New Product Development
Our product portfolio continues to expand year on year, with the development of new, bespoke product lines. The new products we create are largely driven by our customers, whether they’re introducing a new product to the market, or they’re re-inventing their existing products.
The packaging design is an integral part of product development. Without the right packaging, the product simply won’t achieve its full commercial potential. We’ve developed hundreds of food packaging products, building an expert team with experience in a range of markets.
Our customers rely heavily on this expertise to guide them through the product development process. Step by step, we apply an approach of open communication and close involvement with all stakeholders. This works for our customers’ benefit, as early involvement of stakeholders such as machinery partners gives us the ability to cut lead times and minimise design issues at a later stage in the process.
The key to successful packaging design is in the right balance of creativity and practicality. We don’t just consider the aesthetics, we look at the bigger picture. We understand the materials, we know the machinery, we appreciate the need for cost effective design, and we know how to blend all of this with visually appealing packaging design.
Contract Winning Design
Our customers often come to us seeking a new product design in order to secure a contract with a major retailer.
It’s our experience in dealing with major UK retailers which gives our customers the confidence that we can help them win a contract through the design of the right packaging, and our effective development process.
We understand what’s required to win contracts, and we’ve delivered time after time to help our customers secure successful tenders. We know the importance of being agile in the delivery, and we know what major retailers are looking for from their food packaging, so we’re perfectly positioned to offer expert guidance.
New Product Development Process
1. Concept Development
It all begins with the customer’s brief, which can be as detailed or as open-ended as you wish. Some customers come to us with a very detailed brief, and a clear idea of what the end product should look like. Others rely on our design expertise to come up with a creative concept which is designed around the product. Either way, our team are experienced in delivering detailed designs which will suit.
Concept designs can be created quickly. We usually have these with our customers within 24 hours, and have been known to provide the designs on the same day.
Our customers appreciate our pragmatic approach and expertise at this early stage in the concept development. We know what makes good packaging, and we’ll highlight it straight away if we feel an idea won’t work, and come up with an alternative which will.
We consider all the requirements, from cost effectiveness, to shelf appeal, from the practicality of transport and shelf fit, to how the packaging will run on the customer’s.
Once the customer is happy with the concept design, we get straight into the development of a prototype.
This is a critical stage in the product development process, with a need for true to life samples in order to fully understand if the packaging will fulfil the requirements. The prototype samples are usually produced within a week.
The quality of our prototype samples are as good as the finished article. We use the same plastic sheet which will be used in the manufacture of end product, giving us a true representation of the final packaging. The samples can be tested in real life scenarios, including running through the customer’s machines, and packing on the shelves. This way, we can identify any issues early in the process, and ensure these are addressed.
3. Design Optimisation
Depending on the results of prototype testing, and input from the customer, we alter the designs to address any issues. Thanks to our design and development expertise, we usually find that any changes at this stage are minor tweaks, but we will go through as many iterations as required to get this exactly right. We’re not happy until the design is perfect, and our customer is completely satisfied with the final design.
4. Tool Manufacture
Once the final design has been approved, we get the right tools produced to manufacture the new product. We’re in a position to turn this around quickly, thanks to our policy of stakeholder involvement from the outset. We involve our toolmakers in the concept development stage to ensure the packaging is designed with the tooling in mind. This means our tool manufacturers are already prepared for the tool production.
5. Full Production
The new packaging can be in full production in as little as four weeks from receiving the initial brief, depending on the complexity of the project. This gives our customers a commercial advantage, and is a particular benefit when aiming to secure new contracts with major supermarkets. This is a process we’ve been through many times with our clients, and when it comes to winning new supermarket contracts, we’re very much a part of the team.