Smurfit Kappa helps drinks business grow with retail packaging design

Smurfit Kappa’s support for one of its clients has lead to substantial growth throughout lockdown, and the start of an exciting chapter with supermarket giants Waitrose.

Dalston’s Soda Company worked with Smurfit Kappa’s Barnstaple team to ensure it had powerful packaging solutions to show competing, bigger brands that Dalston’s can hold its own on supermarket shelves.

Having worked with Dalston’s since 2021, Smurfit Kappa understood the needs and branding. Having previously developed the seltzer eCommerce packaging, the multi-pack retail packaging presented another challenge.

Smurfit Kappa had to hit the ground running but rose to the challenge to create stand-out colourful packaging that had a premium feel. Not only did Dalston’s need packaging ready to send the multipacks to Waitrose, but the brief also included the design of ten bespoke boxes for a stop motion animation for an advertisement – in just four days.

The new packaging needed to be striking, establish and reinforce brand awareness and incorporate a musical heritage with a vinyl record player featured on the multipack boxes. Plus, as the new packaging would showcase a range of flavours, it was agreed that a full six-colour lithographic print option would yield the striking results they were looking for.

The multipack packaging needed to be assembled quickly in a fulfilment centre as they would be hand-assembled there. Dalston’s also wanted to make sure no secondary packaging materials was needed.

Andrew Richards from Smurfit Kappa Barnstaple, who played a central role in the project, said: “We had just four days to produce the 10 packs for Dalston’s animation, which proved an exciting challenge for the team. We promised packs in four days and so, four days later, the packs were ready to shine at the client’s animation shoot.”

Staying on brand was vital and the multipack packaging had to fully communicate this.

Dalston’s felt that any tape on the outer of the boxes would compromise the look and feel of the boxes. So, the new full lithographic crash lock box featured a ripper strip for easy opening with no loss in the aesthetic of the boxes. We needed to ensure the pack performed well in a retail setting. We went through a lengthy, detailed design process, exploring different styles and opening experiences. We wanted the opening of a case of Dalston’s cans to be less fiddly and more efficient.

As Dalston’s drinks are packaged manually, the crash lock boxes were the perfect solution as they’re super quick and easy to assemble – and 75% faster than conventional boxes.

The quick-to-assemble crash lock boxes also help small businesses meet their sustainability goals, which is extremely important for Dalston’s as a fully carbon-neutral business. 100% recyclable, FSC-certified materials are used to produce all crash lock base packaging.

From design concepts and the advertising packaging to the final packaging on the shelves, Dalston’s are really pleased with the print quality and opening experience of the full lithographic crash lock boxes, complete with a ripper strip for easy opening.

Graham Walker from Dalston’s said he was “really pleased with the cases. I love the print quality and the opening experience of the pack. The self-sealing tape means that our fulfilment centre doesn’t need any additional glue or tape and they can package these multipacks quickly and efficiently.”

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