Premiumization will drive limited edition and special beverage packs

The Design and Innovation Hub. Picture: Pollard Boxes.

Pollard Boxes which specializes in premium, intelligent packaging, including a tea box with QR code which ‘whistles’ when a brew is done, is investing £300k ($373k) in its design, manufacturing and testing facilities.

The project includes the creation of a Design and Innovation Hub, with CAD and Kasemake software at its HQ in Leicester, UK, to speed up and develop customer orders and it will install a casemaker, climatic and transit testing equipment.


The Kolbus DA 260 Casemaker can construct cases/jackets with up to seven pieces of board, to meet increasing demand for front opening packs in the drinks sector for on-shelf display.

The company will also upgrade its testing facilities with machines that can test its boxes’ ability to withstand different environments, such as an ink rub tester, temperature and humidity chamber, an ageing oven, compression tester and simulator transport table.

Peter Connor, director, Pollard Boxes, told BeverageDaily, predicting the future is a precarious business but one thing most commentators agree on is the retail market will continue to remain fiercely competitive.

In the drinks sector, particularly luxury brands, manufacturers are placing significant investment in understanding what drives consumers’ purchasing decisions,” he said. 

This in turn has a major influence on rigid box packaging developments as brands use this feedback to specify packs which deliver the all-important premium image and high-impact shelf presence that encourages trial and purchase.

As part of this, we are likely to see an even greater emphasis on ‘premiumization’ as a means of creating effective differentiation both between and within brands. This will drive the requirement for limited edition and special packs and the further development of pack personalization.

To meet these needs, rigid box manufacturers will continue to focus on the senses in their new pack development work.  Sight will be all-important, of course, but touch and feel will also play their part, with special ‘visual’ finishes including foil blocking, embossing and spot UV alongside the use of new materials such as soft velvet effects.  Creating an aura of excitement as part of the ‘opening experience’ will also be important, using features such as layering to create a gradual reveal of the product within the pack.

At the same time, practical considerations will remain important, and packs must also have the necessary strength to protect the product during transit and on-shelf.”

Clarke Rubicon

This latest investment follows Pollard’s acquisition of presentation packaging manufacturer Clarke Rubicon, in Coalville, UK, in June last year. The company’s manufacturing capabilities now comprise 13 fully automated box making lines along with a four American box making lines.

Conner added the firm is continuing to see strong demand for its products and services, in particular the luxury sector and as designs become more complex, the Design and Innovation Hub will support its growing customer base.

Just like the retail market, the packaging industry is highly competitive and becoming increasingly global. Our latest investment is the continuation of a long-term strategy to maintain our competitive edge,” he said.

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