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  • David.PackagingSolutions

Niche Cocktails make a splash with e-commerce packaging

The first lockdown in March 2020 was certainly a surprise – and a hurdle – for Niche Cocktails, which had just launched a canned cocktail business.

The original goal had been to sell in the trade space, marketing to pubs and hotels so its drinks could be sold in bars. Stay at home orders obviously put this on hold.

Not to be deterred, the founders decided to pivot the business, shifting their attention to the D2C consumer space – especially as drinking at home was on the rise.

For this, they decided they needed to invest in bespoke packaging: packaging that would tell the story of the brand and advertise to others.

By June 2020, Niche’s operations director Emily Mummery had reached out to Saxon Packaging, a Smurfit Kappa site located in East Anglia.

Working together, Emily and the Saxon Packaging team were able to create an e-commerce box that delivered all the company’s packaging goals.

One of the main challenges for Saxon was that Niche had no real idea of where it wanted to start! Because it was so new, there were no concrete brand design features to work with.

The company was also after a box with impact: as a new brand, it had to make a splash in the already overpopulated drinks’ scene.

However, this presented an opportunity as well as a challenge for the in-house design team at Saxon. After some chats with Emily, a bespoke packaging design was settled on that met all of Niche Cocktails’ goals.

A striking black flexographic print was selected: contrasting with the natural kraft cardboard, making an impact and getting the brand’s message across.

Choosing the flexographic printing method allowed the boxes to be produced quickly and in a cost effective manner, whilst maintaining the vibrancy of the colour.

Taking into account the fact that boxes were likely to be left on doorsteps thanks to contact free delivery, Niche took advantage of the chance for free advertising. Opting to have the brand logo as the main focal point meant that anyone walking past could check the brand out for themselves!

Aside from the logo, the box crucially features the brand’s all-natural promise and several slogans. It was decided with Saxon Packaging that this box would be a brilliant chance to get people talking about the brand and the products – so letting people know what was inside with phrases like ‘The perfect serve is just 30 seconds away’ and ‘The perfect serve for flavour connoisseurs’ helps to cement the message.

Despite all the features, the boxes’ designs are surprisingly simple. The one colour design on the kraft cardboard means that no details are lost and all are readable.

That all-natural promise is echoed in the boxes with the un-bleached kraft as the perfect background. There is an impression of nature’s goodness before you even read the words, hinting at Niche’s dedication to natural ingredients.

Plus, the bespoke e-commerce packaging tells of the thought and quality that Niche put into every facet of it business

Emily and Niche were really keen to ensure that the boxes produced were eco friendly. The brand promotes a sustainable ethos, and wanted to make sure this was followed through in every aspect of the business.

Consequently, it was decided that the boxes should be made from Kraft cardboard, which is FSC Certified and fully recyclable, while the ink used has no impact on the boxes’ recyclability. This means that Niche Cocktails’ carbon footprint goes down, and it can encourage consumers to dispose responsibly.

Of course, as a newly D2C brand, it was also concerned that their products should arrive in pristine condition.

One of the trials of being an online business is ensuring that products arrive safely, and with drinks packaging, there is the additional worry that one or more might spill if the box is damaged in transit – which is not an ideal customer experience.

Saxon and Niche settled on six sturdy e-commerce box designs that would allow the brand to use the size most appropriate for the number of products being sent out. This made it less likely that the drinks would be harmed in transit. It also tied into the sustainability goals, as it wouldn’t be shipping unnecessarily big boxes and thereby putting more vehicles on the roads.

The Niche team was really pleased with the results, and Emily said: ‘We are so pleased with our packaging. Our boxes do exactly what we need them to do – transport our cocktails safely and reflect our brand in the style and design used. Thank you to the team at Saxon for all their help.’

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