The first lockdown in March 2020 was certainly a surprise – and a hurdle! – for Niche Cocktails, who had just launched a canned cocktail business.
Their original goal had been to sell in the trade space, marketing to pubs and hotels so their drinks could be sold in bars.
Stay-at-home orders obviously put this on hold.
Not ones 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) via their website, who were more than happy to help!
Working together, Emily and the Saxon Packaging team were able to create an eCommerce box that delivered all the company’s packaging goals.
Working with a blank canvas
One of the main challenges for Saxon in this brief was that Niche had no real idea of where they wanted to start! Because they were so new, there were no concrete brand design features to work with.
They were also after a box with impact: as a new brand, they 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 thorough chats with Emily, a bespoke eCommerce 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 advertisement. Opting to have their 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 their 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 their 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 eCommerce packaging tells of the thought and quality that Niche put into every facet of their business: lauded as “the best canned cocktails money can buy” by The London Economic, their passion truly shines through in every aspect.
Disposing responsibly: sustainability factors
Emily and Niche were really keen to ensure that the boxes produced were eco-friendly. Their brand promotes a sustainable ethos, and they wanted to make sure they followed through in every aspect of the business.
Consequently, it was decided that their 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 they can encourage consumers to dispose responsibly.
Sturdy and safe
Of course, as a newly D2C brand, they were 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 eCommerce 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 their sustainability goals, as they wouldn’t be shipping unnecessarily big boxes and thereby putting more vehicles on the roads.
The Niche team were really pleased with the results, and Emily passes on this gratitude ‘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’
Equally, the Saxon team were delighted to have been involved in this project from the very outset, and with the bold results.
If you want to find out more about how bespoke eCommerce drinks packaging could help your business to thrive, get in touch!