Bound with Innovation

29 April 2019

Adhesive performance is crucial to the reliability of packaging. Manufacturers and brands have to be able to guarantee that the adhesive does its job – quietly and cleanly. Emma-Jane Batey speaks to key players across the value chain to learn more.

There are seemingly endless elements of packaging decisions to make that go beyond what start up brand owners ever expected; new brands regularly admit that they never thought that the packaging would take up more brain time that the product itself. But unless companies are planning to simply hand out their products loose to people in the street... effective and responsible packaging is not going anywhere.


Adhesive plays an integral role in the effectiveness of the packaging and, increasingly, it is able to differentiate on its ingredients too. As more brands and more consumers are pushing for more responsible ingredients across the packaging supply chain, the adhesive manufacturers and packaging manufacturers are happy to oblige.


With the huge boom in ecommerce, the reliability of packaging is now going beyond the primary packaging and on to the secondary packaging too; the expectation of seeing a beautiful product online and then waiting for it to arrive...only for the outer box to be resealed with ugly tape by the postman because it wasn't able to do its job properly. That is not harnessing consumer engagement! On the flip side, brands that sell online and use the secondary packaging opportunity to exceed consumer expectation – and that includes making sure the first physical touch point is perfectly executed – can make a repeat customer and a brand ambassador in one fell swoop.


For online gifting store Funky Pidgeon, reliability of the packaging is of paramount importance; essentially, it is responsible for the gifting experience of the receiver, as well as the ecommerce experience of the consumer, so there are two groups to please – particularly interesting if the receiver is not impressed yet feels like they can't tell the person that sent them the gift. So there is an unseen element of the online ambassador too, a real six pointer for consumers that are not pleased with their purchase or gift.


Sophie Millard, PR and social media executive for Funky Pigeon tells Converting Today, “Funky Pigeon was established in 2009 and since then we have been striving to make every occasion more personal. Our range of distinctive personalised cards and gifts have grown very quickly since then, along with our loyal customer base. Reliability of packaging is of paramount importance to our business. Lots of our products go directly to the recipient of the gift, so we like to know that the products our customers have created will arrive in perfect condition.”


Funky Pigeon appreciates that all aspects of its secondary packaging's performance must be guaranteed in order to meet those demands, with the company working in close contact with its packaging suppliers to keep a tight quality control. Millard continues, “We work with various packaging specialists who create our packaging to fit our products and requirements, which are very different for every product we sell. Our overall aim is to use as little packaging as possible, to make the cost of postage affordable while making sure that the gifts our customers order arrive in perfect condition. All of our products arrive to customers in Funky Pigeon branded packaging which is secure and sturdy; it needs to represent the distinctly quirky aspect of our brand, and its security and reliability is also key – the packaging is designed for the product to fit in as neatly as possible to prevent issues in transit – so the way it fits together is really important.”


Start up businesses need to be able to rely on their packaging performance too, with costly mistakes untenable and unhappy customers unthinkable. For brands like Pip's Chocolate for Milk, whose handcrafted bean to bar chocolate is the first of its kind – designed to be slowly melted into hot milk to make a luxury hot chocolate – the packaging performance is something that needs to be as delightful as the chocolate itself.


Pip's Chocolate for Milk founder Phillip Easton, or Master Pip as he is affectionately known, knows that his customers buy with their eyes (either online or in person at the various independent delis his products are stocked at) before they get to taste the delicious chocolate, so he is as passionate about the packaging as he is about the chocolate...well, nearly. Easton says, “I know that Pip's Chocolate for Milk is something special; I created it because I felt that other hot chocolates were coming in half way through the process. Where's the foreplay? Sinking in to a chair with a mug of cocoa is all well and good, but boiling a kettle and spooning in powder just doesn't hit the spot. Pip's Chocolate for Milk is a luxurious process from start to finish, from pouring out the milk to adding the chocolate, whisking it to make it all frothy...and do you know what, it costs less than it would in a coffee shop. So the packaging has to suport that glorious story, that wonderful moment of self-love and intense pleasure. That doesn't happen if the wrapper is all tangled up or the chocolate's spoiled because it wasn't taken proper care of. I source all my packaging so carefully to make sure it all represents Pip's Chocolate for Milk in the way I want it to – everything performs well, looks lovely and takes great care of the chocolate.”


Easton explains how he finds local Welsh suppliers of a natural greaseproof paper to hand-wrap the chocolate and has invested in printing machinery in order to be able to create personalised labels that are colourful and act as the adhesive for the individually-wrapped chocolate coins. He says, “The chocolate coins are by far our  best seller and I am very proud of them; they're delicious, they look wonderful and they're the perfect present for yourself or your loved ones. I don't have a huge budget so to be able to rely on my adhesive labels is crucial so I can get on with making wonderful chocolate.”


For adhesive manufacturers, appreciating that the balance of cost effectiveness, performance and quality is at the heart of new developments. For world-leading multinational adhesives manufacturer Beardow Adams, based in the Milton Keynes and with production plants worldwide, its position as the only adhesives plant with an A Grade BRC certification puts it in an impressive position. Beardow Adams' iconic BAMFutura brand of adhesives celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, with the company marking this achievement with the launch of two new products to the range.


Formulated using the latest in adhesive polymer innovation and manufactured under BRC food hygiene standards, BAMFutura 43 and BAMFutura 44 utilise metallocene advances, with BAMFutura 43 happy at lower ambient temperatures, making it perfect for standard case and carton sealing applications for both corrugated and plain card  and BAMFutura 44 suited to retained heat or high-resistance applications such as coffee cups. Water white in colour, low odour and with high thermal stability, these adhesives are CSR friendly  and solvent-free too.


Beardow Adams' technical director Lesley Sheldon explains, “Seeing these products from early concept, through their development stages, to now being brought to market has been a real achievement for the team. We love the opportunity to work hands on with our suppliers on real innovation. Our global technical teams flourish addressing real problems, on real applications, for individual customer's bespoke needs. BAMFutura's new additions will enable us to continue this level of service worldwide. We challenge the market and don't just accept the norm. We offer our customers a real alternative to their current supply, with factual benefits – whether it be a more secure bond on a hot coffee cup, or the adhesives' ability to let them use less and allow their production lines run cleaner for longer.”


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