Boost your pre-Christmas sales through seasonal packaging

Ale Paiva

Credit Ale Paiva

Christmas seems to come earlier each year with Christmas cards and mince pies sneaking their way onto the supermarket shelves from September onwards. The Christmas market is a notoriously competitive one and with countless companies all jostling to cash-in on highly lucrative pre-Christmas sales, ensuring that your products stand out from the rest is vital.

If you’re feeling cynical and intend ignoring all the commercialised holiday cheer, you’ll need to think again and try to look on the bright side: Christmas and other special occasions offer brands an unbeatable opportunity to try something new and innovative with their product packaging. Equally importantly it’s also a once-a-year chance to drive sales and reinforce your brand.

But what are the best ways to keep the integrity of your brand intact whilst revealing to consumers a new and more festive side? First and foremost, don’t fall into the trap of putting an ‘expiry date’ on seasonal packaging. Whatever your chosen design, you need to find something that still looks desirable after the fun is over; for example rather than focussing on Christmas itself, why not go for a general winter theme instead?

Free gifts and promotional items work particularly well during the festive season; after all, Christmas is the season of gifts and giving, isn’t it? Adding value that extends beyond your product is always a winner, provided you offer something that is in context or could help consumers start their own ritual or tradition that’s attached to your brand. Limited edition biscuit or sweet tins are great examples of this.

Most people hate Christmas shopping so why not make life a little easier for your loyal customers? Personalised packaging is a great way to do this and one whisky company recently ran a very successful marketing campaign which enabled customers to order personalised engraved bottles of whisky to give as gifts over Christmas.

A complete product change is a radical idea but one which we’re seeing more and more often, especially over Christmas. Creating a product that’s only available for a limited time is a great way to create an urgency to buy, whilst also pushing your product up into a higher premium category in the minds of consumers. For food producers, Christmas presents an unbeatable opportunity to try something new: a limited edition jam, beer or cheese for example? Attracting consumers to your brand at Christmas can help forge a brand loyalty that lasts throughout the year.

Striking the balance between tackiness and packaging that evokes the spirit of Christmas is not easy so tread carefully! Coming up with an idea that’s a new take on the season, rather than Christmas itself, is the safest way to avoid causing offence to individual religions whilst giving consumers something to anticipate and covert.

Getting seasonal packaging right is undeniably tricky: finding a winning formula can prove to be the gift but keeps on giving but getting it wrong can prove a big turn-off for customers; so if you’re in doubt, seeking the advice of a marketing and contract packaging specialist can be well worth the investment.

Five seconds and counting: using product packaging to influence purchase decisions


Research has shown that it takes under five seconds for a consumer to decide which product they’re going to buy and with consumers making countless quick decisions during every shopping trip, eye-catching product packaging is absolutely essential.

With big brand names focussing more time and resources into the design of their product packaging, finding innovative, attractive ways of packaging products has become a crucial element in the never-ending battle to win new customers.

The main aim of packaging is to use graphics, images or shape to entice consumers to buy. This can be done in a variety of different ways including unusual shapes, bright colours, unusual materials or finishes but it’s worth noting that many long-established, popular brands such as Heinz, HP or Colemans have used the same logo and similar packaging for many years.

If you have a new product to sell you’ll need to come up with some pretty innovative packaging ideas to help your product stand out from the rest. You’ll need to think about the brand image you want to convey and the type of consumers you want to attract: for example, ecological household products are often packaged in fairly simple packaging made from recycled materials, whilst high-end luxury products should be packaged using only top-quality materials.

The average supermarket stocks many thousands of product lines and if you’re going to make your product stand out, you’ll need to eliminate cluttered labelling. A wealth of research has been carried out into product packaging and the results routinely show that consumers are unable to focus on a particular item if the graphics are over-cluttered. Studies have also shown that when graphics are ‘cleaned’ and improved then sales will improve.

A good example is this: if you imagine going to a wedding where all the male guests, including the groom, are wearing identical black suits and all the ladies are wearing identical white bridesmaids dresses. You’d have to spend time scanning around the room to find the real bride and groom. The very same thing will happen if the graphics on your product packaging are too busy: the extra scanning that’s required to find your product will lead to frustration or consumers turning to the next product on the shelf.

Product packaging comes in all shapes and sizes these days and is only limited by your imagination. The power of packaging should never be underestimated and if you’re new to the world of retail, it’s well worth working with a specialist contract packaging company to find the most appropriate packaging for your products. When done well, packaging can boost your sales and ensure the long-term popularity of your product but when done badly, can result in poor sales and the ultimate failure of your brand.

Attractive packaging to ensure food quality and safety


Credit recyclthis

If you’re in the food industry you’ll know that for your products to sell well they need to be packaged attractively in a way that will entice consumers to buy. However, it’s also important to strike the balance between attractive packaging and the quality and safety of the food inside.

Different foods need different packaging

Of course different types of food require very different methods of packaging. Crisps or sweets, for example, will stay fresh when packaged in bags, whilst chilled fruit juice needs to be stored and displayed in robust cartons. There are a number of specialist food packaging companies based throughout the UK, all offering different packaging services, from simple bagging and box packing, through to chilled production and highly accurate computer controlled weighing.

What to look for

When choosing a food packaging company for your products, what do you need to look for? Ensuring the quality and safety of your products is paramount and so the first thing to check that the company you intend to use not only maintains disciplined, rigorous food safety systems, but that they also meet the relevant standards for food safety.

The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is the world’s premier food safety and packaging systems initiative for packaging companies. Awarded to companies operating with the highest standards of quality, hygiene, innovation and customer satisfaction, the BRC Global Standard award offers reassurance that your products are in the best possible hands. Good quality packaging companies, like Marsden Packaging, will always conform to the standards for food safety as a matter of course.

The BRC Packaging Standard can be awarded to any company which produces packaging materials for any type of products, from food products through to consumer items. Designed to help manufacturers adopt and maintain excellent standards, companies which have been awarded the BRC Packaging Standard have a proven commitment to food safety and quality.

The Food Standards Agency is responsible for helping to ensure the quality of the food we eat and the safety of the packaging that food is sold in. When food is packaged for sale it comes into contact with containers and wrapping, along with articles used to handle the food during the packaging process, such as utensils and processing machinery. High standards are set by the Food Standards Agency covering a wide range of packaging processes and materials, including aluminium and plastics, cling-film, labelling and the re-use of packaging. The Food Standards Agency works with local authority food law enforcement officers to ensure that the relevant food law is applied during packaging and any reputable food packaging company should be happy to provide copies of any inspections and audits which they have undergone.

Shop around before choosing a packing company

So whether you’re new to the food industry or an experienced manufacturer, finding the perfect packaging to increase sales and ensure the safety of the product inside is essential. When choosing a packaging company to handle your product packaging requirements, it’s important to work with a reputable company with experience of handling the type of food you produce so don’t be afraid to ask to see full details of their range of services.