic for the spice pots.

Working across all its divisions, the Alexir Partnership were able to offer design, production of the packaging and also the packing. From concept to shelf, the project was delivered a week early and took 5 months.

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